RUN FOR THE HILLS. I'm missing the Crim race this weekend (Coolest Race in Michigan--and it is!), which is a hilly course through Flint. There's not much going for Flint except this race it seems, but the enthusiasm and crowds every year leave me amazed. So today, instead, and tomorrow as well, I will run hilly courses to remind me of the best race in Michigan and that I am missing it this year! Hopefully I will be able to make it next.
Today's run took me through the streets of downtown GR starting before 7 am. I considered running from home, but even at 6:3o it was still dark, and the street lights were not on. Some were, but most were out. I don't know what gives with that. I'm sure my taxes pay for this! Its just too dark to run without them, and with all the skunks in the area, I wouldn't take my chances. So I headed to the gym and ran from there. I decided it had to be hills, I needed more challenge, and you get some good hills in the downtown area. We have a historic area called Heritage Hill, with the "hill" being an area of stately mansions and homes that overlook the city, and before the view was hindered by office and hospital buildings, overlooked the river in the founding days of the city. Lots of beautiful historical homes and lots of hills too.
I had forgotten about a roughly 4 mile route we used to run that was basically all hills, with the crest being what we call "Lookout Hill" overlooking the city and river, and with the only downhill the last two blocks before the finish. These are hills that would be hard to bike on, let alone run on, but oh so challenging. One hill in particular is so steep, if it is slippery out, there is no way you can make it without almost crawling. I always loved this route. From the gym, it is probably closer to 5. I hope to be able to work that into my training again, and I was encouraged today that the uphills were a lot easier than the down! With Chi running, there is a method of running up and a different one of running down hills, the first to give you momentum to get up the hills, and the second to keep you from pounding and blowing out your knees going down.
As an aside, I sent in my checks for the two races mentioned yesterday. Checks, as opposed to on-line registration. For once I am not late getting these in, and I am tired of paying the extra fee they tack on for every on-line registration. It used to be a flat $2, and okay, I can live with that. But now it seems to be based on the cost of the race--meaning I have paid weird amounts of anywhere from $2 to $7 just to "register" for a race, depending on the race fee. If convenience is a factor, its a mighty expensive one. I may not always trust the U.S. mails, but for 39 cents I can send in my check and save myself the extra fees. And if you do tris, and don't have a USAT membership, add another $9 on to the race fee plus whatever registration fee there is. Then a reasonable race fee (around here anyway) that might be $50 ends up being something like $63! What a racket! Just one of my pet peeves of the day.