Running with Rhyno: Running through the tears

Learn to love hills.

They will make you stronger.

Do not give up.

It will make you tougher.

On this day, on top of a mountain, curled up in a ball, these motivational mantras did not do the trick.

Tears are flowing down my cheeks. I’m hugging my knees as I try to keep it together.

My training pal, Rachel Crocker is sprawled over the edge trying to capture the perfect valley photo. She’s doing a bang up job at ignoring my moaning and groaning. (Note to self: this is one quality you want in a friend.)

That morning we met at the West Bragg Creek parking lot to climb Moose Mountain. Return, it’s about 30K. We have ran/hiked/crawled countless times. We’ve been up the trail so many times that we could do it blindfolded.

The last time I was in Kananaskis had to be before I ran Lost Soul in September so it had been a couple of months. That realization didn’t come until we were about a quarter into our run.

Man, I had been lazy.

I haven’t been running long distances or on any trails with significant inclines for nearly two months. Not to mention, I have been choosing a book over a run on weekend day mornings.

That lazy combination does not lend itself to someone driving two hours to run/hike 30K up and down a mountain on a random day in November.

Something likely will go wrong and it will definitely hurt.

Every good runner knows that consistency is the key to creating successful running (and most) habits. The more you do it, the better it gets.

And when you fall off the training wagon, you have to get back up again and (often) start from square one.

Recently I wrote about the post-run blues and I am well on my way to getting back on track.

Some days I run 5K. Other days I run 8K around my neighbourhood.

I have no plan.

The randomness of my runs makes me happy.

So why did I start crying near the top of a mountain on a beautiful, somewhat chilly, day in November?

I have cried at the finish line before (the Death Race or Lost Soul comes to mind) but never in the middle of a training run.

Honestly I have no clue what opened up the floodgates. Sure my right hip and leg were hurting as heck but it wasn’t that painful.

It only lasted long enough for Rachel to take four selfies. Shortly after I resumed my regular “let’s get it done” attitude.

Now thinking about the experience I wonder how does running or exercise bring up those feelings or emotions. Was it a runner’s high? (No because I was slowly hiking.)

Perhaps I was simply overwhelmed with running-induced clarity or it was the sheer beauty of my surroundings.

Find Running with Rhyno on Facebook and @CrystalRhyno on Twitter. Send your column ideas, photos and stories to crhyno@bprda.wpengine.com.

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