I bought my current home just over 6 years ago. The house being close to the trails in the Don Valley was a huge part of the decision as well I got lucky finding an affordable home anywhere in Downtown Toronto. We all know those days are forever gone. I live on a quiet street very close to the top of the Pottery Road hill, infamous for its grade and the DQ at the top. Nearly every run begins with a reluctant decent into the valley and over the tracks and on to the trails. For every run that begins that way, each will end with the climb back up the hill. It can be a trudge, a sludge, a race, a grind, a hard one, an easy one, a one step in front of the other or a “ man I flew up it today “ kind of thing. I have many runner friends who would kill for a hill like this. Cyclists come from far and wide, well from somewhere, to do repeats on this hill and it’s cousin which goes up to the Loblaws from the intersection of Bayview and Pottery Rd.
So knowing what lies at the end of every run requires a certain mindset to get up it everyday. My main go to is the “ make a deal with the hill “method. On particularly tough days, super long run type of day, I make a deal with this hill. As the idea of running up the hill enters my consciousness, probably about 5K from the hill, I tell myself “ today you don’t have to run the hill, you will have done enough”. Yesterday was one of those days, a 32 K run with heat and not much rest from Wednesday’s tough trail group. I extend my long run each time out by going further and further south of Pottery Rd and yesterday I went past Riverdale Park. By the time I returned and crested the small hill after the trestle bridge I was was done. I had made the deal 30 minutes ago, no hill today. And yet, but, maybe, well ok and here we go. Up I went, never fails, I break the no hill deal every time. Someday I get extra motivation from the few dollars in my pocket which will buy me a grape soda or two.
A freind recently showed me a trail option for the Pottery Rd hill. Adds about 500 metres I am guessing and much steeper but quieter, shadier and nobody else there.
My deal with my hill is always a broken promise but I feel pretty each time I get to the top.