Saturday, October 5, 2013

Welcome to VA

Well, where do I start...

I've been down in Virginia for almost two months now. I've ran a total of about 150 miles. Mostly road miles.

I miss them trails.

My training has been shaken up a bit. I had planned to run on the Bull Run Trail on a daily early morning basis. A dead body and a tip from the cross country coach had me rethinking this plan.

I've opted to stick around Alexandria in the morning. Getting in anywhere between 3 and 5 mile runs. Maybe two or three a week.

I suppose I could run after school. I don't have a second job (first time in 10 years) and am not coaching. But I've really enjoyed coming home and hanging out with my kids, visiting the playgrounds and eating frozen yogurt with them. I suppose I could throw them in the double every now and again to get some miles in. Maybe I'll do just that.

The new teaching gig has gotten progressively better. I was a lost soul in the beginning, basically feeling like a new teacher, learning new procedures and policy. When it really comes down to it though, it's just being prepared and well-rested.

As far as racing goes, the ATR 12 Hour was a blast. Going in overzealous and undertrained (never a good combo:)), I ran five 6.5 mile loops in or near the lead group. Over course I knew going in I would only make about 30 miles, but hey it boosted the ego a bit knowing I could hit a 5 hour 50k with 3,250' of elevation on junk miles and no elevation. Results here.

Next up was Grindstone, or maybe not. Thanks to the greedy folks down the street, nobody ended up running. This was maybe a good thing for me. I am still under trained and probably better off not killing my fragile body right now. My knees are still a bit creaky from the 32 miles at the ATR and my right shin is tender. Too little training and too much racing miles? Too many road miles? Not sure but time will tell.

November will bring the Stone Mill 50 miler. Its a low cost, no frill race. Just my style. I actually plan on training for this. As of today, I've run three mornings in a row (4-5 miles, but I'll take it) which is a record for the last month or so. Gotta build off of it and string some long runs together. Put a few feelers out to some of my VA Strava buddies. I think if I hook up with someone else in the area, I'll be more excited to get in some quality miles over the 15-20 mile mark.

Excited for the fall to be here. Although the temp right now is 90 degrees, it will drop back to the low 70's this coming week. 50's in the AM which is prime running weather. I do better in the cooler temps than the warmer stuff. Looking forward to it.

Some other odds and ends about VA. They suck at driving down here. No joke. You put your life in someone else's hands every time you step in the car. Not calling myself Mr. Perfect on the road, but driving is different down here. If you don't drive like Jeff Gordon, stay home. They juice it off the line every time. If its green, that means redline the tac and hold the hell on.

I also feel like the smartphone was invented for NOVA folks. They spend so much time in traffic, they need to do something productive, like check their Facebook pages and text friends. Never seen so much phone play while driving. Maybe this is the root of the bad driving? Not sure, just an educated observation.

It's all good though. I'm enjoying the change of scenery and pace. Wherever my family is, I'm happy. That's my stance.  My HOME will always be in Massachusetts. We just LIVE in VA for now!!


  1. Thanks for the update Justin, and I'm glad things are looking up in VA. I think I recognize some of those trails in the photos. Its hard to tell with all the daylight.

  2. Ha! I bet. It was the one time we missed breakfast and caught hell for it too:)

    1. Oh yeah, underestimated the circling back of that one section and the heat really got to me. Might have to try for that loop again soon.

  3. Will you be back here for some races come spring time???? Are you going to do Bel Monte? I would love to do that race again..

  4. Michelle!!! Hope all is well with you and Bob up north. I am number one on the wait list for the manchester to monandnock 55 in may and am looking to possibly run the tarc100 in the fall. I've heard good things of bel monte so i may want to look into that. busy as bee down here, but would like to get this blog up and running again!! Thanks for reading:)