My mean running coach* and I have been doing the same 5K route at work for nearly a year. Well, due to construction, they closed our route, so we have to figure out a new one. Today we went on one potential route, and I am exhausted.
Our former route was relatively flat (insomuch as the terrain can be flat in this part of the country). This route is far from flat. There is a long but not particularly steep hill to start off the route. I ran most of the way up that hill before having to walk, then ran down it for the second running interval. I ran some more before we got to the most grueling part.
It was a steep gravel road that went straight up the side of a ridge. But it was evil and insidious -- it looked like you had finally crested the ridge, only to discover that there was more to go. Coming down was hard too, because it was steep and I was afraid I'd slip on the gravel. Luckily we were walking this part, not running, but it was harder than the running I would say.
But up at the top of the ridge, the view was stunning. The redbuds and dogwoods are in bloom right now, and the leaves are just coming out on most of the other deciduous trees. It was worth all the hard work to get up there.
After this excursion, though, I was pretty exhausted. My legs are very sore. But I felt really good about how far I ran and just how good I'm getting at running (with a little help from my running coach, of course).
* She's not actually mean; she just pushes me to run farther than I would ever go if it were up to me. So really, she's my awesome running coach.