Alana Hadley of Charlotte, N.C., the top 16-year-old long-distance runner in the country, practiced for her first marathon by running 110 miles a week for seven weeks.
Two of my friends from high school, Garrett and Callum, came up to visit me at JMU and stay at my house. Garrett goes to JMU, but had never been to my house, and I visited Callum at UVA a couple times during the school year.
The night they came, we went out to buy some food for dinner, made burgers (I attempted quinoa and mushroom burgers while they had beef burgers). When we woke up the next day, we ventured over to the Western Slopes of Massanutten for a trail run. Garrett had a foot injury and bailed shortly into the run, but Callum and I continued to the top. Though he is a 16:14 5K runner, the steep and rocky trails evened out the odds.
We then showered and got on our shirt and ties. We headed over to my friend’s wedding in the rural part of Harrisonburg, VA. After getting a tour of the barn, we acted as parking attendants. After only an hour of work, we watched the ceremony, and then joined the other attendants for appetizers. Once the wedding party came up and food was eaten, the party STARTED. The Hackensaw Boys played while everyone took advantage of an open bar (and delicious moonshine) and the good vibes.
It was SO much fun!
Thank you so much body for only allowing me to sleep for 6 hours the night after a 22 trail run.
Sorry for the lack of posts y’all. I AM alive.
I have been super busy but I have got some SHIT to tell you all! Gonna be great.
It involves a country wedding with moonshine and a MAGICAL trail run. Get pumped
I shaved my balls for this!
Woke up this morning, took TWO shits (that is right, folks - TWO!!!!), drank some water, and headed out the door for a run (after applying some sunscreen of course).
As I began my run, I could already tell my legs were still really tired from cycle class two days ago. Why? Because that shit drains EVERY OUNCE from your legs. But it was kickass.
It was in the mid 70s temperature wise, and the sun was fucking smirking at me from that way-too-blue sky of his. I did NOT appreciate it.
As I ran, my legs started to feel REALLY dead, and uphills were just demolishing me. Sweat was oozing from every pore on my body. But I had decided to run to the top of this one hill that gives you an incredibly clear view of a stretch of the Massanutten Mountains. As there is an insane hill up to the view, I decided to walk. It was a completely conscious decision, and I do not regret it. I ran down and back to my house somehow managing a 7:35 average pace.
I finished with 50 minutes of running, and I covered just over 6.5 miles. I then ran 6 short striders right by my house to wake up the ‘ol legs a bit to some speed.
This weekend, 2 of my friends from home are visiting, and we’re going to run some awesome trails AND volunteer at a friend’s wedding. Can’t wait!
I Don’t Run For Health
After kicking my own ass in spin class yesterday and finding my body drained when riding my bike home, I realized it’d be a perfect time for a run. I set out for my run after getting the shit scared out of me by my housemate in a tree.
It was hot, but the sun had already descended from the sky, freeing me from its hellish imprisonment. I set out with no pace or distance goals - just to run. Just to push myself and make myself a better human being. I wanted to teach my body and mind that it can go farther and harder than they think they can. But it wasn’t like I was whipping them. I was encouraging them, galvanizing them to be the best they can be.
I could feel my quads pant on every incline, but I loved it. They loved it. And as I added just a bit more mileage to my run, I realized something. I realized that I do not run solely, or even mainly, for health. I run because it is my life. Because running is life. It allows us to see the world in different ways. It also allows us to see ourselves in new and truer ways.
Like Tim Noakes wrote in Lore of Running,
“Even in the most crowded races, the point is reached when fatigue drives us back into ourselves, into those secluded parts of our souls that we discover only under times of such duress and from which we emerge with a clearer perspective of the people we truly are.”
- Me: *walking out the door with running shoes and ipod*
- Family member: where ya going?
- Me: tea with the queen! Where do you think?
Hey runners, keep doin’ what you’re doin’. I know we’re all at different parts of our running journey, but everyone’s been working hard. Now maybe the miles have been paying off or maybe they haven’t, but I’m proud of you. Special shout out to the injured runners who are going completely stir crazy. You’re all such tough cookies. Your time will come. Everyone, go out and enjoy the gorgeous weather and rock a pair of short shorts while you’re at it!
BTW, I did 6 miles yesterday with my sore ass ass (that was not a typo).
I just got back from an hour long spin class, and now I’m going to attempt a run in this 80 degree fucking weather.
Good luck, Matthew.
SPIRIT OF THE MARATHON 2!!!!!!!!!!!
