All posts by David Wilson

Spartan Race Memorial Discount

Just a quick note … I’m coming off a broken ankle suffered in January ( on the 1st, of course, starting the year off right) and am just getting back out on the road.  I’m sorry the site has languished, but I’m working on fixing that in big ways… we’ll start with this…

The good folks at Reebok SPARTAN RACES are offering a code starting  TODAY… save up to $40 on a race entry using the code.  These are some badass races, folks… we’ll be doing more race entry giveaways later this year.. for now:

2015 Running goals / resolutions. We have them

2014I finished off 2014 with a little over 1180 miles …

I finished my first 1/2 Marathon (and several others)

I ran my first Marathon.

I broke 25 minutes on a 5K on a treadmill and just over 26 in a timed race.

Here are my goals for 2015…

At least 1500 miles, and a steady 100 or more miles per month.  Break 25 minutes in a timed official 5K.  Break 55 minutes on a timed 10k.  Break 2 hours on a 1/2 Marathon.  Run at least two marathons – The Newport News Once City Marathon in March and (hopefully) the NYC Marathon in November (if I can figure out logistics).    I want to keep pushing distances, and work a bit more on speed.  I am going to begin (slowly) to get bck into the old “P.I.G.” workout I did in the US Navy – consisting of a lot of abs and pushups – PIG is for Pain is Good – suitable for #badassrunning I’d say.

I want to meet, and run with, a lot more of the people I’ve met online.  I MAY try an 50K …what the heck, it’s only four more miles, right?  How hard could that be?   What are your goals for 2015?  What did you do in 2014 that you ar proud of?  Hit us up in the comments, and don’t forget to click on our post about the SPARTAN race and leave a comment for the chance to win a race entry.

-David

SPARTAN RACE UPDATE – WIN A RACE ENTRY!

worldchamp

 

When you think about running, and you add the word “Badass” to it, you can’t help but think of the Reebok SPARTAN RACE – obstacles, running, pitting yourself against the odds.  Badass-running is happy to provide a news update on these amazing races, and to announce our THIRD Race-entry giveaway.  All you have to do is share this post, and leave a comment to enter.  It’s good for one entry into a Spartan Sprint anywhere.

The new 2015 Spartan season pass has been released with lots of great perks, the 2015 World Championship Spartan Race is moving to Lake Tahoe California, Joe Desena’s “Spartan UP!” the podcast is launching soon and the first ever Spartan Cruise is happening in March.  To see some great photos of past races, and to catch up on all the new information visit: SPARTANRACEMEDIA.COM 

DNW – #Badassrunning.com

Carbo-Loading – the real deal

I have always read you should eat pasta the night before a race.  I’ve also heard over and over how you need to carbo load, and so, I have done the things that people who vaguely understood it told me to, and thought I was on the right track.  Let me be straight.  I read an article tonight that opened my eyes.  I have run out of gas / fuel on long, long runs and now I sort of know part of why.  You need to carbo-load for 2.5 to three days prior to a race.  Cupcakes? Not carbo-loading (lol) In any case, here is the link to an article on proper carbo-loading.  I plan to use it on my next long run.  See how it works out for you:

The Right Way to Carbo-Loadpasta-openpic[1]

2014 – The Road to 1000 Miles, A Marathon & More

aimhigh2014 has been quite the year for me, as a runner.  Back in January, I was sweating the approach of April, and my first 1/2 Marathon. I was averaging 8-10 miles a week … long runs were in the 6-7 mile range and I was mostly on the treadmill.  In March, I did what has become a traditio for me.  I went out to run the 13.1 to prove to myself it was not beyond my reach.  I ran closer to 18 miles that day.  I got lost.  I learned a lot and got so dehydrated I was a wreck for days.  In April, I ran the Dismal Swamp Stomp (already registered again this year) and ran it in two hours and forty or so minutes.

I have dropped from 235 pounds to 195 and stayed there.

In May, there was the 5K a day in May challenge.  I started strong, and I was kicking major butt through the first 3/4 of the month, but in the last week, I injured my foot (I think it was a stress fracture).  Inestead of resting – I had a 5k race I’d signed up for – I powered through.  That cost me the 5k a day in May, and it cost me what would have been my first 100 mile month.  I was out of commission for nearly three weeks, and had a major paradigm shift in shoes from minimalist Vivobarefoot shoes (which made my feet strong but offered little protection) to zero-drop Altra shoes (which I still love).

