an athlete photographer's blog

Battling Hills

Keep in mind that neither success nor failure is ever final.
– Roger Babson

In case you missed it, The Picture Runner Etsy Shop is closing at the end of the summer (NLT August 31).  In an effort to just recoup some of my blog costs I’m leaving it open for a few more weeks and giving a 30% discount to my blog readers.  If you’d like to help me out and get a good quality print in return use the discount code: SUMMER30.  (Here is the link to the shop again if you need it.)  The only exception is that the discount is not valid on the greeting cards.

 The Run
4.88 miles

The Picture

20150627The Recap

While this is not my favorite picture there is something about it that I like.  Maybe it’s Milford Lake in the distance or the line of telephone polls going down the hill or the just the view from a higher ground, but this picture makes me think of Colorado, which is probably why I like it.

This nearly 5 mile run was on Saturday morning and I had slept in which meant that I missed out on the pretty morning light and instead was taking pictures in the too-bright sun.  There were no clouds in the sky and the sun was already intense at 9:00.  I ran from the house because it takes less time than when I drive to starting point.  This time I decided to mix things up a bit and turn down a side road that I’ve only been on a few times.  It had been awhile since the last time and as soon as I started I remembered why I don’t run that road.  It is so hilly.  Normally, I’m up for a challenge, but as you know, the hills have been aggravating my right ankle and it was throbbing the whole run, even with walking the up hills.

However, as I crested the second hill I could see the tall, blue water tower in the distance and I thought I’d try to run to the base of it.

20150627_fenceCan you see it?

I discovered later the water tower is 2.8 miles from the house.  I was about a half mile away from it when I turned around.  It just wasn’t going to happen.  I was so hot and my ankle was not interested in running the long up hill to the tower.

There is a road near my house called “Walker Road.”  It so happens to be at a good turn around point at both ends.  The one end is 1.9 miles from the house and the other is 2.44 miles from the house.  I wish it was called anything else.  I want to rename it “Runner Road” because I always feel like it is mocking me, especially since I frequently stretch or take pictures at my turn around points.  On Saturday, it was jeering at me.  I had just walked up the hill, which I had already decided was the last hill.  At the top, I would turn around and run home.  When I crested the hill, I came to an intersection and since I had never run that far I glanced at the road sign and there is was “Walker Road” laughing at me for being a walker.  I sighed inwardly and grabbed my camera and my water.  Yes, today I was a walker.  But I vowed to run hard on the way home.  I took a picture in each direction.

Here is the view down Walker Road:

Walker Road

And here is the view pointing towards home:


Very hilly.  At the time I took these because I always feel like people don’t believe me when I say that our section of Kansas is hilly.  But it really is and these pictures don’t seem to do the hills justice.  Pictures tend to flatten hills.

I tried to run home quickly but my ankle was throbbing and I could barely lift my foot it hurt so bad.  I had to walk up the hills.  As it turned out, I was thankful to be walking.  I was coming up the last hill and a large dog (about an 80 lb dog – looks like a mixed breed, but a very solid dog) was in his front yard, with no fence and no owner in sight.  He ran at me.  I yelled at him to GO Home!  He stopped but did not retreat towards his home, instead he stopped near the end of yard.  I walked past him on the far side of the road keeping my eyes fixed on him.  I was so glad I hadn’t been running.  I was certain he would chase me.  I yelled for him to STAY!  As in, stay in your yard.  He stayed, but he looked like he wanted to bolt.  The same way our dog stays sometimes but her legs quiver because it’s hard for her to stay.  I kept walking and now I had to look over my shoulder to see him.  I repeated Stay!  He ran to another section of the yard so he could see me better.  I was shaking inside and thinking don’t run after me oh please Lord don’t let him run after me.  Finally, I made it to a point where I could no longer see him and I bolted down the hill.  I was worried that after he could see me that he would run after for a better look and I wanted to get as much distance between us as I could.  Thankfully he did not.  This was the second time I had seen that dog.  The first time he tried to chase me too but his owner had been outside.  It had been a long time since I had gone down that road and now I remembered why.

The rest of my run was uneventful and I ran the rest of the way home but I felt like I was hobbling when I got the driveway.  Now I know it might sound like I need to go to the doctor about my ankle, but the problem is I don’t know what to tell the doctor.  I ran again on Monday night (non-picture run).  I was trying to get in a few miles before dark and I ran a fast, hard 3.2 miles over hilly terrain with no pain.  The ankle is so unpredictable.  I feel like it might be related to needing to stretch or really warm up, but then other times I feel like it is more of an impingement that occurs when I lift my toe.  I have no idea.  It’s very troublesome though.

Anyway, 4.88 miles in the books and then another 3.2 last night which brings my total for the month to 49 miles.  Not too bad.  I might sneak in 2 more miles tonight on my trail just to make June my most run miles yet.



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2 thoughts on “Battling Hills”

  • Nice job! That is worrisome about your ankle! I hope it gets better soon. And Praise the Lord the dog didn’t chase you… that sounded very scary. Oh, the trials of running!

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