Misadventures with wine, weights, and running shoes.

Heylets DID NOT get me into this mess!

Sunday, April 27, 2014
Crazy IS WHAT got me into this mess. 

Yesterday was the Blue Ridge Mountain Marathon, Half Marathon, and Star 10k. I, being only half crazy, signed up for the Half marathon. Ok, maybe I am completely nuts because it was only my second half marathon. 

As is the case with the majority of my misadventures, this plan could not go off without a hitch. The better half had some personal issues come up and all parties involved thought it was in his best interest to stay home - so he did.

Car loaded and fueled, I set out on my 4.5-5 hour drive to Roanoke, VA. If you are from this area, you know that until you get out of NOVA, it's traffic and stupidity. Break free of that, it is a peaceful and relatively nice drive. Once you hit Skyline Drive, it is honestly - as far as I'm concerned - beautiful. This is probably why I teared up a bit when I rounded a bend to find a highway lined with trees bursting with green, white, and pink and the blue ridge mountains in the background. It was breathtaking!

Once I arrived in Star City, I headed straight for packet pick-up. I was exhausted after the drive and just wanted to get my packet and head to the hotel. I was tickled to find that my bib number was 1119.
Packet pick-up complete, I bought a shirt and then I headed to the hotel - the Cambria Suites - to check in, ate, spoke to my Better Half, Glenn, and my Soul Sister, Cindy, then called it a night.

By the way...this picture sucks but it was the view from my hotel room - shot using my cell. Mill Mountain my first of two mountains that needed to be tackled the following morning. I will have to admit, seeing this mountain in person was a bit intimidating.


I was up early, as always. I packed a couple of outfits for the race since I never really picked one. I settled for a peacock sparkle skirt with a tank and pink flower. I got my gear together, popped my Endurolytes, took a last look at the shirt that I've been waiting to wear for months, and then headed to breakfast. Eggs, potatoes, fruit - a slight risk but was willing to take it for the extra fuel before this run.
I opted for the shuttle to the race start but wished I'd have walked the mile and a half to it. I could have used to warm up. Once there, I checked my bag

***NOTE: I made a mistake and left my change purse containing my licence, credit card, and $47 in cash. This was purely unintentional and when I realized it I didn't have enough time to go get it before race start. Unfortunately, someone riffled through my bag, found the change purse and snagged the cash. NOT HAPPY! Hopefully they needed the money more than me. ***

Anyway, I hit the spot-a-pots and waited in the customary pre-race bathroom line of doom, then found my spot among my fellow runners.
While we waited, the Blue Ridge Doublers made their way to the finish after completing their first run of the full marathon. That's right - I said, "FIRST RUN." This is because they were running it TWICE. Ha - and I'm the crazy one. With their return, a brief announcement was made, the horn fired, and we were off.

It only seemed like a moment later that I found myself crossing a bridge at the base of Mill Mountain about to make my ascent. My whole attraction to this race was the star at the top of the mountain and I was finally going to reach it.

Now, the half marathon originally consisted of ONE mountain - Mill Mountain. Naturally, I sign up and they announced that there is special news. I'm all like "SaWEET! We're gonna get a special premium!!" Yeah - That "Premium" came in the form of a second mountain, Peakwood! I thought, "no big deal - Mill is the big one." I was wrong. While Mill Mountain is the higher of the two, Peakwood is the more difficult.

Do not get me wrong, Mill Mountain is challenging but it is early in the race - ripped off like a band-aid, to quote a fellow runner. The view is breathtaking. Once you reach the star, you are elated and filled with a high that surpasses the regular runners high. You also pause and take a couple of pictures.

Then you take off down the mountain like a rocket. Yes - the down hill was glorious. You come off the mountain and hit the rolling hills. About the point that the rolling hills get tough, you think - "This MUST be Peakwood!" No, it is not Peakwood. It is just the rolling hills that lead to Peakwood. When I officially hit Peakwood, I recall a sign welcoming us to Peakwood and another one that read, "If Peakwood Was Easy, It Would Be Called Your Mom." First thought that came to mind was, "Oh this can't be good." It wasn't.

Where Mill Mountain challenged you but left you energized, Peakwood humbled you and left you somewhat defeated. Actually, I believe my toes cramping up and shooting pains up both legs were responsible for that but who's counting. The best part of Peakwood was being greeted with a champagne party at the top of the mountain. No really, there was champagne and I skipped it. I wanted to get this over with so I made my descent.

Within the last mile, I hit a bridge that reminded me of home and the Naval Academy Bridge.
I worked my way over the bridge and kept reminding myself that the finish was on a downhill. It is comforting to know that the race organizers are not sadistic enough to finish on an uphill. Bridge behind me, there was another uphill climb but the promise that this was the last and the rest was down hill. Honestly, I can't remember if that was the case or not. I just remember being in a haze at this point and hearing people cheering way in the distance.

Finish line finally in site, I wasn't thinking, "Yes, I finally made it!" I was actually think, "YES, NOW I KNOW HOW TO PREPARE FOR NEXT YEAR!"

and with that, I finished the 2014 Blue Ridge Half Marathon with 2:41:02. My goal - finish under 3:00:00. Next year - finish in 2:20:00.

See you next year Blue Ridge!

1 comment on "Heylets DID NOT get me into this mess! "
  1. Awesome job, Tree! You look amazing by the way - love the outfit!! CONGRATULATIONS on your half! PS That place looks absolutely beautiful!