In June I got the belt buckle that I wear to this day – 100 miles in one month, and I had to do it (basically) starting on the 13th with almost no miles logged.  I passed the 100 mile mark, and have gone more than 100 miles every month since.  I am still learning to properly take care of my feet, but I work at it, and I will not go through that injury mistake again.  Somewhere along the middle of June I signed up for the Rock ‘n’ Roll 1/2 Marathon in August in Virginia Beach, and continued running.  As often as I could, I stretched the distance,  eight, nine, ten mile runs.  They were hard, but I found my 5K and 10k times getting better.

In August, I cut twenty minutes off my 1/2 marathon time.  I ran on, and I continued to up my distance.  I think it wsa in September when I signed up for the Newport News One City Marathon – even signed Crossroad Press (my publishing company) up to sponsor mile #13 (at that time it was as far as I was certain I’d go).

I ran a lot of miles in October, working my way up.  I did a 17 mile run and felt fine at the end.  Went shopping and mowed the lawn.  Still, that thing that always itches at my mind…itched at my mind.  I asked for (and got) a Camelback hydration pack for my birthday in October.  In November, I strapped it on, filled it with water and snacks, and headed out to run a marathon.  Just like the first time…I got lost.  Then I got found and figured out where I was, and I made that course stretch to the 26.2, despite having missed a major turn.  At mile 23 the love of my life brought me a bottle of Power-Ade.  I ran on, and I finished the marathon in 5:32 … so now I know.

Today, I broke my 5K record.  Last January I was hovering around 30 minutes on my best day for a 5K …  Today, I ran one in 25:42.  To cut off five minutes in only 3.1 miles…not as easy as it might seem.  Particularly when you ar 55.  I can see myself trimming it farther in the year to come.  All of my running  goals for this year plus one have been met.  Below is a small photo gallery of the year’s fun… and here are my stats since I started running seriously again a year and a few months ago.  Thanks to all of you who have helped, encourged, laughed, and even those of you who doubted…

ltstats

1509252_627002177385562_2339177033203130631_n 1560418_666679526751160_3530911555378125794_n 10153147_723186664433779_4494383650738960157_n 10288702_776483342384576_379417839108321102_n 10307388_697833150302464_424842975923841996_n 10371733_648796958539417_379936933376732447_n 10624577_708439112575201_3167275576885964716_n 10629559_705252976227148_8680488976994091742_n 10658897_705283222890790_844512759714725799_o 10659225_699883833430729_9128987897942379913_n 10662178_705283239557455_6222798063712425941_o 2014-11-18 15.23.17 2014-11-15 15.34.41

26.2 Miles – What I Learned from Them

26.24On Monday, 11/10/2014, I set out from home at about 8:30.  I had on my Altra Torin shoes, my Camelbak “Marathoner,” a birthday present from the family, several protein bars and Gu packs, my MP3 player, loaded up with part III of SWANSONG by Robert McCammon, and my game face.  One of the things that has characterized my running is the desire to get past the “I wonder if I can” stage of preparing for a race.  My first marathon was supposed to have been in March – The Newport News One City Marathon, which I’m looking forward too.  Still, that’s a winter away, and winter is the worst running time for me.  Right now I’m coming off hundreds of miles of training over sprint, summer and fall, and I just could not wait for March.

I had a plan (If you’ve read my posts about running long distances on my own before, you know that was futile).  I had a course set that should have brought me home just over 27 miles.  It was a reasonably simple map, and I carried the instructions with me, but there was a point – no road signs – where it just says, left, right. left right, and then turn right.   There were, of course, more options in that stretch than there should have been, and on that crucial final turn, I went…left.  Somehow.   I was supposed to run in to Elizabeth City, NC, and then loop back around toward home on familiar roads. Instead – when I finally poked my head back out onto Highway 17 about halfway into the run (a little over, maybe 14 miles) I was almost in HERTFORD, NC – the exact opposite direction from Elizabeth City.

By this point I had already nearly been blown off the road by a truck, chased by two packs of not-exactly friendly dogs, and gotten directions from people in two very “rural” yards.  One couple informed me I was way off track, but still better off than they were.  Their car woul dnot start, they were stranded, and they could not RUN all the way to the highway…made me smile.

