And today is the recovery run. Recovering a sense of purpose to run up that damned hill. the Hill That Kills – in fairness it’s not the hardest hill around here, that accolade goes to Cavendish Hill , nonetheless after injury and a lung issue last year, the Hill That Kills is still my nemesis.
Tuesday’s run saw me fail miserably at my attempt to do five ascents. Today, I was out at about the same time, but the benefit was the weather has considerably cooled down after a ‘temporale’ – a tempestuous storm bringing scudding grey clouds, claps of thunder, gusts of wind sufficient to blow Mr JCR off his bike and enough to stop our gates from opening. Yesterday Mother Nature had a periodic clearing of the decks, to start afresh with warm but not scorching weather.
Today, therefore was a good day to take advantage of Mother Nature’s generosity.
The plan – just to do five ascents of the Hill That Kills, pausing is okay, walking is not. Speed is immaterial (damed good job I added in that criterion, I can tell you).
Now THTK – it’s just under 400 metres of running uphill, and it rises 10 metres, which doesn’t sound too bad, but add in my slightly wheezy lungs after last year’s bronchitis, and it may as well be Everest.
All of the running books tell you to take your time, do the back stitch method and so on. However they don’t take account of my somewhat ill-advised bloodymindedness. After the earlier failure, I was going to run up that damned hill five times whether it killed me or not.
And of course, the song going around in my head was Kate Bush’s Running Up That Hill, the theme for the day.
Kate and I have form. She doesn’t know it, but we do. Years ago when I wasn’t a JCR, my surname was Bush. At a boring business ‘do’, one of the fellow attendees, was perplexed as to why I’d ignored her all evening, and asked one of my friends, whether she’d done something to offend me, because she’d been calling me all evening and I hadn’t once turned around or talked to her. My friend gently pointed out my name was Jan and not Kate, and that was probably the reason why I hadn’t answered…
My hair also does a very good impersonation of Kate’s ‘twangy’ look in the Wuthering Heights video, when the weather is humid. So I feel we are kindred spirits, oh except that she has amazing talent and oodles of money, whilst I possess no natural talent whatsoever, and my bank balance probably doesn’t look like Kate’s either.
The opening lyrics to my/her song for the day, start:-
It doesn’t hurt me
Do you want to feel how it feels?
Do you want to know, know that it doesn’t hurt me?
Do you want to hear about the deal that I’m making?
You, it’s you and me
Let’s be clear, THTK does actually hurt me, on my first attempt, I made three pauses, although one was forced as I could hear a car crashing through the undergrowth, and safety was my prime motivation for stopping.
I reached the top of THTK, and saw a gentleman coming towards me wearing a sweatshirt, a man bag and mirrored sunglasses. Now it is cooler today, but it was still about twenty degrees, so I wasn’t entirely sure why the long sleeved sweatshirt was necessary. With social distancing in mind, he swapped sides, and I didn’t have the heart to tell him, I’d soon be running down THTK after him. With a nice socially distanced overtaking manoeuvre done, I continued to the bottom and started my second ascent. Man Bag man looked a little perplexed, we runners are rare in Le Marche. Exercise is mainly bike oriented, or posing on the beach oriented.
Second time up THTK, this time only one pause outside pigiama mama’s house, and I heard a deep rumble, and a builder’s merchants lorry thundered past me. Back down again and I spotted Dame Duvet in the distance on the Slope of Hope. After my mask shaming incident recently, I didn’t feel inclined to wave at her in case she might think I am some kind of deranged stalker wanting to infect her with a particular English variant of COVID 19.
Third time up THTK, and we had a Mexican stand off with two flatbed car things, a cross between a car and a van. Two Italians unwilling to give way, because one had moved to make way for JCR. To avoid any international incidents, I moved onto the grass verge, got ankle nipped by a mosquito for my trouble, and the car on my side then moved in and the other moved on.
Phew, Lyse Doucet won’t be visiting here in her bullet proof vest.
Hitting the bottom of the hill, I got hooted by our very dear friend and neighbour F, who was in his LandRover, (recognisable by the wonky number plate). I waved back and felt encouraged, albeit a tad tired.
Using the Mr JCR method of calculation, half way to halfway is a real thing (25% distance to us normal people), I knew I was about to get half way past halfway. Problem was my legs were halfway to complete knackeration. So this time out, I took two pauses, this was part of my earlier deal with THTK.
Descending for my final push, I have to say I didn’t feel too bad, but I also knew that as the temperature was rising once more, I could end up in trouble if I pushed myself too hard. At a snail’s pace I did my final ascent, and that was that. THTK, I made the deal and I completed the deal.
Now the ultimate test, can I do my old running route to Laundry Lane and manage the final ascent? (since we got back from London, I’ve avoided doing it) There’s only one way to find out, and so my plan for the next run is sorted.
Kate has other songs that reflect this new challenge
Rubberband Girl – because I did bounce back and do the five climbs challenge
Wow – because to be honest I thought I’d flake it
Breathing – the lungs held up
Don’t Give Up – I didn’t!!!
THTK – 5 times up it
Yup, but I still haven’t bought a yoga mat, so no bridges or pelvic thrusting
53 skips in succession , thereafter it all went pear-shaped
Best track – Sunday Morning by Velvet Underground. Even though it was a Saturday.