Mo and I took a nice lady to her Ninja for the Elderly workout at the Y today, which left us with an hour to kill. When you’re a runner with an extra hour there’s only one thing to do. Ice cream at McDonald’s. Sadly, that is not what we did. What we did was run.
I wanted to do repeats of the little one-mile road course next to the Y. Mo had other ideas. She’s been doing a Boot Camp Torture class, part of which is a 3-mile run over a hilly course. Oh well.
We took off and began to climb immediately. Did I mention that the Y is in the foothills of a mountain? The first mile is a steady but runnable climb. I gotta admit I was enjoying it.
Then it hit me. We were on my old cycling course.
Remember Polito and the 10 a.m. Cycling Society? The little hill where we eventually moved so we could be on the course? Well, the Boot Camp running course is another monster hill where the Big Climb of The Day took place. The daily ride was a big sweeping course, about 35 miles, with a big uphill climb at the loop where we would turn around to come back. It was weird to ride there then because there were miles and miles and miles of road through the desert foothills with no development to be seen. We always wondered why they built all those roads.
Now I know.
The roads around the Y are all part of the old beloved cycling course. I just didn’t recognize them. The road the Y is on was part of the course. And the road we ran today was The Hill.
The rules were simple. We would ride like crazy for 15 or 16 miles, leading up to a long, steady climb of about a mile. A hydrant was at top. First one across was world champion for the day. The little hill, next to where we live now, was a bonus sprint afterward, but Polito always won that one because he had more speed. But the Big Hill more days than not was mine. I could break him, powering forever and building up enough of a lead that he couldn’t catch me. Wow, we suffered terribly on that hill. Wonderful memories. But I had never been down this road since we stopped riding, almost 20 years ago.
Now the open desert is a neighborhood. The climb is a subdevelopment. The recovery road is our YMCA. But The Hill is still The Hill. We came at it from the other direction, so the feeling was different. But the memories…
I loved that course. I’m so happy to have found it again, sitting right next to me.
Just a reminder, I guess, that although things change, the important stuff remains constant.
A happy life. The perfect running partner. And one nasty hill.