A few days ago my friend Robert asked me to run Mill Mountain with him. Mill Mountain is the local mountain that stands dead center in the city. Living in Roanoke there are plenty of mountains as we are nestled right in the middle of the Blue Ridge Mountains but Mill Mountain is special because it’s our “city mountain”.
It’s about 3 miles up via the main road. But wow, what a climb! It has one or two small stretches of semi-flat but for the most part it just climbs and winds. The downhill is super fast too.
Flash forward to today. I was looking forward to the run since it’s been since the fall since I last did it AND I knew it would be great training for Kilimanjaro and my upcoming 10 miler. However, the heat was cray cray today! It was 90 degrees! That’s insane since last Thursday it snowed. I was a little nervous about the heat and my allergies but knowing that I promised Robert made me feel accountable to not back out. I am glad I didn’t either.
It was a great but hard and punishing run. I had to stop a few times mostly because my heart was ready to explode from the combination of heat and incline. Still, I was proud that I was able to run just about the whole thing minus a few oxygen breaks. When I got to the stop, we stopped for a few to talk to some fellow runners and some young people who were simply enjoying the wonderful weather. I did notice that my left shin felt “bruised” and when I touched it, it definitely sang a bit.
On the way down I took it easy and slow, paying careful attention to my stride so as to land mid-foot. I am naturally a heel striker so I wanted to avoid excessive breaking as I went downhill. After 6 sweaty miles, we finally made it back to the car. I was exhausted, sweaty, and burning alive but otherwise, felt great!
I am so glad I went. As Robert says, “every step makes you stronger” and he is right. I’d love to start running this at least once a week until I go to Kili. I think it will be great training!