What a wonderful day. I still have race endorphins going on.
Thank you Mike and family for driving down to race with me. That was so much fun. We didn't even finish all our chatting! Well, we'll have the drive to Cinti soon to expound on matters.
This was the inaugaral 20K run at the Big Bear Lake Campground, over in eastern West Virginia. It was about a 3 hour drive for me, after the twenty-minute waiting period at the truck stop (maybe they should have more than one cashier...?) anyways an uneventful drive over. Talked to some of the WV folks that I had met prior, either at the annual West Virginia Mountain Trail Runner meeting, or the fun North Fork Mountain run, where I got to know these nice WV runners to begin with. Mike and his family were already there. Mike and I discussed race strategy. This took about five seconds. I started laughing and we decided to 'just run'.
The race started with an uphill run on the road, for about two miles, then we went off into the woods. It was a bit rocky, alot more than what we have in Ohio, but less than what I had encountered on the North Fork Mountain. I had a bit of a trouble catching my breath for the first few miles. I don't know if it was the elevation, or what, or the fact that I noticed this and it bugged me. As we neared the last couple of miles of the race, I realized I wasn't wheezing anymore, and didn't know when that had stopped.
Mike and I were chatting so much that I couldn't give a mile by mile account. There were lots of rocks. It probably would have been easy to keep your feet dry, but once I got one shoe wet, I said "f*k it" and just ran through the rest. Oh well. Mike of course followed suit!!
The one magical part of the run was the pine trees. We entered this grove of planned growth pine trees. I have run in pine trees before, but this was somehow different. The pine needles were thick. The trail was soft, kind of mushy, but a good mushy. The noise seemed to disapear in this section. It was like the trees-or the atmosphere-sucked all unneccessary noise out. Very cool. And the trail! I was ahead of Mike in this section. The trail did not go straight. It meandered through the trees, taking sharp turns and curves-just like most WV roads!! It was a very cool section.
Another fun section was a downhill, totally rocky section which led to a creek bed. We caught back up to Billy here. We had caught up to Billy before, because he had fallen, rolled, and then couldn't figure out which way to go on the trail!! He had enough running sense to wait till the next runners showed up. Billy navigated us through the creek bed (and this is ALSO a mountain bike trail!! I don't know how they could traverse this area!!!) and then took off again. He must not have fallen again, because that was the last we saw of Billy.
Speaking of falling, I took the only spill. I hit some slick mud, under leaves, and took a nice fall. Luckily there were plenty of leaves to wipe most of the mud off my leg. Mike tried to have a better fall, on his face, in the creek, but managed to recover in time to keep all his limbs intact.
Before I knew it, we were seeing the finish line ahead!! Mike's girls were taking pictures like mad; we just ambled in as we had done most of the run. Too soon it was time to get on the road and go home!
This day really helped my spirits. I was just kind of down, being stressed with work and lack of time. It was good to have the whole day for me, to spend with my friends. I feel so much rejuvenated now. I'm ready for a 10 miler in the morning. I wish I could drive up and spend it with the BR training group tomorrow!