WEST "BY GOD" VIRGINIA!!! NUMBER 16, DRIVE US UP A HILL AND LET US RUN DOWN!
Brian and I left to make the drive to West Virginia on 06/06/2014, Friday. We left the house at 5:15 am with all our race crap and a skinny cooler full of food for the drive. I had grocery shopped Wednesday that week and prepped a whole bunch of fruit, cheese and crackers, hummus and chips. We have made this drive many times for Ohio, Michigan and New York races and there is mostly fast food on the way, not what I want for my pre-race day food. We snacked across Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and W. Virginia. In fact, other than Starbucks, we did not stop for food. This made for an efficient trip and we made the 9.5 hour journey in exactly 10 hours!!! We had downloaded the second book in the Outlander series, Dragonfly in Amber and I read for most of the journey out and back, we got about 30% through the book this trip. This is great, because in the next month I have Pennsylvania and Nebraska, so we should be able to finish it near the end of these two trips. We arrived at our hotel and waited just a few minutes for Peggy(sister) and Shannon(niece) to come in from Maryland. They drove the 3 hours to come out and stay on Friday night so they can be fans!!! We walked around after getting landed in the room and found stuff to eat; it was Shannon’s 19th birthday so we had to have Cold Stone for dessert. I didn’t because that kind of stuff messes with my pre-race digestion and could mean trouble on race day. I got up at 5 am race day and showered and went through my routine. I mistakenly had given my banana away to Brian on the drive so I didn’t have that but I did have my Larabar. Peggy, Brian and I went down to the park that was a short walk down the hill from our hotel and picked up my race packet. I pinned on my race bib and hopped on the bus to take what I thought was a short ride to the start line 13.1 miles away. I was on the first bus to leave and we had “Santa” driving for us! He was a sweet middle aged guy with a big snowy white beard and he drove this bus like it was a go cart through ridiculously curvy, hilly, scary roads! We made it alive in 30 minutes to the trail head of the Decker’s Creek Trail and I really felt like kissy the ground when I got off the bus. I did thank “Santa” for getting us there safely. It was chilly! I could see my breath but, of course, we are running so I don’t have any extra clothes so I found a sunny spot on the trail before the start line to stand and warm up and many women joined me and we all started talking about racing. I had the most races as this was my 16th… and we lined up and I sent Brian an ecrumb of my location at 8:26am. An ecrumb is a safety measure connected with my RoadID app on my phone, it essentially locates my phone and updates any phone number that I enter in every minute or so of my location. I wasn’t sure if the signal would hold out in the mountains of W. (by God) Virginia but I was hopeful. It turns out it kept going through the whole run and helped Brian, Peggy and Shannon, know when to go down and start looking for me. I passed a whole bunch of runners in the beginning so that I could get to my pace and find my spot. I did and found a blue shirt guy that I was pacing, he ran just a little faster than me so I tried to keep up with him. I had eaten my Larabar at 8:00am, but was feeling a little puny at 4 miles. I hadn’t had my banana, because I forgot and gave it to Brian on the road, so I think that could have been my energy crisis. I downed my gel
between 4 & 5 and my vision never did get clear again. I can always tell when I have calorie deficit because I don’t see very well. I had gone too long without food and I could feel it. I had plenty of water and poured the water that they provide on the course over my head a couple of times. I do get warm easily. I had my gummies between 8 & 9 and a sip or two of Gatorade at 10. I came off of the limestone path at 10.4 miles and ran on the asphalt for the remaining miles. Of the entire 13.1 miles, only 2 miles was in the sun, so that was nice because it was 80 degrees or so. The ecrumb was updating my position and Brian, Peggy and Shannon headed down from the hotel, they had gone and eaten breakfast and had coffee and made their way down to the finish with about 5 minutes to spare. I came out of the wooded path and could hear their cheering and my name called. This was my best time at 1:50:54, 5th in my AG of 35, pace 8:30, 57 of 363 women, 163 or 623 participants. Number 16 in my quest, DONE!!!, Pennsylvania in 13 days.