A Trip to Washington DC.... To Run

My daughter Payton had an awesome opportunity this weekend to take a trip to Washington DC and Richmond Virginia to run in the U.S. Army X-Country Festival at Maymont, one of the premier running festivals in the country.

I have been suspiciously silent about this until now because of safety concerns for Payton, but it was difficult to keep quiet about something so exciting for her.

Her team had the opportunity to run in this meet and Payton was one of those eligible to run. Earlier on in the season I never would have thought she would have been eligible, but she ended up being eligible on two levels. They took the top 7 (she is #7) and they also took the top 3 Freshmen to run in a Freshmen race.

Luckily we were able to get some sponsorships to help pay for the trip and we got enough sponsorships to pay for all but $70 of the trip.... what a lifesaver!

Payton left Friday morning when I dropped her off at the Airport. It was funny, she was a bit nervous, but also very excited. She has not flown since she was 5 years old. Imagine my surprise when I received a text message from her about 20 minutes after she took off...... "Thank you, thank you, thank you for letting me go.... The takeoff was Amazing!" I just got a chuckle and texted her back mentioning that she should probably not be texting from the air since she wasn't supposed to have her phone on.

Friday afternoon they were able to run the course at Maymont and get a feel for what they were up against.

Saturday morning came and they went to run in the meet. Payton and one of her team-mates were running in the Freshman race which they had a very good chance of doing very well in. The Freshman race was the first race of the morning at 9:30. I woke up at about 7:00 and laid in bed nervous for her. I couldn't do anything to help her or even cheer her on, I felt so helpless. I just laid there till 9:00 and finally got up since I couldn't sleep. I then watched and waited for a call or text message..... the waiting seemed like it took forever, I guess that is part of being a parent! :)

Payton ran a 21:54 and finished 5th overall. This was not her best race or time, and I am certain she could have done better. I think the nerves of the whole trip and us not being there to cheer her on got to her. She was really upset that neither mom or I would be going to watch her run. I tried to prepare her for the race, because based on last years times I knew she would have a chance at running near the front of the pack and even possibly leading and winning it. This years winner won it with a time of 21:10 (Payton's last two meets she ran 20:59 and 21:13) This is a learning experience and next time she will know better what to expect and will do better no doubt. We are very proud of her!

They drove back to Washington DC Saturday afternoon and got a little sightseeing in, but not as much as they wanted to because of rain. They got up this morning and did their long run together as a team around Washington DC, stopping along the way to do some sightseeing - how cool is that - a sightseeing run!

She arrived back in Atlanta this afternoon and it was nice to welcome her home at the airport. We missed her, but was so glad she had the opportunity to go...... it is something she will never forget!

Tim Wilson - blog.262quest.com - subscribe - follow - virtual4now

My First 20 Mile Run

This past Sunday was my first 20 mile run. It went very good, in fact better than I expected. It is not that I expected to Bonk or have too much difficulty, but I did expect to feel like walking more than I did.

It was an early morning for a Sunday morning when the alarm clock went off at 4:40. I needed to get out the door by 5:00 am if I was going to get the full 20 miles in before church. I started the morning with some water and a little bit of Gatorade and a piece of whole wheat bread. I prefer to eat a whole wheat bagel because it stays with me longer but there weren't any in the house.

Shortly after 5:00 I was out the door, water bottle in one hand, Gatorade in the other. I had one package of Sport Beans and tunes for the road. Have I ever told you that I hate carrying my hydration in my hands? I really need to look at other options but I just don't have the extra cash flow at this time........ just bought two new pair of shoes from Gerald AKA RaceSpeed over at www.telarun.com who always gives me a good deal and great advice (and doesn't even ask that I say anything on my blog about him) One pair for myself to replace my 400+ mile shoes, and the other for my daughter Payton to replace her 400+ mile shoes. Payton really needed the new shoes badly.... you should see how fast she runs!

OK..... I will get back on track now!

I started the run off at the pace I wanted to hovering right above the 10:00/mile pace. I wanted to make sure I could complete the entire run without any issues. I started to sip at the Gatorade about 2 miles in and then again every 1.5-2.0 miles until it was gone. I switched to the water at about mile 13 and shortly after ate the Sport Beans. I later in my run ran around a park so I was able to refill my water bottle so I was well hydrated the entire run.

