Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Mountain of Death

With only one week between me and the 5K, I thought it would be prudent to run longer than 0.95 miles yesterday. Specifically, something more along the lines of 3 miles. And that is how I came to run the 3.5 mile loop I ran the other week.

Very early on in the run I decided I needed to amend my workout schedule and include a rest day (Yes, yes, I know this is good practice.). My leg muscles felt tired right from the start. But I held strong and soon found myself atop the first hill. With my iPod shuffle freshly charged and my playlist fully optimized, I was ready to take on the world. Ya-di-ya-di-ya...I turned a corner and there in front of me stood The Mountain of Death.

The reasoning behind my nomenclature is two-fold. To begin with, running up this hill sucked. Running uphill is always hard, but when it's particularly steep and thrown into the latter half of the run it's, well, worse. But I was determined. And "Imma Be" by the Black Eyed Peas kicked in right at the base of the mountain. "Yes, I am going to be the flyest chick," I thought to myself as I huffed and puffed up the mountain.

What is the second reason you ask? The second reason awaited me at the very top of the mountain, waited for my moment of glory, the runner's victory dance. The second reason - a dead cat. The Mountain of Death.

Now let me warn you, my friends, The Mountain of Death, is a sly and cunning villain. On one hand I feel grateful that is was the cat and not me that fell to the mountain. But I fear the cat was not the only victim. In the end, I fear the mountain may have got the best of Jason. He about passed out in the backyard as soon as we got home, and when I asked him, "Would you rather do that run again or go to yoga with with me?" he...(get ready for this)...hesitated.

And this is the end of my story. But not the end of this post.

You may recall that Google Earth and I had it out over this run the last time. The debate had to do with the distance. This time and I had it out over the elevation change. I thought surely, The Mountain of Death was like a 30 to, say, 50% grade. Yes, that hill was easily at a 45 degree angle. And, therefore, the equivalent of an additional 2 - 3 miles. Right? But really stuck it to me...

In case you're having trouble reading the graphic - that's a 5% grade. And that's all I'm going to say about that.

(Engineering note: Since writing this blog I have Wikipediaed "Grade (slope)" and learned that a 45 degree angle actually corresponds to a 100% grade. This means a 5% grade is actually somewhere between 2 and 3 degrees. Beautiful.)

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