It never used to be hard to go running every day. I hope this trend doesn't continue too long, but I know it's not over yet because the next few weeks are going to be INSANE! I just accepted a new job so I have 2 weeks to pack up my entire life, find a new apartment, and move to Bristol, VA. (3 hours away from Lewisburg) I am super excited to begin my new job as a full time Spanish teacher to PreK through 8, but all this last minute packing pressure and trying to find an apartment, and finding someone to drive a uhaul for me is a tad bit stressful. So far things are going as smoothly as they could, so I will stay positive and hope for the best. So far the best comment in regards to my leaving Lewisburg was "We will miss you, but we all just advanced a position in local races." Ha. Like I won't be back for as many races as possible... Ok, maybe I'll skip a few to let other people place higher...or to save myself the 3 hour drive. We shall see!
I normally would not travel for a sub 2 mile race, but this race had "hill challenge" in the title...so there was no way I was going to pass. And thanfully, I was able to stay with a Sweet Briar friend so I didn't have to spend a lot of money for the trip.
Saturday morning was warm and foggy with 100% humidity. In other words, gills would have been really, really, useful. I parked up at the Hilton Garden Inn (finish line) and jogged down the hill to Lowe's/Fleet Feet (start line). I also jogged around the big Lowe's parking lot, and back up the hill a bit to prepare my legs for the onslaught to come.
The starting line was partway up a hill. No flat beginning to build up speed. Not sure why it didn't just start at the bottom to at least get the full hill, but that's ok. There was plenty of hill in the race! My lungs were struggling big time by the top of the hill, but thankfully there was some downhill to recover on before powering up the next one. I moved into the top 3 runners pretty quickly. The whole race was up and down, and the hills were steep. A great challenge. Breathing was rough and of course my legs hurt from the crazy hill strain, but I just kept reminding myself that it was only 2 miles. (and it actually turned out to be only 1.8)
heres a great picture of me dying on the very first hill
my heart may or may not have been beating out of my chest...
twisty turny course
The finish was a full loop around the hotel. I was in third at the beginning of the loop, but then I heard someone's footsteps speed up to an even faster sprint behind me, and a guy flew by me. I let him go. And then another one flew by me. And another! Three guys who had way too much energy for dead sprints at the end of the race. Perhaps it was pure ego-filled speed. Can't get beat by a girl! I finished strong and was really pleased with the race overall.
They clocked me 2 seconds faster than my watch...also the pace is way off.
I'm guessing the pace was based off of a full 2 miles.
flying down a hill and forcing out air to make room for the next attempt at oxygen
after my 2 mile cooldown
The Hilton treated all the runners to a nice breakfast buffet, so race recovery was bacon, eggs, and home fries! Deliciousness. It was freezing in the room we ate in after sweating outside, but I didn't quite get hypothermic.
Of course in my frenzy to leave home on Friday I forgot to pack a long sleeve shirt...
I finally have a medal hanger that will fit all my medals!
"Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world"
Apparently I'm the female course record holder...because they changed the course from whatever it was last year. Hopefully I will be able to come back next year to defend my title and set a new course record!
They didn't catch a photo of me starting in the front of the pack, but here's a photo of Diane starting the race. You can even see how foggy it was!
I started out the race with a few guys at the front. I had barely run a warm-up, because I just wasn't in the mood, and so I didn't want to push too terribly hard in the beginning. Somewhere in the second mile, I moved into 3rd place overall, and the top 4 places didn't change after that. #2 was usually just barely visible through the fog in front of me. I ran hard, but not quite all-out race effort. Just hard enough to sustain a more or less steady pace without making my lungs work so hard I would need the inhaler I was carrying. It's been hard to run much lately since I work all day on my feet and am pretty beat at the end of the day, so I wasn't entirely prepared to race, and since I was easily first place female anyway, there was really no reason to push really hard.
You can see that I did start putting in more effort towards the end of the race once I knew I would make it without getting hurt or needing my inhaler.
A great first 10k for Diane!
Waiting for the awards.
1st place female.
I won a water bottle full of chocolate.
First place female age 14 and under.
Sisters who run together...wear blue together?
Beer of champions?
I have a fridge-full of beer from work that I am slowly trying to work my way through.
We finally had a week without rain and it was hot out! I took Diane up to Blue Bend on Monday so we could run up the mountain and back, and then swim in the swimming hole to cool of afterwards.
The nice beach at Blue Bend was destroyed by the flood, but the smaller beach across the stream wasn't too bad, and the swimming hole was still there and just as cold as usual. Did a little bit of swimming, but it aggravated the ankle I sprained a few months ago, so I mostly just stood in the water enjoying the cold.
We then had the Pub Run in the evening, which had a record participation of TWELVE people! New med school students are in town, plus a bunch of locals who have never come before just happened to pick this week to show up. It was really awesome to have so many people for once, and made me glad I haven't given up on it yet, even though there are usually just two of us.
On Tuesday I decided to give Diane a last dose of hills before the hilly 10k race. I included the steepest neighborhood hill in town, so that every hill she runs from now on will be easy in comparison.
