"Beautiful course, but very hilly". That was the comment left this morning under some pictures put up on Facebook on the half marathon course I will be running. Yes, it does look beautiful, but really? Did she have to throw in there "very hilly"? I signed up for this particular half after my dear neighbor in TN recommended it - saying it was a great first half to do since it was so flat. I fell for it. I started seeing comments about "hills", watched several interviews from past races where the runners talked about "all the hills"...ugh. I watched a video of the course, and I suppose I just didn't notice the hills at first - easy to do.
So after seeing that comment, I decided I needed to see for myself. I printed out a course map and we all piled in the truck to go out to the park. I felt a little bit of relief as we drove through Ft. Harrison - yes, it is indeed flat. The we headed out on one of the roads on the course, and wow...huge hills. I'm not exaggerating. I glanced down at the map, and said "I am so glad I just have to run down these hills...oh...wait...ah, crap! The arrows show I go UP these hills!" I confess, I had a moment of panic, then a feeling of wanting to cry - I'm doing all this training, feeling pretty confident, my pace has gotten faster, and even though I have put in some minor hills in my routes, they are nothing compared to these hills. My goal of running the entire race is in jeopardy.
But, you know, I'm just going to do the best I can do, as cliche as that sounds. I'm not going to psyche myself out, or start thinking negatively. I'm going to plan to take the hills slow, and just see how it goes. I ran some pretty big hills in Tennessee - I can do these. Maybe I'll have to stop and drink a few more times than I had planned, but that's okay. I have to listen to my body.