I was going to call this post “The Hills Are Alive… with the sound of my knees” but then I realised that’d be three song title blog posts in a row, and I didn’t want to get into a thing.
My plan for this week was to forego the running for a few days, as I’m on a course at work that’s pretty much a whole week of running about getting sweaty. I didn’t want to overdo things, after all. Sensible old me. So…
I got home tonight, thought to myself “hey, a gentle 5k couldn’t possibly hurt, and I’m already dressed for it*”, and before I knew it I was out the door. Of course, those of you who have read this blog before will know that for me there’s no such thing as “a gentle 5k” – perhaps what I meant to say was “a long slow traipse up the road”.
I headed again for Blueberry Hill, at least having the sense to avoid a longer woodland run this week. The run itself was great as usual, and my time a little better (not that I’m fussed about times of course. For me “PB” will only ever mean “peanut butter”). I’ve spoken before about the hills on this route, but I think now is the time to introduce them properly. I won’t bore you by going on about incline level, max elevation or anything remotely percentagey (which is a real word!) and I won’t bore myself by trying to find out. Suffice to say, to my stumpy little beginners legs, they’re big enough. Oh, and I’ve given them names…
This is the first one, steep enough and long enough to generate a gentle burning in the quads and leave you feeling like, well, like you’ve just run up a hill. Dave is a nice hill. The sort of hill who wouldn’t hesitate to lend you a fiver, or to mow your lawn while you’re on holiday. The sort of hill who, if asked to give a speech at your wedding, would carefully pass on the opportunity to share the hilarious story about you and the three midget Bavarian prostitutes. We like Dave.
Then we have…
2. The King of the Absolute Ba****ds
Considerably steeper and longer. The only saving grace of this hill is that it’s quite straight, so as you trudge up it you can keep the end in sight, allowing a tinge of hope. And then when you do get to the top you’re greeted by…
3. The King of the Absolute Ba****ds’ Dad
Steeper and longer still, and this time the path snakes all over the place. So not only is it difficult to see how much further there is to go, you also have to fight the temptation to cheat and cut across. As I (sort of) ran up TKOTABD today, I idly wondered I must look like to anyone looking out the window of any of the warehouses that look out onto this part of the run. As quickly as my mind posed the question, it answered itself with the words “an angry hyperventilating bison”. Bloody mind – always ganging up on me.
Then it’s time to run down the three hills, which for some reason is much easier than running up them. Who’d have thought? But that’s not the end of it, because on the return leg of this route there is…
4. Oh, For F**ks Sake
A thankfully straight stretch, the incline somewhere between that of Dave and TKOTAB. Oh For F**ks Sake’s downfall is the fact that, for starters, I’m nearly home and dry when it pops up and I’m bloody knackered. I can never work it out – “this bloody thing was downhill on the way here, how can it possibly be uphill now?”. This hill definitely has something David Blainey about it – on the way down it feels like just over 100m, but on the way back up it seems to stretch off into the distance and can’t possibly be less than a thousand miles. It’s like running through a bloody M.C. Escher painting.
So that’s my love/hate relationship with the hilly bits of Blueberry Hill. I think it’s fair to say that I’m growing more and more fond of them every time I tackle the darned things, and even when I’m lumbering my way through a torturous uphill plod, I’m smiling on the inside 🙂
Maybe, as my running improves, I’ll one day attempt some proper hills, ones that make these four seem like the wheelchair ramp outside the library. But until then, these four will do just fine.
3.49 miles (5.62km) 41:55
*I’ve just got some lovely new Karrimor running shorts and while they’re great in every way, they do have a VERY deep back pocket. Future buyers be warned that if you put your keys in this pocket then on your return to your front door you WILL look like you’re touching yourself, erm… inappropriately.