It was sweltering hot for my run on Thursday, but it felt good to pound out some hills in the heat to get ready for Saturday's 10k. And then it was cool and foggy for the 10k. 100% humidity, but not hot at all. It was so foggy, you could barely see more than 100 meters in front of you for almost the entire race. I ran hard, but I wouldn't say I was quite putting in race effort. At this point, I think if I don't have lung trouble, I'm not running race effort. But, I prefer to let my lungs work without hurting them to the point that I need to use my inhaler during a run. It's not worth hurting myself right now just to try and get a PR. After I finished, I turned around and jogged back until I found Diane. I found her after about 0.7 miles, turned around and joined her til I reached 1 mile, then dropped back to walk the rest of the way while she finished strong.
Last night was a late night of babysitting, so I ended up sleeping in this morning. Surprisingly, I slept until 9:30! After years of not being able to sleep past sunrise, it always feels weird to wake up so late, but I like to let my body sleep when it needs it! 10 minutes after I woke up Stu texted to invite me for a bike ride around 10. I had just put on running clothes, but decided I may as well get on the bike for once so I changed and went for the ride. It was almost 90 degrees out, but we somehow managed to survive the long ride!
Sa : Wheels of Hope bike w/ Lauren 38.6 / 15.9 mph / 3278 ft
Su : horseback ride 48 minutes
run total : 25.7
bike total : 38.6
On Tuesday, I just happened to wake up soon enough before my alarm to get out of bed and go for a run before work. On Wednesday, I woke up early enough to bike before work, but it was raining, so I went back to sleep until my alarm instead. I had Thursday off work, so it was a good day to do a longer run with Diane (5.5 miles in 50ish minutes), and then I ran a bit further after I left her at home because I was heading to a brief meeting. The extra 1 mile run was the jog home from the meeting. Later that day, I got pissed off about something, and needed another run to calm myself down, hence the 7.1 mile evening run. (So glad I have running as a stress reliever in my life!)
I worked all day on my feet Friday, which was rough, because I was hurting from my double run Thursday, but I survived, and then Saturday was the annual fundraiser bike event. I was signed up for the 60+ miles which I have done the last 2 years, but because of the recent flooding, they had to change the routes. Lucky for me, the original 29, 63, and 107 routes turned into a 36 and 19 mile loops that you could combine and repeat to get whatever distance you wanted. Since I was very much not in shape to ride 60 miles, I just did the 36ish mile loop and did not add the 19. Surprisingly, I felt pretty decent until about 29 miles in. Then my back went very quickly from completely fine to ridiculous amounts of pain. Luckily, all the really tough climbs were behind me by the time the back pain set in, and I was able to make it to the finish. Moral of the story : I need to bike more. My back would be fine if I was actually biking consistently. I'm not, because running is so much easier and less time consuming...
Today I debated whether to run, ride, or take a day off. Then I realized it was the 1 year "barniversary" for Pony at her new barn. So I ended up just going out to ride her instead of running or biking. Which was great, because I was long overdue to spend some time with her, and it was a stunningly gorgeous day!
After a few weeks of laziness, I think I am headed back on track for fitness with running and biking. Although, I went back to work today, so not sure what is going to happen now that I am working long days on my feet again. If I fail this week, at least last week was good!
This week :
M : run 3.3 / 7:45 / 249 ft
W : run w/ Diane 3.5 / 8:58 / 125 ft
R : bike w/Dan 20 / 17.9 mph / 1293 ft
run 4.5 / 7:40 / 328 ft
F : bike w/Dan 20.3 / 17 mph / 1388 ft
run w/Diane 3 / 8:42 / 177 ft
Sa : race 4 / 6:45 / 190 ft
Su : bike w/Dan 17.8 / 17.9 mph / 1260 ft
bike total miles : 58.1
run total miles : 18.3
Back in WV this week, with my sister here to run with me for a few weeks. Trying to slowly introduce her to the WV hills. It's hard to find running routes without them! Did the smallest hills I could find on Wednesday, and then did a longer hill in our short run on Friday. Saturday's race was pretty flat, though I just noticed that the elevation gain says it was the most we got all week...interesting.
I was happy to get back on the bike this week, and even more happy that I had a friend to ride with so that I would actually get on the bike this week. Thursday and Friday's rides were ridiculously humid and gross, but Sunday's ride was gorgeous! No photos though, we were too busy riding...
I'm not going to write a separate post for the race report, I don't think there were more than 20 racers and it wasn't much of a race. A high school kid stuck with me for awhile, and I thought maybe we would have a race to the finish, but then he gave up after 3 miles and I lost track of his footsteps behind me. The race came to 3.94 miles on my watch, and then I jogged until I got to 4. But still ended up with a 6:45 average, so I'm calling that good. It downpoured right before the race for about 15 minutes, and then we had to deal with steam coming off the pavement during the race. At least most of it was shaded. Diane had a nice sprint to the finish with some guy, but he pulled away from her in the end.
I told Diane she had to be in the pre-race selfie with me.
Finish times. 1st overall for me, 8th overall for her.
This was hands-down the most long-lasting sunset I have ever seen. There was a splash of color low on the horizon when I arrived at the Riverside party around 6 PM, and there was still streaks of color after 9:30 PM. Somewhere in the middle, for over an hour, it was breathtakingly gorgeous. All of the photos in this post were taken on my phone, an LG G4. It takes impressively good photos!