One of my favorite things about Columbia at first glance was the beautiful, tree covered hills. I love varied topography, especially hills and mountains. It was only when I started running again that I realized the down side to that. In the city of Columbia there is exactly ONE flat route (granted, that route will take you several hundred miles if you wish…) and everything else has at least one significant hill in it. This is not a complaint. Just a stated fact. I love hills and I know that they are a fantastic training tool. But like the title says…
Due to a little skullduggery by the assistant route master, we were subjected to a route that apparently nearly caused a mutiny the last time it was done. So… LET’S DO IT AGAIN!! This route was not only hills, but hill repeats! No wonder there was talk of mutiny. AND… to make it even more fun, we had to sneak (as much as 100 people running as a group can “sneak”) on to a local golf course to do it. Just to add a little thrill. The hill was somewhere between a quarter and a third of a mile. It was up two holes on the course and lived up to the hype. It was tough. But it was fun, in a sick, twisted, demented, sadistic sort of way. And once we got started it was cool to see people the whole way since we basically ran right past each other.
Since we got there just before dawn and we were on some of the middle holes of the course, I knew we would never see a golfer. Maybe a greenskeeper or a sprinkler, but no golfers would be at these holes for an hour after we were done. The only thing out of place was a little skunk wandering down an adjacent fairway. We made sure to stay off of greens and out of sand traps, etc. and we did less damage to the course than a foursome in cleats and carts would do.
The funny thing is that on the way back down the (gloriously flat) trail to the parking lot, I felt myself speeding up the entire way. I ran the mile back to the car in 7:20 and really didn’t feel that tired. Granted, the run was short(er than usual) but it did feel good to have legs at the end! Especially after hill repeats. Maybe I am gettign better… just not at hills. Yet.