and finally, a big happy 4th birthday to my favorite little redheaded nephew ben ! son of my very most favorite sister !!!
'life is good'
it was SO hot, my legs were sweating !!!
first 'pylon' road trip of the year. it had been in the planning since, i think, the 'don't run boxing day' run at the captains' on december 26th. if all went according to plan, and of course it never does, i was to join the boys for a 3 day stage race in chattanooga, tennessee on the weekend of june 18, 19 and 20. as some of you may remember, the whole texas/rocky raccoon fiasco caused major complications with my stoopid feet, and so come the week to leave, i was 'on the fence', having only put in minimal mileage since february. my longest run up until then was way back on april 24th - a mere 17.9 miles. this race consisted of 3 days, averaging 20 miles per day.
and imagine our surprise at discovering tv's at every booth! me and the cap quickly managed to find a station playing old flintstone reruns. this was the one where fred was pretending to be a doctor!!! hilarious!
the next day we drove to chattanooga, but not before stopping at a varsity supply store for me and digger. home of the tennessee volunteers. holy orange !! can you spot the pylon ????
so here we are at the start of stage one - a 22 mile section on lookout mountain. and i must mention at this point, at about 8 in the morning, the temperature was above 90 and the humidity was 100% - ARGH !!!!!!!!!!
digger had already stabbed himself with a branch while heading into the woods for a whiz, causing a laceration, and the captain and i were sweating just standing there. according to the beaver, cy is part camel, so he was fine !
cool shot from the ridge
they were nice enough to give us ropes for this little out-and-back section !
waterfalls close to the finish.
a couple shots from stage 2
i managed to stay with nick for most of the race, but he eventually pulled ahead with those long legs of his and left me to manage the 'small intestine' on my own. (this was a really cool windy trail at about the halfway mark that would have been fabulous for mountain biking.) and i guess i should have run a bit faster cuz with a mile to go, it started to pour. and thunder. and lightning. me and this girl were a couple hundred yards from the finish when a huge bolt of lightning hit, causing us to sprint to the end!!! and my 'ever-concerned' pylons were waiting for me in the cruiser - cap got a picture of me from inside the car. it was pretty funny! my time for the day was 3:48 and again, i was overjoyed !
stage 3 was 20 miles on signal mountain. and again, it was steamy hot at the start. as usual, the 'fast' pylons were long gone, and i settled into a nice easy 'dora' pace. i met up with some super nice people. one in particular, stephanie, was telling me about her life-long goal to hike the appalachian trail this year. how cool is that??? she was kind of burnt out from all the training she'd done, and wasn't in a 'happy place' at first. i got her talking, and eventually she was kicking ass on the technical sections - her speciality!! we then hooked up with a couple of characters from indiana - jim and curt ! and man could jim belch - you could hear him all over the trail !! and out of the blue, this quiet guy michael appeared at the 'end of the train'. he didn't add much to the conversation, but i'm sure he was entertained ! here's a shot of the 4 of them on one of the suspension bridges we had to cross.
at one point i think there were about 10 of us picking our way through a really 'un-runnable' section, including jon from manchester (who i'd met the day before) and tracy, a friend and running partner of steph's. now she was a riot ! anyways, they let me lead, even after i did a face-splat into the creek ! it was beautiful through this part, and it actually went fairly fast with all of us to distract each other. at the final water station, with 3.5 miles to go, our little group split up but still all managed to come in within minutes of each other. my time for the day was 5:38 and i felt it was the best run of all 3. the pylons were waiting for me at the finish, all having had a great run too.
here's a pic of me and manchester.
so here's to yet another fab road trip with the pylons! thanks guys - that was amazing !
went from humber station over to cooli's today. executed a perfect 'mid-weed-trip' face plant just before centerville creek. that's when you step on the END of a long weed or piece of grass with one foot, and trip over the MIDDLE of it with the other. good thing it was muddy and i had a soft landing. also trashed through some wild raspberries - owwwwww !
the good news is that i spotted a mom and baby deer walking across the field while sitting on the bench by humber station. very kool !
great day to be out on the trail for sure.