So, anyway, there I was.  What I did was start calculating in my head.  I turned and ran back toward home, and just before hitting 16 miles, I turned left again, crossed back over the highway, and took the route I normally take on my 12 mile track (the one I got lost on LAST time).  26.21 26.22

I figured it like this.  No way I was not running the full 26.2 after all the preparation, and after telling everyone I was going to.  I planned to run half of what was left, turn around, and run back to that same point on the highway, then make it the last couple of miles to home and be well over my 26.2.   Except, what happened was that before I had quite hit that halfway point, I hit the final turn on my 12 mile course…and I took it rather than getting lost (lol)  So… on I traveled.  More dogs … a caterpillar … By this point I was at about 20 miles and speed was no longer an option, but I was still moving.  I stopped for a moment and called home at about 22 miles.  Trish was kind enough to drive out and bring me a bottle of Gatorade at mile 23.  I also gave her my camelback at that point, which helped.

The Gatorade was like magic.  I’d had a lot of water, and I still had water left, but it was no longer really rejuvenating me at all.  Of course, when I gave her the Camelbak, I forgot that my phone was in it – so I was then cut off, and had sent my “Mapmyrun.com” app home.  I kept going.  I had the Garmin watch, and it was going strong.  When I hit the turn to home, I started thinking.  I was going to be short.  Not a lot, but it was going to be – like – 25.78 … no good.  In the hardest running decision of my life, I turned AWAY from home and ran anouther 3/4 of a mile.  That was the defining moment.  After that I swung toward home, and I still felt okay…end in sight.

I walked / ran / stumbled the last mile … managed to remain upright through a shower … and plopped into my chair.  Then I got UP and drank a root beer, and a pepsi, ate an “Outshine” fruit bar, and got back IN to the chair.  Trish had gone to get Katie from school at this point.  Then I got UP again, ate a baloney sandwich and took the dog for a short walk.  The next time I got into the chair, I stayed until dinner…

So now I know.  I can go the distance, and complete it.  It feels good to be part of the 26.2 club…and today – after one day off – I’ll head out for my recovery run smiling.  25 miles from now, I will post again… that is when I will hit 1000 for the year, and I think I’ll take a look back at it for highlights.  Feelin’ kind of #badass today.

I did this (without planning to) on the USMC birthday.  To all my marine buddies, active and retired… Ooo freakin’ rah.

-DNW

Barefoot / Minimalist Running – My Experience

When I started out to run again, it wsa partially fueled by a book a friend of mine suggested that I read.  You’ve probably guessed already that it was “Born to Run,” and if so – you guessed right.  I love that book for many reasons.  That friend took it more to heart than I did.  He made his own sandals, and as far as I know, to this day, he runs in nothing but those thin, rubber-soled throwbacks to a different time.

I tried the sandals.  They never worked out for me.  What I did instead was move on to VIVOBAREFOOT shoes, which are about as close to barefoot as you’re going to get (there is tread on their trail shoes).  I found all of the warnings to be true.  My calves killed me for a very long time.  If I didn’t pay attention and avoid heel strikes, my feet hurt.  Rocks became a problem.  I stuck with it.

neo

By May of 2014, I had run several hundred miles, all of them in a variety of Vivobarefoot shoes.  Here is the important takeaway from that period.  My form improved drastically.  I moved to a mid-rolling to toe strike.  Most of the pain in my legs, feet and lower back disappeared.  I still wear Vivobarefoot casual shoes to work and for day-to-day wear.  To my knowledge, this is the only company providing a variety of attractive shoes you can wear to work and still experience a nearly barefoot feel.

gobi

At the end of May, however, I had a sort of forced epiphany.  It really isn’t a stretch to figure out that if you are running close to barefoot, your feet are in danger of injury.  Constant pounding on pavement can cause stress fractures.  Rocks and other fobjects in your path are a much bigger dea.  In May, I was flying through the first of several really big challenges.  5K a day in May.  At least 3.1 miles every day.  I was up near the very end.  I had a couple of timed 5K races at that point, and I was determined to do well in them.

Except I stepped on a rock right after the first one.  My foot hurt.  I knew I should have stopped running for a while, but I had a race coming up that Saturday.  I ran it, and actually even got a good time, but I knew before and ABSOLUTELY knew after, that my foot was messed up good.  Pretty sure it was a hefty stress fracture.  I was off running completely until almost halfway through June.

I knew I had to something for my feet, so I went back to the research – as always – reading reviews, studying reports.  I found ALTRA Lone Peak trail running shoes.  These were “Zero dro” – meaning, there is no drop off from the height of your heel to the height at mid-foot or toe.  Just like Barefoot.  There was cushioning in the shoes, and at the time, the more important thing – a metal rod running down the center (a thin one) to protect you from rocks.  I ran in those shoes nearly a month, and was able to get back up into higher mileage, though very slowly.  I noticed recently that during that recovery, my form went ot hell.  The heels on my Lone Peaks are worn half away, and I *never* strike my heels anymore.

