Monday, January 26, 2015

A Change of Scenery

As I work towards rebuilding my long distance runs again a bit more slowly in light of not wanting to flare up the IT Band problems, I am remaining slow, but steady. That's alright. I still have time to work towards that ambitious goal.
 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! ;) 
 The view stepping out into the morning.....                

 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!


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