This past saturday Ellie and I headed out to examine the 5k route we will be running during the Reindeer Run. Lets just say, it was a little more difficult than I remember, and a bit more difficult than the normal routes I run during the week.

It starts on Main Street near Canisius College. It’s about one mile on a severely in-need of repair road, before cutting into Forest Lawn Cemetery. The cemetery starts out great for the next 3/4 of a mile, but then the real kicker comes. At about 2 miles, there is about a 7 minute uphill section. It is not a killer steep hill, but it is very, very long, and it is at the end of the race.

Earlier in the day we had walked Audrey up and down the streets, took her to the park to play. We must have walked about three miles. We were already pretty tired by the time we even decided to go out for the run, so that hill just took everything we had out of us. It kind of made me a little anxious for the race. I know I’ll push through it but it won’t be the cake walk that I was hoping for.

This got me thinking about my daily routine, about how I typically run on fairly flat and even terrain. I need to change it up more, through hill training, and more trail running. It’s easy to run a flat 5k on streets, not so easy when you are going up and down hills.

My plan for this coming week and for the future is to throw in some more twists and turns into my runs. Push harder, not by adding more flat distance, but by varying the terrain, elevations and speed of my run. I’ve heard that your body gets used to certain routes. You muscles remember when the hills will come, and prepare for them. I need to keep my body confused, keep it guessing and ready to go for everything.