2014-06-04 07.54.32

Since then, I have come to understand that it’s the form that matters.  Zero drop shoes promote a natural mid foot to toe-strike stride, but they also provide some protection against pavement pounding.  I now runin a rotation of shoes – the Lone Peaks (though I’m phasing them out due to the heel wear) – Altra Torin running

torin

shoes (very comfortable) Altra Intuition shoes – more of a standard, day to day shoe – not quite as comfortable as the Torin because they don’t have as wide a toe-box, but solid protection.

intuition

I’ve just ordered The Paradigm – another Altra model, but one with more cushion (and still Zero drop) for protection on the longer runs I’m going to be needing to prepare for the Newport News One City Marathon next March.

paradigm

The bottom line is, I think that the barefoot running is a great training tool…  I believe absolutely in keeping your heels off the pavement, and I think flat – zero drop shoes with wide toe boxes so your feet can naturally spread out – are the best bet (for me they are aboslutely the best).  The key is not improving your form at the expense of your feet – learning from the barefoot style and form, while keeping the “common sense” notion of protecting your feet in the forefront of your mind.  There is no one perfect shoe – everyone evolves through a string of them before finding a perfect fit .  My hope is that – from my own experience (over a thousand miles of it now) I’ve cleared up how minimalist running has improved my life, and my fitness, and how I’ve combined that with lessons learned through pain and many miles to conclude that whatever type of shoe you choose, it needs to protect your feet.  If you mess them up – you can’t run.  Sorry Roger – no more sandles for me.

-DNW

Motivation – Challenges – They Help Runners Excel

When I started out a little over a year ago, running sad little mile and a half bursts from  my house, I had motivation.  I was getting too heavy.  I felt tired all the time.  I needed a “comeback” and so, I set a goal.  I wanted to run 100 miles from August when I started to my birthday that October 28th.  I came in ahead of that challenge, and so, I set another one.  I signed up for the Dismal Swamp Half Marathon in April, trained all winter, and again – I succeeded.  Then there was the 5K a Day in May challenge (I fell slightly short of that, three days, I think, because I injured my foot).  In July I signed up to finish 100 miles in July and get a nifty belt buckle.  I wear that buckle every day, and have exceeded 100 miles a month ever since.

100miles

 More recently we had a team challenge in one of the Facebook groups I’m part of.  We were supposed to pick a mileage goal from August 1st to October 1st.  Unfortunately, I thought it sayd August through October, and I said I’d go 300 miles.  I only got 237, but that’s fine… it was the challenge that did it.

Now I’ve set myself a new challenge.  I’m not only a runner, I’m an avid football fan.  I’m not only an avid football fan – I’m a rabid SAN DIEGO CHARGERS fan.  I live on the east coast now, and that makes it hard.  I haven’t seen them live since one of the companies I worked for a while back took me to see them in the new Redskins stadium.  We lost, but that didn’t matter.

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This year, I’ve decided that, since I can’t stop myself from saying “WE” are going to go all the way this year, and since I know I can’t get out on the field and help, that I’ll do SOMETHING … because it’s better than nothing, and because it is a new goal. I have several now, and I’ll see them all complete about the same time.  I will run 1000 miles this year (probably by early December).  I will also run 254.6 miles between the 1st of October and the Superbowl – the distance down Highway 8 from San Diego to Phoenix.  I figure, if they are going to work all season to get there, the least I can do is put in some personal effort.

If you’re a fan, and you have some bit of Chargers memorabilia – shirts, hats, bandannas, whatever, and you want them to go with me on one of my runs, send them along.  If you have suggestions on how I can use this running to benefit a charity, I’m all ears.  If you happen to know Philip Rivers, let him know I’m out there, pounding the pavement and thinking about February.  Heck, I even have a Jackalope decked out in all my running “Bling” – race medals, a Chargers pennant – and who knows?  Virtually running across the mountains into Arizona, I might see a relative of his…

2014-06-11 10.43.08

 

If you are a runner – keep finding goals.  You are welcome to join our Facebook Group –Team Badass, Miles & Smiles.  We’d love to have you.   Me?  Time to hit the road.  I’ve only done 11.5 miles in the last two days, and I have a LONG way to Phoenix…

David Niall Wilson

9.11 Mile Freedom Run 2014 Dismal Swamp Trail

911Yesterday morning I got up at 5:30, walked the dogs, gathered the few things I had not prepared the night before, and headed out.  I had about a 35 minute drive to the starting line at the  beginning of the Dismal Swamp Canal Trail – and I didn’t want to be late.  This race allowed pickup of packets / shirts / etc. at race day (for me this is a wonderful thing, because the closest organized races are at least as far away as Virginia, and I hate having to either make two trips up there in two days, or paying for a hotel every time I want to run. This way I was able to be there on time, get my stuff, and have some time to prepare mentally for the beginning of the race after I was there.

