Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Big Hill of the North Side

Did you know there's a big hill on the North Side of Chicago?

Before I tell you about it, I'll need you to get into my frame of mind as I approach the bottom of the mountain (ok, maybe it's just a big hill?):

I'm in the last quarter mile of a run varying from 5 to 18 miles. It's likely warm and humid. My body and mind are probably not at 100%.

My terrain in the run so far (not including the North Avenue bridge) has been flat. I love Chicago for that.

I've spent anywhere from the last 50 minutes to 3 hours running. I'm probably ready to be done. I've consumed a relatively large quantity of water and Gatorade, not to mention Gu. A discussion has already happened about brunch (and I've decided what I'm having). A conversation on the topic of bodily fluids likely happened. On the smell meter, I'm somewhere between moderately offensive to homeless man on the El. 

I'm thinking of the big sigh I will let out as I lay in my bed an hour from now, freshly showered and full of post-run kibble. It will be glorious.

We turn off the main lakefront pathway and onto the spur that goes closer to the lakefront. The group gears up for Cricket Hill which comes into sight as we clear the viaduct. The group leaders yell something motivational about taking the hill so we don't wuss out.

Then we take on Cricket Hill. 

 
photo courtesy of emmers712.blogspot.com

The rationale is that if you run up Cricket Hill at the end of each long run then you'll have no problem with Roosevelt Street Bridge at the end of the Chicago Marathon. 

The strategy's worked for me, so I guess I'll keep on truckin' up the hill.  

Sometimes the hill comes easy. But most of the time, at least in my experience, it owns me. I get to the top of it short of breath and out of gas. Why is it that I do this? Yet I continue to do it, group run after group run. If running it once a week between June and September isn't enough, sometimes I hit it on a Wednesday mid-week run or on the off season as it's covered in snow. 

The duel between Cricket Hill and I continues (and I'll try to forget there's hill's in D.C.).


1 comment:

Declan Xavier said...

every week I tell myself to start including cricket hill in at least one run, but I have yet to actually run up it!

Post run smell! yum right? I wondered about that after hitting up a social run and they moved everyone to the bar up the street... lovely room to clean up after i'm sure!