These first two miles were gloriously flat just like the terrain to which I've been accustomed living at the beach. The gorgeous campus and picturesque views of the Hudson made me forget that I was even running. Then I saw a sign for Michie Stadium (the groom had mentioned staying away from all signs of this nature if I wanted to avoid hills:) Curiosity got the better of me and I turned left toward the stadium. That left took me straight uphill! Luckily I was rewarded with yet another great view:
In my head I thought, "Geez, that hill was rough, but how much worse could it get?" Well, for another mile, which was all I could muster, it continued straight up the hill. In fact, I passed an MP (Military Police) car and asked for directions back to the hotel to see if there was a way to avoid back tracking. The MPs laughed and said, "Nope. But you can keep going up the hill to the gate and then turn around...if you make it." Sadly, I must report, I didn't make it to the gate. I wasn't sure my body could take another step up, so I made the turn. Here's a picture from the point I actually made it to:
As most of you can imagine, the downhill was almost worse. My legs definitely aren't used to such a pounding! Overall it was a fantastic run. Putting the hill (both up and down) as the middle 2 miles worked perfectly giving my legs a chance to warm up and cool down as needed.
As June comes closer to July, I'll be starting my marathon training program. I appreciate all of you who provided insight on what plans have worked for you in the past. I haven't decided on a plan 100% yet, but I'm leaning toward one of the Hal Higdon plans with a few modifications.