Today I encountered a challenge running outside in my neighborhood that was not an issue at all along the flat coast of South Carolina: HILLS!
My own street has an incredibly steep hill, but since I went down that at the beginning of my run, I thought I was in the clear. I figured I'd go back up the hill during my walking cool down, and all would be right with the world.
What I didn't realize was that one of the other main roads in the neighborhood was just one long (though less steep) hill, and I had to run up the entire thing on the route that I chose! I don't know exactly how long the hill was, but I'm pretty sure it was at least 500 miles. My struggle must have been a comical sight, as I believe I was "running" at a pace slower than my 1-year-old toddles.
Halfway up the street, I came the closest to quitting in the middle of a run than I have since before my stress fracture. I don't really know how I managed to keep going, even as my thighs and hips were burning with every step. The pain subsided once I reached level ground again, and I was still able to finish my run strong, so I guess in the battle of me vs. hill, I won! But next time I run outside, I think I'll plan my route more carefully to avoid long uphill stretches.
Eventually I'll want to do some hill training on purpose, but right now I'm still just trying to survive my runs without dying. Baby steps!