Wednesday was a struggle, in more ways than one. The training group was doing hill repeats, and my schedule allowed me to join them ultra early. Virtually all of my running since Twin Cities has been on flat ground, so I knew the hills would be a struggle, and they didn’t disappoint! This group will be even faster than the previous marathon group, because most of them are training for Boston – so they are fasties! So, with the exception of one new guy, I was at the tail end of the group, trying to just survive. I don’t really mind being in last place during training, because marathoning (at my non-elite level!) is about me against myself, not me against others. But I hated that I was SO winded making my way up the hill and at the top of the hill after each repeat. I have definitely lost fitness. But, as coach says, we are still in base building, not official training, so those of us that are coming out for the workouts now will be that much ahead of the game when real training starts (in a couple weeks).
There are some serious parallels between my life, right now, and the hill repeats with the fast group that we did on Wednesday. Keeping up seems impossible. Each hill, like the challenges of life, is a struggle. When I got to the top of the hill each time, there was such a sense of relief and accomplishment, but that was short-lived and soon enough the challenge/struggle of the hill was there again and again and again. The mere thought of four hill repeats, and the struggle that I knew it would be, scared me. But I knew that if I didn’t tackle the hill (i.e. life struggles), I’d feel even worse in the end and that if I did tackle the hill, I would be so much stronger in the end.
So, the lesson of these hills (and life): Taking the easy way out, so that you don’t have to deal with challenges/struggles now, may feel easier/more palatable now, but it ultimately will lead to disappointment. That’s not the kind of marathon I want to have, or life I want to lead. So, to me, the struggles are worth it. How about you?