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Nowhere to Go But Up

I have not been running enough lately but did not feel I could use that as an excuse to not run today. Steven left for work at 6:20 a.m. I left at the same time.

I turned toward Steuben Street, thinking to go up that hill. Full disclosure: I could not remember the name of the street till I got to it and saw the sign. That’s how little I’ve been running lately, because that is a usual Saturday morning run for me.

As I turned down German Street the sun was right in my eyes. How annoying. At least I could see the sidewalk a few feet in front of me, so no danger of tripping and falling on my stupid face. At least, less danger. I’m so clumsy I guess there are no guarantees. However, I reached Steuben without mishap (making a mental note of the name) and started up.

Who remembered that the hill was so steep and long? Not me! Oh no. There were only a couple of opportunities to turn off. Should I take the first, easier one? No! I was going to be tough!

What the hell do I have to be so tough for? I thought that hill was going to go on forever. The sidewalk ends pretty quickly and there is no shoulder to speak of. Traffic is light early Saturday morning, of course, but I encountered a few cars and trucks. Most of them at least crossed the center line for me. I suppose I can’t expect them to slow down much as they are going downhill. I at least gave them the little thank you wave for getting over.

Since, as I mentioned, I have not been running enough, I could not quite remember how far up the tough girl turn-off was. Around this curve? No. The next curve? No. Oh dear. Lots of curves on this road. Was that a hoof print in the gravel? Any observation to distract myself is useful. I looked around for deer, which you occasionally see on that road.

I started looking through trees to my right. You can see the road you turn on to through them before you actually get to it, and that’s kind of an encouraging sight. No far nothing but trees. Darn. Wait, surely that was the turn off? No, just a driveway. Well, I was certainly toughening myself up, wasn’t I?

At last! I could see the road I wanted through the trees. Now it was only a question of where the damn turn off was. The sharper the angle, the longer till I got to the turn. Damn, it must be a V! At last I reached it. Aaah!

And remembered that after a very short down-slope the road goes up again. What’s that all about? I felt so ill-used. And annoyed with myself for forgetting that little detail. No matter, I told myself. It was not all that steep an up-slope, and it was a quieter, residential area. I admired a few houses. I didn’t think I remembered any dogs on this stretch.

Then I was on the down-slope again. Which I had forgotten was so steep! It’s a little scary going down a steep down-slope. My husband, Steven, tells the story of running down a hill when he was a kid and being unable to stop. I suppose if it was a race I might throw caution to the wind and see how fast I could get. As it was, I leaned back and took advantage of gravity without letting gravity take control of me (how’s that for a sound bite?)

It was actually a pretty good run. I even encountered my friend, Nicky and his person when I got back on German Street. Naturally I stopped long enough to pet Nicky (such a good dog) and exchange greetings with his person. As Tabby graciously walked my cool-down with me, I felt pretty terrific. I might even run another hill tomorrow.

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