Last night I dropped off Ninjutsu Boy at his class at seven, and then wondered where near there I might go for my run. It was dark out already with a light drizzle, and the CRR 10k schedule mentioned three long hills on the plan, so I parked a little over a kilometer away from the Foothills Hospital and warmed up by running to hospital hill.
After one trip down and up the hill (up = 3:30 min = medium hill for me) I was completely warmed up. I safety-pinned my mitts together and tucked them into my jacket pocket. I hung my jacket on a bush, like I often do when running hill repeats, and sailed back down again.
The grassy boulevard on which I descended next to the sidewalk was covered in wet leaves and pocked with civic election pleas, but the decline was at a perfect angle for bounding happily downwards. I picked up my feet high behind me, so as not to trip on buried twigs.
At the bottom of the hill the quote in front of the Parkdale United Church read: “Character is what you are in the Dark”. Since I believe that running hill repeats builds character as well as muscle, I chewed on that thought while I glanced over at the Cancer Center, and thought of Jeanne, who is mourning her recently deceased sister. I remembered a friend of mine who had passed away from cancer the year I began running, and thought of the people still fighting their battles inside the hospital.
It sounds like pretty serious stuff for uphill running, but really I was glad for the breath and freedom of movement I possessed, and those thoughts made me more determined to use it well. I savoured the rich moist air, and enjoyed the bounce of the curls escaping from my hairband buff.
I listened to traffic and rainfall and songs in my mind, and before I knew it I was up by my jacket again. On my third repeat the William Tell Overture started to play, and I grinned as I remembered a funny WTO video I’d watched earlier in the week. The third uphill was hard, but I ran it all and remembered a time not too long ago when I’d had to walk parts of that workout to complete it.
I ran right past my jacket bush at the top, mostly because I was determined to run all the way up, and secondly because my jacket wasn’t on it anymore. He-e-e-y-y-y… Some pixie had magically made my jacket disappear. Aw, I loved that jacket. I guess I shouldn’t have left it alone on a bush.
I still had plenty of time and a little energy left, so I did one more hill repeat. By now my bouncy curls were heavy and wet, and my speckled glasses fogged up when I rested between repeats. I checked one more time for my missing jacket at the top, and then headed back to the car.
I stopped at Timmies for a smiley face chocolate chip cookie and milk. I bought a few extra for my own kids. The song playing in Tim’s was one of my favourites, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and I just couldn’t let the loss of my beloved jacket get me down. I picked up the boy and headed home for a nice warm bath.