|The beginning of Heartbreak Hill|
And I was determined to get through the 22 miler with gusto. I don't know that I necessarily would have given it that descriptor post-run, but I got through it and that my friends, it what matters. The run was made infinitely better when Graham joined me for the final 3 miles home. I always make myself run up this one uphill canyon near my house as my final 1.5-2 miles of every long run - not because I'm a masochist, but because like anyone who has heard anything about the Boston Marathon, I'm terrified of Heartbreak Hill.
Heartbreak Hill is the last of the four Newton hills which begin at around the 16-mile mark. Heartbreak Hill only rises 88 vertical feet to just outside Boston College, but it comes at a point in the race (between miles 20 and 21) where any incline at all will likely seem an impossibility. From what I've heard and read, the hills leading up to the final one aren't exactly pieces of cake either. So with that in mind, I run up the terrible canyon every run, hoping to prepare myself for greatness (or at least completion) when it comes to Heartbreak. We shall see :)
Thinking about the race is still nerve wracking and exciting at the same time. I think I'm prepared, though I'm currently battling hopefully my last of the many common overuse injuries I've had the pleasure of dealing with throughout my training (runner's knee, plantar fasciitis, and now hip bursitis). It's always an inner battle to give your body rest when the mind still wants to go, but I suppose every athlete has to deal with that. So, I'll do what I can from now until April 15 and see where the chips land!
...and eat plenty of burritos along the way :)