Intense (in tents).

I just completed my first intentional hill workout of the season. Holy shit.  That was worse than the lactic threshold test. Ten miles on a treadmill has got nothing on a hill workout on the same machine.

Of the five miles I ran, two complete miles (broken into intervals) were at an 8 percent incline. And those hills were ha-rd. That's right, hard with two syllables. Count them. I feel a little bit like collapsing now that it's over, but then I realized I have priorities, so I blogged instead.

Dedication.

The fitness center at my apartment complex is generally pretty dead, which is okay with me because it's about the size of your car, and putting too many people in there at once is detrimental. But tonight I had company in the form of a stairmaster aficionado.

She looked at me funny a lot, but I take no offense. Besides, I'm the one with sweat dripping down her legs and a hot pink iPod on her forearm.

"You run a lot, huh?" she asked while I was stretching, catching the sweat before it pooled into my eyes.

"I guess."

I know. Deep. I was feeling quite conversational. Besides, what's "a lot," you know? I do it mostly out of boredom and morbid curiosity, anyway. And because I think being a runner is neat.

"I see you in here all the time."

I considered taking this as an insult, because I'm very aware I have zero life, and apparently half the social skills of an ape, but I brushed it aside instead.

I nodded. "It's kind of a lot, yeah."

"You must really like it."

Again, I pondered.

"Yes," I replied slowly, although it sounded like more of a question. "I do."

"I envy you."

Huh. She envies me. It made me wonder if enjoying running is an enviable trait. And I guess maybe it is. Too many people loathe it. And others do it against their will, to fight the battle of the numbers on a scale.

To enjoy it is rare, I suppose. But I think it's no more enviable than the passion of anyone else.

I envy those with a knack for politics, or the ability and mental capacity to write a novel. I wish I had those traits. I envy the people who cross the finish line of the Ironman, or who have the talent to produce anything resembling music from an instrument. I envy women with great hair, and those with the patience for graduate school.

I lack those traits. So I guess I run instead.