Running the Hydrants – D109

4 Oct

I am a bit of a creature of habit.  I wear the same running clothes (I do try to wash them twice a week), run the same course with minor variations for distance, and chant the same mantra as I fight my way through the last half mile.

Run the hydrants, babe.  Just run the hydrants.

Half mile left to go

It has never changed, albeit I have only been on this running program since May.  As I round the corner at the last half mile mark I start to think about how close I am to finishing.  Previous posts will tell you I am not a big fan of running, so the end of a run is quite possibly the only part I actually like.  Because I am a glutton for punishment (and my condo is located on a hill) the last half mile is two-thirds uphill and one-third slight decline / mostly flat.  This makes for a great start to every run but a horrible way to end when I am sucking wind and battling my inner demons.  So I chant:

Run ’em babe.  Run the hydrants.

I am not sure why I refer to myself as babe.  Sometime I call myself by my first name with the Y ending my mother uses, sometimes by my last like the drill sergeants used to but usually it is babe…

Anyway…  whatever…

Just before the pancake

As I climb the first hill on my last half mile stretch my breath becomes labored and shallow, the hummingbird invariably resumes its residence in my chest cavity.  But as the incline turns to decline the knot holding the concrete bollard tied to my waist loosens and both fall away.

Another hydrant down, three more to go.

I try to lengthen my stride much like a lion would as it closes in on its prey but it ends up looking more like this.  I pass another hydrant, two more to go.  The ground levels out to a pancake and I ready myself for the final push.  I envision myself running beside Abby Wambach, striding down the pitch on my way to a glorious goal.  I pass the second to last hydrant, embark on the last hill and suddenly there are three bollards tied to my waist and these ones are anchored to the cement.

Run ’em babe.  Run down that last hydrant.

Death by incline

I am dying and these are my final moments.  Instead of spending them in a bed surrounded by my loved ones I will die alone here on the pavement next to this friggin hydrant.  My lungs will surely burst like a balloon released to the heavens.

The air is to thin up here!

Last hydrant.

I push, I fight, I scream.

I finish.




Participate in the weekly writing challenge: Easy As Pie.


38 Responses to “Running the Hydrants – D109”

  1. Things You Realize After You Get Married October 5, 2012 at 6:22 pm #

    Great description of what the end of your run is like to you. I could “feel” your pain the whole way through! Congrats on being FP! 🙂

    • jend1229 October 5, 2012 at 6:30 pm #

      Thank you, it is painful! I am so glad I was able to convey those last few moments; this DPChallenge was a great motivator for putting it into words.

  2. Mei October 5, 2012 at 6:41 pm #

    Running is hard work! And I totally agree with you that finishing is by far the only likable part. Counting the hydrants is smart..I usually count the electric poles but I always lose track. Keep it up! 🙂

    • jend1229 October 5, 2012 at 6:44 pm #

      Thanks, I am trying! Some days are easier then others but in the end I know it will be worth it.

  3. Recovered Baptist October 5, 2012 at 7:08 pm #

    Congrats in FP! A fun read!

    • jend1229 October 5, 2012 at 7:12 pm #

      Thanks! I loved this DPChallenge, similes and metaphors are such an amazing way to share your perspective.

  4. williamw60640 October 5, 2012 at 7:15 pm #

    Hilarious post. I’m currently trying to start running. I haven’t done it since high school track (30 years ago). Maybe your writing will help me conquer inner demons who tell me to give up on running.
    The weather post was also a gem – we’re experiencing similar weather fluctuations now in Chicago.
    Congrats on being FP!

    • jend1229 October 5, 2012 at 7:19 pm #

      Running is not for the faint of heart but ANYONE willing to try and put the work in can do it. I find it is all about mind over matter. Best of luck!

  5. cruelladekill October 5, 2012 at 7:37 pm #

    Love it! That’s how I feel the entire run. “Death by incline.” Which reminds me, it’s been a while since I last went for one…thanks for the inspiration!

    • jend1229 October 5, 2012 at 7:42 pm #

      My pleasure! Be sure to let someone know you are going so if you do not return they will know to check for your body by the hydrants, lol.

      • cruelladekill October 5, 2012 at 7:49 pm #


        …except it won’t say ‘dog’.


      • jend1229 October 5, 2012 at 7:51 pm #


  6. segmation October 5, 2012 at 8:31 pm #

    What will power until the end! Thanks for sharing.

    • jend1229 October 5, 2012 at 8:57 pm #

      My pleasure, thanks for coming over and having a look around.

