Monday, December 16, 2013

Running for the Hills : Blue Ridge Marathon give-away

I'm not really sure why I love running up hills so much.  I used to avoid big hills whenever possible.  They were hard, and it hurt to run up them.  But living in a hilly/mountainous town, it's pretty hard to avoid hills forever if you don't want to run the same 1 mile loop over and over and over again.  So at some point, I started branching out and trying hills that scared me when I first moved here.  And of course, they gradually became easier.  There are so many hills that I now run on a regular basis, that I used to avoid like the plague.  And now, they are just one-foot-in-front-of-the-other, like running anywhere else.  And they feel good.  There is something about pushing myself up a hill, that feels amazing.  Sometimes it's hard, and sometimes it hurts, but I still love it.  Maybe it's the challenge, maybe it's the feeling of accomplishment when I reach the top, maybe there really is no explanation.  All I know for sure is that downhills are awkward and hurt in all the wrong ways, flats are boring and also hurt my legs if I get stuck on them for too long, and uphills feel good.

This spring, I will be running the Blue Ridge 1/2 Marathon for the fourth time.  I am in love with the first 4 miles of the course.  (or...miles 2-4...the first mile is pretty flat)  Running up Mill Mountain is fun.  While others are struggling, I am in my element.  Sure, it's a long hill.  But it's really not that steep.  It's certainly not any harder than the hills I run on a regular basis, it's just longer.  I power up that mountain like I was born to do it.  Of course, then I have to go down the other side, which is impossibly steep and always makes me feel certain that either my knees or my hips will blow up before I get to the bottom.  But I've run it 3 times with no injury, and last year I sprinted down that hill, trying desperately to keep as much of a lead as I could.

This spring, I'm excited to say, there has been another big hill added to the course.  (I mean, I hear it's big...I really have no idea what it's like)  I'm a little bit disappointed that this will most likely change my overall time (I can't count it as a course PR if the course is different!), but there is actually a chance that it will help my time.  The flat part of the course after Mill Mountain always drags out for me, and the extra hill might give me the energizer that I need in the last half of the course.  We shall see.

In other news, this is my week to give away a free entry to the Blue Ridge Marathon!
The 2014 race will be held on April 26.

To enter, simply comment on this blog post, telling me about your relationship with hills. 
 Love them?  Hate them?  Love to hate them?  Hate to love them?  
Has your opinion about hills changed over the years?

Be sure to check back on Sunday to find out the winner!  
Winner will be chosen by random number generator, 
and will be contacted by email, as well as announced here on the blog. 
Good luck, and I can't wait to hear your stories!


  1. Had no choice but to run hills growing up in wv- only choice was whether up or down. When I moved to flat nc I missed them, but then lived and ran in the Alps... now those are some hills!

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. I grew up right outside of the DC area and grew up running cross country on those hills. It was not until college, though, that I went to southwest Virginia and fell in love with the mountains and mountain trail running. The places it will take you! I spent the past two years in Louisiana before coming up to West Virginia. I desperately missed the hills and the challenge that comes with it. Now that I'm back and currently residing in The Mountain State, I look forward to new adventures and wherever the hills will take me!

    Love where you live. Run what you love.