Choosing to do BRC’s infamous Gully run yesterday, given the less than ideal running conditions, was definitely not one of my more shining moments. Psycho, insane and crazy are words my non-running friends and family used. They weren’t far off the mark as similar thoughts were running through my mind.

We started out as a group of 7, but Brit & Barry were too fast for us. After a few hills, they disappeared.  And then we were down to five girls.

Three hills into the run, I contemplated turning back. Every time we ran down a hill, I was like crap, we have to come up it.  Just the thought of having to come up those hills was almost enough to make me cry.   There wasn’t a whole lot of traction on the road (think – slip and slide).  And when the wind blew, it was bone chilling cold. Brrr.

At the top of 33rd & Larch, we stopped to take a gel, look at the map and muster up the motivation to keep going.  Only 27 some km to go:p.  I told myself if it got really bad, I could cop out.  To make myself feel better, I tried to keep tabs of the number of hills we had already run.

Approaching 16th and Blenheim, one of the girls expressed her dismay at having to climb that hill.  My thoughts precisely.  We walked, ran, made our way up to Dunbar.  *Only* 25 blocks till 41st and Dunbar:p.

At 41st and Dunbar, we bid farewell to another two running companions (they had only planned on running 28km). And then it was three.  Somewhere after that I planted both feet firmly into a sloshing wet mess, creating a mini cesspool in my shoes.

Turning onto Camosun, were greeted by yet another climb. Oddly enough, the single most miserable hill was the Camosun hill to 29th;  it wasn’t necessarily the steepest climb, but at that point, we had already run a fair amount of hills.  I cursed out loud, but didn’t dare stop.

Coming back down 16th to Blanca, it was a mixture of snow, dirt and grass, and fatigue was starting to set in.  So I just put one foot in front of the other and keep going.

As we approached west 8th, I felt rain drops hitting my face. Lovely.  Soon, the droplets were more like pellets.  Running up the incline from 8th to Yew (about a three block stretch??),   the wind picked up.  I tucked my head down.  So close yet so far.  Oh, how a blazing hot fire and hot chocolate sounded so good just about now.

Silence ensued as we ran the last stretch, (less than 8 km) a distance we had covered so often and yet it seemed like an eternity before we ran up the familiar fir hill.

This was definitely a run where I had to dig deep to keep going.  And it is on such runs where I discover that perhaps I am stronger than I give myself credit for, and am able to believe that just maybe my limits are a little further off than I think.

Not to mention, I could not have completed this run without awesome training partners – thanks Christina and Sarah for sharing those messy miles!

Total distance: 34km

Total time: 3 hr 13 minutes.

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