There were about 200 runners, spread across the 9.11 mile run, the 5k and the “cub” run for the kids.    There were 116 runners in the 9.11 mile run that I participated in.  I came in 47th.   That said, the spread between myself and the upper groups was a lot smaller than usual.  I finished with a time of 1:27:47 – my average pace was 9:39.  My personal goal for this race was to finish in 1:30 so I cracked that, and felt good all the way through.

One thing about races – I started in a pack and felt as if I was pretty much running where I was comfortable.  This is where the Garmin 310x comes into play.  We were running in the 8:45 per mile range.  While I can do that in a 5K now I think, I am unlikely to maintain it through a longer race.  I knew I had to slow down somehow, and shortly it all spread out a bit.  I moved to the outer edge of the trail and slipped into my more comfortable 9:15-9:30 range.

Those of you who read my somewhat longer posts on my way to my first 1/2 Marathon, on this same trail, will remember that I ran that race “with the butterflies” – Tiger Swallowtails, and Black Swallowtails hovered around  me, flickered out over the patch, and generally kept me smiling through that first long race.  This time out – there was a single large butterfly.  I saw him at about the 8.5 mile point.  It was a big Black Swallowtail that flitted out, waved its wings at me, and flew on off, like it was saying “you got this” – I ran the last 1.1 miles at a 6:40 pace… (according to the watch) so there was gas in the tank.

This race was run by http://www.mettleevents.com/ and was very well supported.  There weren’t a lot of water stops, but it’s not that long a race, and those that were there were well stocked, well manned, and well policed.  There was pizza, beer, ice water and the standard bananas, as well as other fare available at the few sponsor booths.  Not a huge race, but a fun one, and one I will remember because it’s an indicator that the unofficial strategy is working.   I am able to maintain the pace I need (first) for a 2: hour 1/2 marathon for longer, and longer runs.  I can also now run a 1/2 marathon quickly ehough that if I walk a lot of the second half of a full marathon, I’ll make it under the time limit (runner, not a racer).

The Garmin 310x synced and worked great, while last race I had the Forerunner 110 and it was absolutely unable to get a sattelite fix.  Mapmyrun and the gps also managed to stay in sync…the time from Chronotrack and my watch were very close….  Great reace, and I will definitely run it again.  Come on out and join me!

The Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach 1/2 Marathon 100% humid!

VB14_MedalRevealHalf600x600This will be a sort of long post, because I want to try and get my impressions of my first race of this scale down and share them.  I saw a lot of different numbers tossed around on how many people were involved, but when I went to get my results, it appears that just under 8000 runners ran the race.  That’s more by four time than the largest event I’ve previously entered.   There were a number of elite runners, and the start was done using corrals.  I have no idea how many there were.  I was supposed to start in #10, but I ended up in #13.  The lines for the facilitiies were really long, and my hotel was just across the street, so I cut it close and ran back.  Glad I did.  They were already moving the corrals forward when I slipped in through the #10 gate.

startline

Before the race, I had the pleasure of meeting fellow badassrunning.com member Joseph Leon Guerrero, as well as Katrina Gay, whose challenge back in May – the 5K a day in May challenge – helped me get my miles up over 100 a month, and introduced me to a whole team of dedicated runners and great people that have become friends.

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Left to right – myself, Joseph, Katrina, and Tabatha Navarra

This was my first chance to meet any of them in person – except for Roland Curit, who served with me in the US Navy back in the day.  The thing that makes it all fun, and possible, is the community – the opportunity to share something you are passionate about with like minded others.  Not everyone loves running, I can tell you – and fewer still like to hear me go on and on about it (my wife is a saint, and my daughter only gives me occasional eye-rolls).

I think they released each group of runners 1 minute apart.  We had announcers from FM 99, WNOR, one of the local rock stations, and they were pretty entertaining, but everyone was focused.  I set and started my “Mapmyrun” app to record my miles, and got my Garmin 310x read to go.  Finally it was our turn, and we were off.  For the first mile, I think almost that far, anyway, it was hard to break away from the group, and they were running slower than I wanted to run.  My normal pace is right around 9:30  per mile.  They were running 11:00 and you had to be very careful not to bump people, trip people, etc.  Once it stretched out, I picked it up, and started moving up.

