This weekend was the first time this year we met as a team to complete our first weekend long run as part of our training program. It was also the first time in my life that I climbed the Newton Hills to get to the top of Heartbreak Hill. The run was not scheduled to go quite that far, but as we got closer, a couple of us felt we just needed to see the top. “You can’t come this far and not conquer it.”
The feeling at the top of the hills was amazing. Being able to see the other side and knowing what will come next gave me a sense of warmth on that frigid day. Looking around, you could see dozens of other teams embarking on a similar climb. Each team out had their own purpose and their own cause. Each team respected the other for what they were doing and what they were working so hard for. We knew our cause, we knew we were Running for Rare Diseases. That is something I carry with me wherever I run and I am proud to be a part of it.
We soaked in the feeling for a moment before turning around and coming back down. Coming down the hills we noted, “Wow, these are a lot steeper than they felt going up.” For some reason, it just did not feel quite as difficult as I envisioned. Maybe it was that it was just say a beautiful day to run (4° with a wind chill in the negatives), maybe we are just in really good shape (maybe not at this point), or maybe it was the thought of running with a group, for a purpose, and that thought resonating with you as you take every step. I am truly amazed as I go through this journey the passion that everyone feels for what they do.
After we finished the run and were carbing up with some pancakes and French Toast, Phil warned us to not get too over confident just yet. When it comes down to the marathon, those hills may get a lot tougher, especially when you are hitting them after 17 miles. I certainly appreciate his advice, and I am sure he is right. But for now, I am going to celebrate this victory over the hills. Sometimes it helps to celebrate the little wins to help get you to the big one. I was able to take on my first heartbreak (hill) and come out feeling stronger than ever.