I had been excited to race in the Hangover Classic for quite a few weeks prior to the race. Over the fall, I had done more road work than usual in recovering from my broken toe.
The morning came in with a cold slap in the face, with a wind coming in from the west that felt like an icy shotgun blast. It seemed as though 70% of the race was in the headwind, although I am sure it was closer to only half of the race.
My goal was to run faster than 1 hour 02 minutes. At the halfway point, I noticed I was at 31 mintues exactly. I wondered if I could hold pace even with the advanced energy expenditure required during the opening half. I kept digging harder and harder, and pushed the pace faster with each mile, thereby enduring more pain with each mile. The runners around me were strong. I managed to drop a few and gain some placement, but other runners who had paced themselves well also showed up, for new company.
My face contored, and my lungs screamed the last two miles. When I felt I couldn't push more, I did.
I managed to cross the line in exactly one hour and I was thrilled. The exact distance was 10.1 miles.
It's always a fun event, filled with friends and great comaraderie.
551 miles of racing. 14 Days.
It's official; On June 30, I will be partaking in the first Tour De Virginia.
It is a 14 day stage race, covering the entire Virginia section of Appalachian Trail.
There is an 8 mile prologue stage as well, which brings the total to 559 miles overall.
I am excited for this challenge, as the distance is something I have never encountered/attempted before. It would definitely be advantageous to a runner with advanced age, maybe 40 years old, as the likelihood for injury would be lessened. However I have been wise in training, and the base work required to attempt this feat is just what I should be doing in summer.
For many reasons I couldn't pin down my summer race, and when the opportunity presented itself to do this race, I knew I had to make it happen.
It is going to be incredible to run with runners I look up to, who are at the pinnacle of our sport, for 2 weeks on a trail I thru-hiked 6 years ago.