Hill Memories

I had a hill workout on the books today.. and a tough one!  I thought about the best hills to run and discarded all of the standards for various reasons, too short, too steep, too much traffic, too much noise, no place to warm up… This continued even when I was driving to “some” hill.  Finally I decided on Peenaquim.

I knew in the back of my mind why I was struggling to choose a hill.  I usually ran hill repeats with Sherry, on Friday afternoons.  We’d run Laundry hill for short sprints, Wendy’s for medium intervals and Par three for longer intervals.  It didn’t matter if it was cold, rainy or hot, that was our hill day.  The only time I remember us bailing was one spring when there was a grass fire close by.  The air was so thick with smoke that we bailed almost immediately after getting out of our cars and went for a beer.

More Fridays than I can remember and we always had to be done by 5, because Friday was Jack & Sherry’s night for Luigi’s and groceries.  Always.

So that’s why I chose Peenaquim.  It’s a hill we never ran, it wasn’t paved until recently.  It was a good choice.  It’s a gradual grade with only a few steeper parts, there’s no traffic and it’s surrounded by coulees and quiet.  A meadowlark cheered for me each time I ran past and at one point flew across my path.  And yes, I said, “Hi Sherry”  and smiled, for I’ve always wondered if her spirit is captured by a bird soaring high above us in the sky.  Following us on our bikes and cheering on our runs.

I miss you my friend.


Calgary 70.3 July 2014





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