Sunday, August 31, 2014

August Adventures

I cannot believe we are heading into Labor Day weekend already. August flew by! I picked up a few more coaching clients this month, including an old client that has gotten back into running. (yay!)

I was on the road a bit as well. August 9th I went up to Abingdon, Virginia to run in my friend Jen's 10K race along the Virginia Creeper Trail. It is a memorial race to honor the memory of her brother, who died in a mining accident. We decided to camp out that weekend at Beartree campground, just outside of Damascus, Virginia. Leaving Friday morning, we drove up in the rain. It was still raining when we got to the campground, so I set up the tent in the rain. Then it rained all night. The tent held up great, but everything was just......moist. We woke up that morning to some additional showers but headed into town to stop at one of my favorite coffee shops, Mojoe's Trailside Coffeehouse, in Damascus. My large coffee with soy milk really got the day off to a good start! The 10K race did not start until 6pm that evening, so we had time to hang out in Damascus, ride over to Abingdon, then head over to Bristol to stop in at Mountain Sports Limited, another one of my "must stop" places on my visits to Virginia.

We returned to the campground early in the afternoon and rested up. We drove back out to Abingdon and arrived to get our bibs and shirts around 5pm. The weather had cleared up, although it was still quite humid. We would be running out and back on the Creeper trail. At 6pm we took off! The first three miles I felt really good. I was running at a good pace and my breathing was controlled, but I was also going out way to fast! By the turn around at 3.1 miles I was drenched with sweat. I could feel myself slowing down. The only good thing was that it seemed like everyone else went out too hard and was fading too! I was able to pass a few more people on the last two miles of the race, but it was a struggle. I staggered across the line with an official time of 56:11, which was good enough for first in my age group ( Thank goodness for small races!)

Mercifully, it did not rain on us Saturday night at camp. We got up early Sunday morning and headed out to the Elk Garden Trail head to run some of the Appalachian Trail. We wound up running 12 miles on the AT, six out and six back. It was slow going. We had close to 3,000 feet of elevation and the legs were pretty trashed by the time we got back to the car.

On the rocks in the mist!

 We then drove back to camp, broke everything down and headed back home. More rain on the drive back made it yet another challenge, but we made it!

The next weekend was a much smaller road trip to Southern Pines, NC for the Gamelands 50K. The event was being put on by The Southern Pines Ultra Runners, and they did a great job! The course consisted of three 10.3 mile loops, along flat, sandy trail on private land. The goal was just to make this a nice long training run. Mid way through the first lap I hooked up with my friend Susan and we wound up running the rest of the race together. I was glad for the company. The first lap it was extremely humid, but overcast. By the second lap the humidity came down, but the cloud cover left as well. There were a lot of exposed areas along the trail, so by the third lap it had gotten really hot! Susan and I crossed the line in 6:51:27. I was soaked with sweat from head to toe! I must have ate 10 slices of watermelon after I finished. I stopped off on the drive home and treated myself to an ice cold Diet Coke. Heaven!

Grinding it out!

The next adventure was The "Running of the Camels" 5K at Campbell University the following Tuesday. I had been comp'd an entry by a friend who works at the university, so how could I say no? The race started at 8am, and it was already quite warm. There were several hundred people running, mostly students and staff. After a few opening remarks the gun went off, and I took off like a jackass.  My first mile was 7:56, then I came to my senses and ran an 8:27 and 8:28 after that. 25:30 for 5K.

The rest of the month has been a succession of hot, humid runs, gulping water with my Elete add-in and lubricating my moving parts with Red11Sport. I seem to be doing a load of workout clothes once a day, and my poor car smells completely like ass. I wound up with 179 miles of running for the month, which is high for me. I'll take it.

Here to a cooler, maybe not so humid September!!