Running Amongst Mountains

Yeah, I said "amongst". Shoot me. It sounds fancier.

You have all probably watched Sound of Music, and if you have, you have heard this song a bunch of times:

"Climb every mountain, search high and low
Follow every byway, every path you know.
Climb every mountain, ford every stream,
Follow every rainbow, 'til you find your dream!"

If you haven't, Shame on You! You need to Go and watch it RIGHT NOW! 

This week, I went home for some much needed R&R and wonder of wonder, joy of joys, cooler weather. Weather I can run in without dying! Weather I, wait for it, WANT to run in. I know. Crazy, huh?

Since I started running more often (and longer distances), I have lived in the hottest, most humid places you could live in the US. Florida and Louisiana to name a couple (and the worst). And remember how I was saying in this post that sometimes I don't like to run. Well, now I see why. I have been running in the wrong places.To "find my dream" I had to go back home to the "path I know". And it was great.

The only problem about where my parents live is that there is not a very good place to run. They live right on a (scenic) highway in the middle (literally) of the mountains. So, the choices are...the highway, where there are blind curves and NO shoulder or...straight up the hill via old logging roads. So, up I went.

Oh, there IS another problem. Snakes. As you may remember in this post, the last time I went for a walk in the area, I ran into a not-so-little friend. Luckily, I know what to avoid. Unfortunately, where I was running, some of those things were unavoidable. Snakes love to hang out in all these places, so I watched my step here!!

In addition to having to be on snake lookout the entire time, the run was HARD. Luckily it was not too hot!! My total elevation gain was 1375 feet.

The mountains were brutal. The road I took was an old logging road and was not in the best condition. It was very rocky, so not only was I worried about snakes, but I also feared I would twist my ankle.

 I went pretty high!

To get to the top, there are something like 39 switchbacks. I DID NOT get to the top!

Here are a couple Google Earth Images just becuase it's kind of fun that you can see a) the road, b) all the switchbacks and c) the mountains! I made three markers (which turned out kind of small). One for the top of the mountain (~4500 ft), one for how high I ran (~3100 ft) and one for where I started (~2000 ft) What's really sad is that 4 years ago there was a massive fire on the same side of the river that I ran on and so now all the trees are burnt (these images are from 2006).

(click on each photo to enlarge)

(click on each photo to enlarge)

I miss the pines!
So to butcher paraphrase the words of the Rodgers and Hammerstein,

"I Climb every mountain, I search high and low (for snakes)
I Follow every byway switchback, every path you I know (while trying not to trip on rocks).
I Climb every mountain, I ford every stream (while waiting for a snake to jump out and bite me),
I Follow every rainbow unmaintained logging road, 'til you I find your my dream second wind!"

Can anyone tell me -- when running hills, what is the "normal" elevation gain? What is the normal procedure? I have never done hill training runs before. This one was kind of forced, and I had to take it pretty slow! And most importantly, have you seen the Sound of Music?

This post is linked up with Jill at:
Fitness Friday Blog Hop


  1. Wow, you're amazing! I can barely WALK UP STAIRS when I'm in elevations like that!

  2. That is some serious elevation!!!

    Thanks for the supportive comment! You're right....I'm going for it!

  3. Wow!!! That's an amazing hill. I have no advice, a hill around me is about 50 ft. elevation climb.

  4. For someone with wobbly ankles like me that road looks like hell. Glad you made it through unscathed!

  5. Wow, that is a really cool run!

    As a Florida runner, I think I might die with that kind of elevation change.

  6. Wow great run and those hill.... great work :)

  7. Lovely post....how fun that googlearth has such great shots to add. I laughed throughout. I still can't believe you run up hills I can barely climb.

  8. Holy smokes. That was a serious elevation climb. Nice work!! Hills are so freaking tough. We do them once a week but I am not sure what the elevation climb is. I need to check that out on my garmin next time!

    I have seen the Sound of Music. Love that movie!!!

  9. wow that seems like an great workout, full of obstacles but so pretty!! you really did climb a mountain!

  10. What an awesome workout! Hills are my nemesis but I'm getting better. At least I no longer avoid them :)

    Thanks for linking up this week!

  11. I don't know much about running up mountains, but I do know about The SOund of Music. I just dug out my anniversary dvd of it to watch on the next rainy day. Your post actually made me excited to get a rainy day. I want to watch it now!


Thanks for commenting! Any suggestions, tips or praise you have is always welcome!