But this weekend, we went away for a quick trip, and I did not want to lose steam in the weekend runs. I always struggle to run when on vacation. Everyone is sleeping in, we aren't eating right and I want to just be able to do whatever I want. But, in the back of my mind, I knew I was going to a perfect location for some hill running and I wanted to take advantage of that. So I packed my running clothes and set my mind for a Sunday morning run.
Tennessee mountains are beautiful. Majestic. Peaceful. And when it comes to running, a bit intimidating. The rest of the family was sound asleep, and I quietly put on the running gear and stepped out the door.
I am so glad I did. Our hotel was at the top of a peak. The sun was rising. My breath crisply making waves in front of me in the cool air, I didn't even notice the temperatures because the view was breathtaking.
The sun rising painted pink and purple strokes in the sky. I literally stood still for a moment soaking it in before proceeding.
And then I braced myself for some hills. Honestly, it all comes back to the mindset. The hills weren't that bad. In part, I think because I was just enjoying the run. The beauty. The moment. The fact that I was running hills and not hurting at all. The hills that seemed intimidating hours before as I planned a short route became a welcome unexpected Sunday run in the midst of winter training. I didn't go long, but the hills (ok, let's be honest, compared to Ohio, these were real mountains, not just hills) did justice for what I wanted to accomplish on the run. And my calves (and glute) muscles today prove that. The run was so worth it.
As I climbed the last hill back up to the hotel's lobby, I paused at the top and just thanked God for His beauty. The mountains are majestic. I am thankful for the change of scenery this weekend, and the challenge it provided. I am even more grateful for God's creation. His hands are evident all over the place, but something about the majesty of the mountains, seemingly rolling for miles, brings a whole new sense of appreciation.
Side note for my food -loving friends: After an absolutely wonderful run I probably ruined every calorie burned by consuming a wonderful Southern breakfast, but hey... it was a vacation, after all! ;)
then final climb (the picture does not do this hill justice)..... and the view from the top at the end
Beautiful, Sunday, Hill training Run!