climbing a mountain

… both literally and figuratively. 

This morning I ran up Tiger Mountain.  The easternmost of the “Issaquah Alps”, this is a modest 2000 foot ascent along a 2.5 mile trail.  It’s also the first time in quite a while that I’ve done a run like this.

From time to time before my accident, I’d do one of these to test myself.  It’s not always fun, and not always a rousing success.  I always learn something about myself doing this though.  I learn what kind of shape I’m in, and I learn a bit about my mindset too. 

On this run, I learned that I’m bouncing back nicely, but that I still have a ways to go.  My strength is coming back, but I need to keep running up hills to deepen my reserves and grow my muscles.

I’ve noticed something interesting about how I coach myself through the tougher parts of a run.  Recently, I’ve felt a patience I don’t remember feeling before.  I guess there’s something about working through a serious injury that helps one develop a sense of perspective.  This is very useful when your heart rate is through the roof, and when your muscles are screaming at you.

It wasn’t a flawless effort.  I missed a turn along the way, giving myself a nice mile-long break from the climb, by running along a railroad grade (those generally aren’t more than a couple of percentage points, so it was much easier).  I’m not entirely sure how this happened – the turn was obvious.  My mind was obviously elsewhere.

It is nice to know that I can still run mountains.  I’ll need to try to run up Mount Si sometime over the next couple of months.

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