My Current Rogues Gallery


Hills. Good gravy do I hate hills. They destroy me mentally more than they should. Hills are the easy escape route the lazy part of my brain uses to try and make me quit and walk. Long ago I adopted the Paul way of thinking that ‘if you start walking, the run is over’ way of thinking. There’s only one way of building endurance: keep running.

To do a little recap: where I live is quite hilly but I’ve found a quaint little route that does the job for 3-4 mile runs that involves not a lot of hills. It’s been very useful as of late. The flat route got me ready for the 5K I had to run.

But after I ran the 5K,  I needed to start training for the 10K, and that little 3-4 mile run (which included the ‘there and back’ stipulation) would not do. Before I got injured, I used to run a 5 mile beast around Arlington. Around RT 29, Wilson Blvd and George Mason. The distance and the car fumes made it hard. But the 6 Hills Of Death made me want to quit at all times.

To any runner trying to get their confidence up, there is no worse track (that I’ve been about, and I’ve been about, like… 4 … ish … shutup) than the Arlington 5 miler that I just made up right now.

Every inch is along a street filled with cars more than willing to blow not friendly smells into your face. Every foot of downhill feels like your being repaid with 3 feet of uphill. Anyway you run the Arlington Loop (I just named it, shut up), it sucks. There will always be the 6 Hills Of Death. I made my own track of 3-4 miles to directly not involve any of the 6 Hills Of Death. Eventually, I had to face my fears and start tackling the Arlington Hills.

Side note: I really wanted to call them the 5 Hills Of Death based upon  a vaguely reference to a Transformers  5 episode block but one of the hills was too much to not be counted so I counted it and was happy that I didn’t have to tell anyone that I had a blog post planned about a Transformers reference that no one would of understood. It’s a good thing that no one knows about that now and about the really long drag on sentence it would have taken to explain it and also this one that okwedonewithdumbjokenow.

After my 5K, I couldn’t do much more than just that. I had over a month to get myself ready for my Feb 18th 10K. My logical thinking was to equip the deadly 6 Hills of Death into my training routine.

And so I did just that. And it sucked at first. A lot.

For some reason I was giving myself positive reinforcement during the grueling uphill battles. This never happened for me. But the first couple times after the 5K it did. I made sure I was listening to the right type of heavy music I wanted to and this time, for reasons I don’t know, instead of internal/uncontrollable thoughts of “you can’t do this, just quit and walk”, I had positive thoughts. Reinforcement like “Keep moving our you won’t get better”.

Holy Crap. Those words floated to me while I was running once and I was dumbfounded. Those are words are you can’t escape. They kind of became my coach … that and ‘keep your legs moving’. When you’re on the beginning of a long path, you need ‘motivational pokes in the ass’ when you might be quitting on yourself.

I’ve been in the place where I am right now, but only once. When I was here, I pushed myself hard for a month and a half then got hurt in a freak accident. But, oh man, what a place to be. A place where you get your ‘Runners High’.


I don’t know what a ‘runners high’ exactly is, but for me, it’s the point where running stops becoming hard and where I start pushing my body and mind to do what I didn’t think I could do. For me, it’s such an interesting battle. Well, maybe not so much a battle but a transition of thought. I can’t pinpoint a time where my brain jumps rails from ‘we should quit’ to ‘how far can we actually do this?’, but for now I like that it actually does. My high comes from knowing I’ve gotten better and that I can run farther.

This is a real cool point in running, for me at least. A couple days ago I ran 8 miles, the farthest I’ve ran since last week (6.2 miles) and 4 miles more in a month. I’m seeing rapid progress, which is only adherent to my current attitude (I believe). I’m running more nowadays and more importantly, I want to run. Even on the days I don’t want to run or I feel like I’m to tired or weak to run … I run.

Just put your shoes on. Stretch. Right foot … Left foot. Repeat.

Just keep moving, or you won’t get better.


One Response to “My Current Rogues Gallery”

  1. Mom Says:

    WOW…….proud mommy ;). So proud

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