When it's a run that includes FIVE giant hills and an enormous flight of stairs!! Yesterday, I was so excited for my "short" eleven mile run. In fact, I had been looking forward to it all week. We'd conquered the sixteen mile run last week, this week we'd run a quick and easy eleven. What could be better??
Lots of thing could be better!! First, we started the course heading up a large, winding, hill. Ok, fine. One hill, no big deal. After a flat stretch, our groups decided we would change our route to avoid one street that is riddled with stop lights (stop lights generally add tons of time onto a run because you are, that's right, constantly stopping). We moved on block over only to be met with...dun dun dun...a stereotypical San Francisco hill. It was super steep, and several blocks long. Seeing as how I tend to think of myself as a Superhero when I'm running, I tackled the hill and ran to the top. Two hills, no big deal. Our course then took us along the Lands End trail where I was able to snap a few more pictures of the excellent view. We continued running and I as I looked ahead, I began to be filled with a huge sense of dread. We were coming upon a GIGANTIC flight of stairs. Yes, there's a hill on a trail that is so steep that some engineer put a staircase on it. Seriously- I snapped a picture of it and then marched my way up to the top...but I wasn't happy about it.
Around this point, we were seven miles into the eleven mile run and we realized that we had not stopped for water!! I had about a half of a cup of luke warm water in my water bottle (oh yeah, my fuel belt broke again...major Scotch Tape FAIL). Ugh- we'd traveled seven miles with barely any water but I guess the massive hills distracted us. So, we then had to make a slight detour back to our starting point to fill up our water bottles. Let me tell you, there are few things in the world that are more cruel than parading a group of tired, thirsty runners back to their cars, only to make them leave again to run four more miles. Coming back to our starting point also meant having to climb the first, winding hill again. Not only was the winding hill steep, it was then followed by a LONG, slow climb up to the Golden Gate Bridge. The ONLY upside to this hill was that at the birdge, we would turn around so the end of the run woud be completely down hill!! HURRAY! Oh, and at this point, I was suddenly crippled by a stitch in my side (the first one I've gotten during this training program!) and, trust me when I say, I felt like someone was stabbing me. ARGH!
So, finally, we made it the full eleven miles. On the upside, I did not get any new blisters thanks to the blister shield powder that I coated my feet in. I also managed to stay in the ice bath for fifteen minutes this time because, like I said, I am a Superhero!
So, in the end, the only time when eleven is bigger than sixteen is when I'm running.