I've mentioned before that I don't like to run (jog, whatever). So why do I feel the need to try to be a runner? Every time I go out for a jog, I chant, in between breaths: "I, hate, running. This, hurts, so, bad." But still I do it.
I have gotten better at it. I've been pushing myself. But today, oh, today, I ran with Hannah.
Hannah is a runner. She can run up mountain tops, and I envy her for that. I am not Hannah, but today I tried to be. She wanted to run the one mile up Manganese Road, the two miles up the Red Trail and the three miles back down the Garden Brook trail. I knew I was in for a beating.
I was ready to quit half way up Manganese Road. For one, it's a road, which is tough on the joints. For two, it is up. But despite my heaving breath and the ability to only chime in, "yeah," "uh huh," "I know" to answer her unimpeded speech between gasps, I made it up part one.
Then it was time for the real killer. The Red Trail. If you are on a mountain bike, the Red Trails is a one-way pass: down. I actually rode up it once just to say I did it, and ended up walking my bike almost half way. I won't even repeat the words I said that day.
I hiked up the Red Trail the other day, and wanted to crawl in a hole under a tree in hopes some one would come to rescue me. And that was walking! I knew the "run" up it today would have me swearing at least as often as I did when I biked it.
I was right. In my defense, let me say that I don't believe in running up hills. All my life I tell myself to take big strides up steep slopes and hills in general. It wastes less energy than taking more tiny steps, as one does in running. Did I run all the way up the Red Trail? Hell, no.
I needed a couple breaks. I had to stride up the steep parts. I tried to twist my ankle so I didn't have to keep going. But I was fine, relatively speaking. And there was Hannah, way up among the bushes, proving it could be done. That little gazelle.
And before I knew it, we were at the top of the stinkin Red Trail. The top! We made it! The worst was over! But I still had to run at least three miles. I wanted my bike sooooooo bad. Biking feels nice. Yes, nice and smooth.
After more huffing and puffing and cursing, we finally made it close enough to town so we could walk and cool down. My knees, ankles and vitals rejoiced. But I actually did it. I ran six miles with Hannah, up a mountain and back down. The biggest lesson I learned was that I am a biker, not a runner. Whew! Lesson learned!