Ramblings of this guy you know!

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Running the Nemesis

There is a hill not far from me and its name is Nemesis… No doubt it is not anyone else’s name for it, probably more mundane like “the hill on the way to Stuartfield” but to me it’s Nemesis and is so called because in the two and a half years that I have lived in Clola, I have never managed to reach the top and still be running. Otherwise I can run miles without (much) complaint and all other hills around are conquered… This one however eludes me. Even as I write about it, I look at the distances between each segment and think… “Nah, must be longer than that”

Bottom of Nemesis One Quarter the way up Nemesis About Half Way up Nemesis

Don’t let the pictures fool you here, yes it’s long and yes it goes up but i don’t think you can appreciate it unless you are at the bottom and looking up and then try to run it..

There are four waves of despair to this hill, the first lulls me into a false sense of belief in my ability as I start the climb with a modest 5m climb over 130m up to a farm road junction. Here I am still feeling quite confident that this is the day, this time I am actually going to do it… I can reach the top… The Mantra starts… I can do it, I CAN DO IT!

The next 165m is a 15m climb up to a passing place sign.. This climb kick starts the self doubt in the mind as I try to remember every piece of advice on hill climbing I have ever read in those glossy magazines with that picture of the effortless runner on the front (who i always imagine have never been running in their life, I mean have you ever seen a glamorous runner? – but I digress). It doesn’t help, by the time I’m half way up that evil hill my legs are starting to burn.

I start to look towards the next bit which looks like it’s a lesser climb which takes me to the long driveway of a house. However the next 165m is still a deceptive 10m climb over this distance and that last bit knackered me enough so it feels twice as hard to get through it. The lungs at this point submit a request for more air. That request is declined, manage on the resources you have (bit like work really).

Here’s the worst bit, the last bit goes round a corner and just when you think you are at the top, IT CARRIES ON!!! it’s just not fair I tell you and it’s the longest part of the hill, 229m with a (modest) 9m height climb. This is the bit that gets me every single time and where I fail and never get to the top at run. I’ve done all this climbing, I’ve done my bit and now you want me to do more? Well no, not this time it would seem.

Next time i’ll get you Nemesis, Next time….

Summary of the climb

Bottom of the hill: 55m above sea level
Climb part 1: 0.1262km 5m climb to 60m
Climb part 2: 0.1656km 15m climb to 75m
Climb part 3: 0.1645km 10m climb to 85m
Final part: 0.2295km 9m climb to 94m


Repost: My Running Life

20110326-070603.jpgI love running… There, I’ve said it, happy now? It hasn’t always been that way though. I have been running for years now and in the past its been a bit more “Go out to eat out..” rather than a love of running that has pushed me out. Theres also be a bit of social embarrassment mixed in there too after all I’m not exactly running shaped… I feel like I am a bit like a Bumble Bee, almost seeming to defy the laws of physics but exists anyway. On the positive side, I have always loved the feeling you get when you’ve battled to get to the top of a challenging hill and pause to catch your breath and view the vista below.

Then last summer, after a rather silly experience involving an axe and some rotten decking, I kicked off a chest inflammation that led to a diagnosis of Asthma. During this time I was totally unable to get out running and the longer I was out of it, the more I missed going out; I actually wanted to be back out running. So, asthma or no asthma I had to get back out there.

Since then it has been a hard slog to get back on the road. It started with short walk/runs which were slowly extended to be longer until I got back to my old distances again. I have slowed my pace down to around 10 minutes for the mile and I guess that it’s what i am going to have to accept if I want to keep running… It’s worth the sacrifice.

So now I am left even more determined than ever to keep running. By the end of last year to date i’ve just made it to the 700 mile mark and this year I am on target to hope to make it to 1,000. Until then, it’s back to slogging up those hills and pausing at the top to catch my breath and look over the countryside.

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