Woke up this morning with everyone else in the house still asleep, showing no signs of stirring anytime soon. My best course of action was to lace up the Brooks and hit the road, despite the (for California) blustery, cold conditions.
Where to run, where to run? I know. Let's do some hills, he says. Judgement perhaps still impaired from last night's wine?
My online running friend Julianne recently asked me where I run in our neighborhoods, and mentioned that when she does hill work she hits "The Arlington", a twisty-turny stretch of hoity-toity residential roadway through the North Berkeley hills and, to the immediate north of that, toney little Kensington. I've driven it for years, so I thought I knew what I was getting into. Not so much.
Earlier this year I ran the New Mexico Marathon, that starts with an 8-mile climb. Really. Since then I've done maybe 1 mile chunks of hill training a few times. Made up for that today.
It's widely accepted that what goes up MUST come down. I was beginning to question that old chestnut at 5.5 miles, running into a biting near-freezing rain, while moving my iPod from outside my windbreaker to inside, to protect its delicate innards.
At this point my watch said it had taken me 1:13 to get there. Way behind my normal pace. But then the downhill began. Just about 35 minutes later I landed on my front porch, having done the last 3.5 under my normal pace. I think that's called negative splits, right?
Regardless of what they're called, I called it a day, and climbed the 29 steps to my apartment, to find the family had risen. My Garmin says I burned more than 1200 calories this morning. I'm thinking I'm all good for a holiday snack or two.
Merry, merry to you all.