Sunday, March 22, 2015

48 miles for 48 trips around the sun

Yesterday concluded my 48th trip around the sun, so as of today I am officially 48. In my head I am still 26, but I know I am officially "old" because I asked for, and was excited for, and received new bathroom towels for my birthday. Thanks mom and dad! 

Nothing says "old" like excitement for new towels

This was my seventh year of celebrating my birthday in some kind of athletic way. 

I decided I wanted to kick off my bday weekend with a race, so I found the Joggin' for your Noggin' 5k put on by the Radford University National Student Speech Language Hearing Association to benefit Brain Injury Services in Southwest VA. I confess I emailed the race director to ask if I could have a number with a 48 in it, and my request was granted. I got a bib number with a 48 and personalized with a Happy Birthday. Thank you, Sophie! (I love her beautiful handwriting.)

Taylor Jennings surprised me by showing up to race! He and I share the same birthday. I beat him in "years" (by a lot; he turned 25) and he beats me in "speed" (by a lot).

This was a really unique race experience for me. It was a smaller race (60 participants in this its first year) but it was huge in terms of enthusiasm and purpose! It was a small party at the finish and I enjoyed joining in to cheer for the racers including a number of race participants who were brain injury survivors.

Big thanks to James DeMarco and Runabout Sports for supporting this race -- I found out that the personnel and nearly all of the equipment they supplied for the race are loaned out free of charge to charitable races!!

One of the brain injury survivors who I believe won the men's 41-and-over division.

Taylor and I are pictured with Sophie, the assistant Race Coordinator who made this a really special race! Taylor was first overall, and I was first overall female. I finished in 20:56 which was a decent time for me, but had I not started with an overly ambitious 6:39 first mile, I could have perhaps done a little better. I fell into the first mile trap of "hey this feels easy..." followed by a second mile of "when will this be over?" LOL.

After the race, I took off right from the parking lot for a 45 mile bike ride around Claytor Lake. I did parts of the Wilderness Road Ride in reverse and allowed myself to take my time, get a few photos, and stop for a mid-ride picnic/gas-station lunch along the lake.

This was the first time I ever loaded a course generated on MapMyRide into my Garmin Edge. That worked out pretty well for navigation but I discovered I was supposed to have loaded maps too, which I have since done (thank you DC Rainmaker for instructions). Without the actual maps, I ended up with a course sans roads or road names names, so I was basically just following a line, lol. If nothing else, this forced me to finally figure out the map feature and I feel like it's opened up a whole new world to my navigationally-challenged self!!!

my "course" - rather lacking without much of a map, but still sufficient.
should be even better now that I have maps loaded!

Picnic spot with Roo along Claytor Lake. I had a gas station hot dog and chocolate milk 
- very uncharacteristic of me. Also a good reminder of why
eating a lot (of yuck) at once is not a good idea mid-bike ride. 

THIS is the main reason for the course I chose. I love this spot coming out of Snowville, Virginia. The photo doesn't do it justice, but it's still representative of the vast beauty of our region.

I enjoyed my 48 mile day and some experiences that were different than my usual - a new race, new Garmin maps, and a different bike course.

I'm grateful to Oma and Grandfriend for the new addition to my library and the reminder that "fast" can apply to my sport but should not be applied to the rest of life in general.

Thank you to my family and friends for the birthday wishes. I look forward to another trip around the sun with you all!