coaching exercise fitness running

I Wear My Sunglass…

clearly, someone's doing it wrong

Ran my five mile route on Saturday, under duress from my de facto, appointed-by-me and bothered-by-me-endlessly running coach, who tells me that if I want to run a marathon, (a decision I will have made yesterday) I have to, like, run more than 20 miles in a week or some kind of nonsense like that. So even though I’m very busy with important people things, like laundry and dishes and pinterest, I ran my five mile route.

This little route takes me up some lovely rolling hills which kind of slow me down when I get to them because, you know, they’re gently rolling and they ascend and I don’t come in a motorized version, yet. As I pushed my knees up the last hill—I always try to make this one my … I try to run up it with strength and grace—I realized I was making my Hill Face.

Hill Face is not pretty. I don’t need a mirror to know this. I can feel it. And this is why I wear shades. Even in the rain. I am saving the public from having to see Hill Face. You are, indeed, welcome.

Anyone who has ever applied mascara knows that thing you do to open up your eyes to get the gooey mess as close as possible to the lash line. The mouth automatically opens in a way that reminds me of Walt Whitman “sounding his barbaric yawp,” lips curling around the teeth. You may not know what a yawp is until you see it; and you will see it when you apply mascara. Your mouth, at that point, is a yawp. (That right there is my first WW reference since college. My professors are very proud.)

Hill Face mimics Mascara Face but with a kind of pucker thrown in for…affect. Additionally, my eyes focus on the hill’s zenith, and my eyebrows knit themselves into a frenzied focus, veritably merging the two sides of my face into one. I may or may not talk to myself. Out loud. Reports can’t be confirmed.

Hill Face must appear to resemble Agony Face, a term I believe defines itself. As soon as I notice the straining facial muscles, I do two things: first I take a quick look around to make sure no one has been exposed to the horror. Then I make myself relax my facial muscles. Easier said than done when running up a “hill” trying to be all “Rocky at the museum.” Hill Face is not Agony Face. It is

“I’m talking to myself here, and what I have to say is fairly encouraging but mildly difficult.”

When I involuntarily make Hill Face I am thinking this:

“Get those knees up girl. You’re almost done. If you pick it up here, you’ll have good splits. You can push it now and then you’re done. Get. Get. Go.”

People are funny, hey? I wear sunglasses, gigantic, face-surrounding zippy looking shades, to protect the cheering throng of exactly no one from something I do to help add a kick to my kick.

How about you? Do anything goofy for no good reason? Or, how do you get yourself up your own hill?

Which one are you?

 

 

7 Comment

    1. What’s fun, Shawn, is as they get older, they will notice and they will roll their eyes, and you will do them even more! Some day I’ll tell you about our water flume ride during which I embarrassed the teen. Totally the best day!

  1. I do hills differently than any other person I’ve met. I power up them. I envision my feet as scoops in the sand. I use my toes to dig in & power up. I use my arms a lot more than my regular running form. Almost like when I’m sprinting. I do not look at the crest of the hill, just a few feet in front of me.

    I pass people on the hills. LOVE IT!

    Do not misunderstand me. I do not love the hills, I love passing people in the hills. Makes me feel strong.

    1. That’s a great image, Sara. I try to lift my knees, and my knees resist me like nobody’s business. I don’t like hills either, but my goal during the 15K in October was to RUN up the last hill. Oh, did I pass people and boy is that fun!

  2. There is a great lesson in this post about simply learning body awareness. Our body’s communicate what’s going on inside of us, and it’s so valuable to recognize what your body is doing and what’s happening in your mind.

    I’ve been struggling to get back in the swing of things after vacation, especially with that E-book and new blog series taking up so much time. So over the weekend I put off some chores and worked on getting my desk area cleaned up and surrounded it with my favorite pictures, books, and not much else. I like sitting at my desk now, which seems like a good first step in getting up that “hill” of writing.

    1. Ed, I knew I could count on you to see the application in terms larger than actual, physical hill running. And indeed, sometimes cleaning up the clutter and clearing our space is how we get our mojo back. Well said.

  3. I love your hill face description! I will think of it tomorrow when I apply my mascara. I would probably have a hill face too but we’ll never know since hill work is out of my training plan after knee surgery.

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