  7. Sweet Maple October 5, 2012 at 8:49 pm #

    I’ll try to pick a chant that is similara when I’m running next weekend in the Scotiabank half-marathon… it’s a good idea! When you are ready to stop, it’s tough to keep pushing yourself!!

    • jend1229 October 5, 2012 at 9:10 pm #

      It helps, for sure. Best of luck in your half-marathon next weekend!

  8. katiclops October 5, 2012 at 9:45 pm #

    I am so happy to know I’m not the only runner who hates running!
    I’ve been running for 14 years and it hasn’t gotten much better…but I am SO addicted to it 🙂 congrats on being FP!

    • jend1229 October 5, 2012 at 9:51 pm #

      Thanks! But I am no runner. Just do it cause I have to! Though I do hope I can incorporate it into my life for the rest of it.

  9. The Simple Life of a Country Man's Wife October 6, 2012 at 12:10 am #

    that’s awesome. Perhaps we are not runners when compared to others, but we are up early and doing it, so we are runners… babe. 🙂

    • jend1229 October 6, 2012 at 12:20 am #

      True that! I was greatly intrigued by your blog’s name and had to check it out. Simply fantastic!

  10. Grumpa Joe October 6, 2012 at 12:32 am #

    There is nothing like the rush of topping a hill or finishing the course. Good description of the agony of da feet.

    • jend1229 October 6, 2012 at 12:34 am #

      I like that “agony of da feet” – awesome play on words!

  11. janemoh86 October 6, 2012 at 2:39 am #

    This is awesome!!!! I feel the agony. Especially that final moment when you are about to finish the run.

    • jend1229 October 6, 2012 at 5:05 am #

      Those final moments are both terrible and wonderful. Thanks for checking out my post!

  12. birdieruns October 6, 2012 at 2:44 am #

    Well done. I count the street signs. I bargain with myself all the way, my mantra is “c’mon blobby you got this” Nice blog.

    • jend1229 October 6, 2012 at 5:10 am #

      I spend the first part of my run bargaining. More like pleading with myself to stick with it!

  13. Jane October 6, 2012 at 7:15 am #

    That’s awesome! I used to call myself ‘babe’ when running too LOL. I didn’t used to have posts when I did cross country, but now that I run on a treadmill at the gym I can only stare at myself in the window reflection and say “Okay babe, run towards a slim body.”

    • jend1229 October 6, 2012 at 3:41 pm #

      I do not know how you do it! Treadmill running KILLS me even more so then hills.

  14. Jody Thompson October 6, 2012 at 7:19 am #

    I hate running too!!! But I still do it…

    • jend1229 October 6, 2012 at 3:40 pm #

      Being able to do what you do not want to is one of life’s greatest accomplishments. Keep up the hard work!

  15. pattyabr October 6, 2012 at 1:20 pm #

    when I saw your FP and pics of the fire hydrants, I thought of my hubby, who in his training for a marathon actually ran into two fire hydrants. I am glad you counted them instead of colliding with them 🙂

    • jend1229 October 6, 2012 at 3:39 pm #

      Oh no! That is hysterical though… Wish him luck for me. I am still in the single digits and have no plans to ever venture into that distance. That is an amazing accomplishment.

  16. Melia Erin October 6, 2012 at 2:01 pm #

    I love your chant! It’s so interesting to learn what it takes to get us that last half mile or so – I “just run to the next tree” and then the next, and next. Now I’m thinking I need a chant!


    • jend1229 October 6, 2012 at 3:37 pm #

      You gotta find your chant. Mine found me but it has made all the difference. Let me know what you come up with!

  17. anorlian October 9, 2012 at 3:03 am #

    Awesome post! I love to run but I definitely felt your pain and feel it during long runs. I am always chanting something in my head or focusing on an object in front of me in order to keep pushing through 🙂

    • jend1229 October 9, 2012 at 4:13 am #

      Thanks. I would like to say I love running but I only tolerate it as a means to an end. Though it is good to know that those who do love it suffer just the same!

  18. SobeVegChick October 11, 2012 at 12:24 am #

    Reblogged this on Get Fit with SobeVegChick! and commented:
    Great inspiration. Hydrants, phone poles, art deco buildings…whatever gets you thru it. Run run run!

    • jend1229 October 11, 2012 at 5:00 am #

      Awesome! Thank you for sharing 🙂

      Art Deco building would be MUCH more fun than hydrants…

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