About a month ago I got an email about an upcoming race I was registered for:  The Rock N Roll Half Marathon in Philly.  I am super psyched to race this one – it has great music, it is a flat course and I have a ghost on my back I am anxious to chase, as I talked about here.

The email that was sent out was electric to get all the runners jazzed.  And the big headline?  “It’s Flat, Fast and Your New 2016 Course!”  I had already thought the Rock N Roll course was pretty flat (the race is crowded, but the course is flat).  There was one miniature hill around mile 6, but that was it.  So I am anxious to see what the new course has in store.

Generally speaking, when I meet a hill in a race I remember them.  And I run the same races every year, so I remember them all.  I should start naming the hills.  The names would probably range from from “Hey Little Guy!” to “JERK!”  The Rock N Roll has some inclines, and on the last stretch the road is sloped from high left to low right (which KILLED my plantar fasciitis) but no landmark “OH MY GOSH” hills.

The Delaware Half and Full Marathon, the Icicle 10 miler – All hills.  Miles of hills.  And worst of all, mile 24 of the full marathon is downhill.  Why is that awful?  Because my legs are completely spent.  Asking them to brace and support my balance and weight as I go down a hill is asking a lot.  I have lost all lateral movement at this point, too.

One year a runner was ahead of me facing my same woes, except she was going slower.  I cringed as I had to go around her and then get down the hill.  I swear I squeaked “OW!” with each step.

Still nothing compares to THE HILL at the end of the Icicle 10 miler.  The second time I ran that race I was in the bathroom line waiting my turn before the race and the hill was the talk of the line.  It was one person in line first time running the course.

“Ohhhh – just so you know there is an awful hill at the end…” I heard someone say to her.

“Oh no!  Really?”  The ‘new to the course’ runner said.  She seemed honestly upset and worried, so her friend pumped up the positive.

“Yes, but don’t worry – just go slow.  It’s not that bad.  You’ll do fine!”

“Not that bad” the rest of us in line nodded and echoed, but I heard it and I agreed.  That hill is awful.

If anything it is good hill training.  And it teaches me how to run without crying when I really want to.

The Rock N Roll is almost here.  It’s labeled a fast course, so all of the hills must be out.  Which makes me super duper uber excited for race day.  Can’t wait!