Last year during my work's board retreat my friend and I ran up the ski hill at Boyne Highlands during our retreat. It was such a challenge that we decided we'd do it again at this year's retreat at Crystal Mountain. I grew up in West Virginia, and I'm a lover of mountains. Michigan is completely flat in the Lansing area, and the only real opportunity for any significant hill training is in Mount Hope Cemetery. I see a rare hill, and I want to climb it.
My sophomore year of college I lived in a duplex with five other girls off of Price Street in Morgantown, WV. Price Street is a very steep street, and it was a daily challenge walking back from class (especially if it was raining or snowy). I am used to hills (or at least I USED to be used to it). I love running hills, and the ski hills in Michigan are honestly reminiscent of some of the hills in downtown Morgantown. Mountains they are not.
|Fraternity Row in Morgantown, WV. Not the street I lived in, but about as steep.|
Later that evening, after several cocktails, we rode the Crystal Coaster down the same hill we walked down. It's this weird little water slide like ride where one sits in a little cart and heads down the hill. After two gin and tonics I was reasonably fast. After four I was amazing at it.
|The Crystal Coaster. Fun times.|
Yes, running can get monotonous. But mixing it up a little bit - running up a steep, Morgantown-like hill, taking a fitness class - helps me appreciate those regular old boring loops I've done 1,000 times. Now off to find my next challenge...