Thanks to Megan (who used to be ever-upward and also says hello to you all), you are all now aware that there is going to be a Spirit of the Marathon 2, and it is coming out June 12! …in select theaters. See if it’s coming to a theater near you!
You know, this whole trail running ordeal is a relatively new concept for me. I kind of happened into it during the final few weeks of the semester. This past Sunday, I made plans with my friend Matt to do a trail run about an hour away in Front Royal. The location was far too fitting considering that the trails kicked my royal ass.
Matt cheerfully accepted my suggestion and chose a route that I am almost positive was the most difficult of the viable options. Let’s put it this way: it had been…months…since I’d run over 20 miles. On pavement.
The route wound through the mountains on the AT for roughly half of the mileage, and we did the latter half on the Dickey’s Ridge Trail. The views were breath-taking, but then again, so was the climb. The entire 16 miles up, I bitched like a true professional. My bladder and camel bak backpack must have been telepathically communicating because I SWEAR to you, just the sound of swishing of the water had my bladder at the mercy of the next available tree. I peed 4 times. I wish I was joking. In addition to my cries of borderline incontinence, I took 2 beautiful (A+ in dramatic appeal) tumbles, and wound up with a gashed and bruised knee, shoulder, hand, and left rib cage. Did I brush it off? Absolutely. After bitching Matt’s ear off for just a bit. (-: Someone has to be the comic relief, ya know?
After surviving my first long distance trail run, successfully fending off Matt’s incessant attempts to make me eat one of his (four) bananas, resisting the urge to play music for more than 45 minutes, not having a complete incontinence issue, waking up this morning looking like I’d been mercilessly beaten, and having the mobility of a 90 year old woman, I can happily say I’d suit up and do it all again tomorrow.
Completing 22 miles and enjoying a gluten-free, vegan pizza—courtesy of Matt—is all this girl needed to feel rejuvenated…in the most paradoxical way. (-:
P.S. how fitting that my first true post on Tumblr comes just a day after taking a few real tumbles of my own? I’m all about the irony.
Read Shelby’s awesome and hilarious perspective of our wonderful trail run of yesterday! Personally, I love it.
Q:Hey, I've asked for you advice a couple of times already, and wanted to say thanks! I went out for my first run of my new running regimen, which was just one mile in the beautiful 90 degree weather, but I'm feeling good. I'm starting with just five miles a week, and I should be in acceptable shape for XC before long. However, one thing I do have a problem with is stretching out my hips. I've seen some nasty injuries from people not keeping their hips limber, so any stretches you know that help?
Just build your mileage gradually and consistently over the summer and you will be in great shape!
I really don’t stretch…at all. Stretching before running has been shown to have no effect on injury prevention, but I’m not necessarily opposed to stretching afterwards. Try THESE maybe? But I think it’s less about the hips and more about the IT band which is a very common runner injury. As runners, our IT bands are naturally gonna be tight. But you can roll it out or stretch it.
Want a banana?
Woke up this morning and readied myself and my gear for a 22 mile trail run. I drove an hour up to Front Royal, VA to meet up with mi amigo Shelby, who drove down there from Northern VA.
We met up at the Dickey Ridge Trailhead in the Shenandoah National Forest, then drove out to the AT trail head to begin our journey.
After a tough initial climb, we found our groove on the flowy trails of Appalachia. We talked pretty often, but there was also a good amount of silence (when we weren’t talking and Shelby somehow resisted playing music from her phone out loud which was actually fun because it made me feel like I was in some awesome movie) which is oh so necessary when trail running. Sometimes, you just have to take in the beauty of the world through silence.
Even though Shelby bitched and complained A LOT, she really toughed it out there, kept trudging, and even surprised me many times by running up some tough uphill sections. Though the uphills were tough, we were usually rewarded by some awe-inspiring view of the surrounding valleys and mountains.
I geniously used my hydration pack snack holders as banana holsters, and was able to carry 4 bananas! Even though I frequently and perhaps excessively asked Shelby if she wanted a banana, she only accepted a small bit of a banana once!
Also, we only got slightly off track once due to my poor trail navigating skills, but it was hardly a setback! In addition, there were only 2 falls throughout the run (both by Shelby who deservedly won Best Blood Award). Finally, we completed the 22 beautiful miles of the day, and it was such a blast. Despite having not run very far in a while, Shelby did a great job and ran with cajones.
Afterwards, we got a post-run, gluten free, vegan, delicious pizza from the #2 pizza place in the Shenandoah Valley.
Gonna go for a long trail run with a friend!
BOOYAH! I get so excited for these things. It’s always such a challenge, accomplishment, and an adventure.