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2013 Family Vacation

After not going on a family vacation last year, we eagerly headed to Seneca Lake in NY. The house we rented was right on the lake with its own dock.

Home for the Week

Home for the Week

We fished,

One of Many

One of Many

Took the kayak and paddleboat out,

Water Toys

Water Toys

Visited the Corning Museum of Glass,

Glass Bowtie

Glass Bowtie

VHTRC Trifecta

The VHTRC Trifecta is a series of three runs that starts on the 4th of July. Each day’s run is somewhere between 20-25 miles. A few years ago, I would have never dreamed of trying one of these runs, much less completing all three. This year, I did.

There were lots of climbs,

Up we go!

Up we go!

Amazing views,

White Oak Canyon Falls

White Oak Canyon Falls

View from Hawksbill

View from Hawksbill

Flirting with Cutoffs

Unintentional flirting of course.

I registered for the OSS/CIA 50 miler because it starts at 7:30pm and I wanted practice running on trails at night. Night running is just one of my many weaknesses that I’m working on this summer and OSS was the perfect opportunity. The course consists of two loops around Prince William Forest (PWF). The first loop is 24 miles, the second is 26 miles. The race directors (RDs) clearly state that they’re okay with runners only doing the first loop. The RDs also offered an earlier 6:30pm start with the caveat that if you take the early start, you’re not eligible for any of the awards. I’m slow so the early start was a no-brainer since there was no chance of me placing – unless it was last place.

I originally registered with the idea that I’d run the first loop, then see how I felt before committing to the second loop. That is, until Bob offered to pace me the second loop and I threw all caution to the wind and said, “Sure!” Translation: I’m committing to 50 miles. There was no way I was getting out of running the second loop if he was coming out to PWF in the wee hours of the night.

The day of the race rolls around and I learn some valuable lessons.

Lesson 1: Just because you’re craving coffee from Starbucks does not mean you should buy a cup, especially when you haven’t had it in months. Machiatto on race day translated to “makes stomach stormy.”

Lesson 2: An evening start does not mean you should try to cram as many chores into the day as possible. After several hours of vacuuming, dusting, and tidying up our three-story townhome, I realized my legs were a little tired and I still had 50 miles to get through.

Deck Life

Because I do get excited about things other than running…

A month ago I planted two Knockout Rose Trees on our deck. They weren’t much to look at.

Planted 4-30-2013

4-30-2013: Check Out My Stick

One month later, they (and my petunias) have really taken off.

Taken 5-31-2013

5-31-2013: We Have Growth

I’m looking forward to them filling out and blooming this summer.

Adventures in Crewing/Pacing

Last week I had the pleasure of crewing and pacing runners at MMT100. I could skip to the end and tell you that my runner finished, but that wouldn’t tell the whole story. Running is just a small part of the story. What I learned is that you end up investing so much of yourself in the fate of the runners you know, especially the ones who you know are counting on you. Their struggles become yours. You celebrate their successes – even if it’s as small as keeping food down. You form a bond with them, regardless of what your relationship prior to the race was. So to understand the full story, I’ll have to start from the early miles on Saturday.

Most everyone I knew who was running came into the Shawl Gap aid station where I was volunteering in good spirits. My runner, KC, came into the aid station 30 minutes before the cutoff. She said that she hadn’t eaten anything and was really fatigued even though it was only 38 miles into the race. Her boyfriend and brother who where crewing for her convinced her to eat a sandwich and chips. I was worried about her because it was so early in the race for her to be feeling the way she did.

KC Coming Into Shawl Gap (photo attributed to Rob Dolan)

KC Coming Into Shawl Gap (photo attributed to Rob Dolan)