The weather was great at the start.  It was in the upper mid 70s – overcast a little – and my hope was this would continue through to the finish, since I expected to be there by about 9:30.  What I didn’t count on was the humidity.  Here is where my lunch time training has come in handy.  I have been running in 85 degree weather with high humidity since July, and I was pretty much used to it.  I drank at every water stop and every gatorade stop, and I sipped my own supply as I went.  I’d carried a washcloth from the hotel to keep my face wiped…that was soaked by mile five, along with all my clothes and my hat…but I felt strong.

I think I spent a little too much time walking through the water stops, but honestly, there were so many people that if you tried to run through you were a danger to yourself and others.  I kept my pace as steady as I could.

Having the bands there was amazing.  At one point, according to my garmin, I ran a stretch that was a 7:21 mile pace.  I’m sure it was crossing in front of one of the live bands provided, though I don’t know which one, or which song.  I swear I almost danced when the music was loud.

There is a bridge you run over, once on the way out, once on the way back.  When I hit it on the way out, there were two girls next to me.  Nice tattoos, and looking strong.  They sort of looked at each other and said “kill it” and took off up that hill.  I followed, and it was a good move.  It cleared out a lot of the people in front, and at the top, I still felt good.  I did the same thing on the way back, and it was a real motivator to be running hard then – at about 12 miles – and make it to the top.

I passed couples.  I passed a lady with a shirt that said “if you are reading this you were just passed by a pregnant lady” and I congratulated her.  Same with  another lady whose shirt said “If you’re going to pass me, at least wish me a happy birthday,” and I did…so did everyone.

At about mile 9,  I started getting twinges in my right calf as if it might cramp.  I fear the cramp.  I know it would have put me down, and likely out.  I eased up.  At one point, when it threatened again near mile 12, I walked a bit, and of course that is when my son and his buddy showed up to take my picture.  I had them run on a head, and got going again…   Despite the water stations and the short bouts of calf-babying, I managed to keep on pace for a new PR.

The end was amazing.  Signs, cheering familes, clubs, churches, any group you can imagine was there – all of the encouraging the finishers, fast and slow.  The winner passed us all on the way back at about 5 miles in.  He finished in just over an hour…amazing.  He was absolutely flying over the course at slightly over 5:00 per mile.  I can’t imagine running that fast, but I can imagine what it feels like, because I think it’s probably not that different from being a come-back kid, 54 year old man  who couldn’t finish  a mile and a half one year before this race without walking – and finishing 13.1 miles with a personal record.  I finished at just over 2 hours and 27 minutes.  My previous best in an official race was 2 hours 32 minutes and some changes.   Every time I run that distance, I feel stronger and faster, and I hope that’s true because I’m on my road to the full marathon next March.  It feels more like a dream than reailty.

Highlights: the organization was absolutely amazing.   The EXPO was huge, with representative shops from Brooks and a lot of other big name running manufacturers, power bars, snacks, gel packs – you name it.  There was a lot of emphasis on charity and helping others with your miles.  There were dogs – and two of them ran the race (well rode the race) pushed in a stroller.   The support was fantastic.  There was a girl who went down on the track, not sure why, and she was immediately surrounded… people got out of the way, helped, let the ambulance in – everything was handled professionally and perfectly to allow those of us there to run … to run.  At the finish there was food, drink, every sort of refreshment you can imagine, and plenty of it.  The city continued the hospitatlity, church groups handing out icy water and more snacks on the street outside the gates.

I know there was an amazing afterparty – TRAIN played the beach, and I wish I could have seen that, but it’s a holiday weekend, nearly done now, and I mssed my family.   I got my run.  I got my finisher’s medal.  I got my personal record, and I got to meet some amazing people – some of whom I consider my friends, though I only know them from running – and on-line conversations – and challenges.

I would love to do one of these again one day, but a race of this magnitude is a big commitment of time and money.  Most of my running is solo and personal, but the friendships it’s brought me, and the excitement and intenisty of competetive runs are sort of my gauge progress.  When you finish a race like that – you know you have accomplished something.  I shared that feeling with 7,000 plus other runners, and that makes it special.

Next race?  The FREEDOM RUN – 9.11 miles on The Dismal Swamp Canal trail – where I ran my first 1/2 last fall.  More info by clicking HERE – come run with me.