I didn't really have any idea where I would get the entire 20 miles in, I only planned up till about 13 miles and then did the rest as I came to it. This is one of the beauties of running with my MyTach GPS watch. I do not know what I would do without it! It is so freeing to be able to run without having to think about where you are going or how far you have been. I just kept running until it said 20 miles. :)

There also is the downside to not planning out your route. I ended up having quite a few large hills in the last 6 miles of my run. These hills are not horrible, but hitting them when I did in my run made them that much more difficult.

I managed to keep running the entire 20 miles even though it became a mental battle at least one time in the last few miles. I even was able to drop the pace a bit for most of the second half of the run, ending with a better overall pace than my 18 miler just a couple weeks earlier. I ended just a short walk from home and was happy both to be home, and also to have just accomplished such a hugh milestone!

Just a couple weeks ago after accomplishing my first 18 mile run I had a little scare. Monday morning following the 18 mile Sunday I ran a bit harder and faster than I should have in my 4 mile recovery run. Later that same week following my 9 miler I ran a 4 miler, again much harder than I should have and started to feel some pain in my left Thigh. I took the next 3 days off and rested until my 12 miler on Sunday. Luckily the pain has not returned, but I did get a little nervous.

All is going really good with my marathon training. I am looking forward to my Second Half Marathon, The Atlanta 13.1 Marathon (funny name) in just a couple weeks on October 4th, and then my First Full Marathon, The Chickamauga Marathon, on November 14th.

Tim Wilson - blog.262quest.com - subscribe - follow - virtual4now

Cross Country Meets X 2

The past couple of weeks have been great for my daughter Payton. She has had two Cross Country Meets, both of them in which she did beyond excellent.

Last Saturday, September 12th was the Carrollton Invitational. This is a hilly course and the same course that is used for state. The team drove over to Carrollton Friday afternoon and ran the course for their Friday workout and so they would be more familure with the course.

I drove over in the morning to watch Payton and her team. It was an early morning, but was a nice day for running and watching a race.

Payton was running Varsity so had one of the early races. She got ready and did some warm ups and it was time to line up. The team lined up and before too long they were off. Like I mentioned the course is a really hilly course which made it a tough course to PR at.

Payton was running a great race and was looking strong. It was a hard course to get to the mile markers so I wasn't sure how well she was doing as I watched her on the course. Finally the last stretch came and I saw she was running her best race ever. I watched as she came across the finish line strong 32nd out of 164 girls in the Championship Girls Race with a time of 20:59..... breaking the 21 minute barrier for the first time for a new PR..... on a tough, hilly course!

Payton and I stayed the day and watched the rest of the races and stayed to cheer on the JV team. We watched the JV race and there was one girl a good distance in front of the rest of the runners. She was from a different team but was running a solid race. We watched her finish and I noted her time and told Payton she only beat her time by 4 seconds meaning that if Payton would have run the JV race she could have possibly won that race.

The Brookwood Girls did excellent, both the Varsity and JV winning their races.

The above race pushed Payton up a spot on her team. She is now running in the #7 slot on her team, out of 105 girls.

Today's race was also very exciting. Today was the Gwinnett County Championship races at River Green in Duluth. The complex was appropriately named with todays weather. It has been raining much of the last week and the ground is well saturated already. The weather called for rain all day again today as well.

We arrived at the course at 6:45 this morning while it was still dark. The race was to start at 8:00 and luckily we had not gotten much rain overnight and it was currently not raining. The course was still very soggy with some areas with standing water.

8:00 came and the time for the first race of the day was here. Payton lined up with the rest of the Varsity team and the gun went off. As soon as the gun went off the race and the rain started. It poured the entire race which made it a difficult race. This is a flat course but the rain and soggy conditions made it harder than it would normally be.

Payton ran a really good race with a first mile split of 6:39. She slowed a bit on the second mile for a 6:50 pace, and then finished off with a last 1.1 mile split of 7:44. Her official time was 21:13 which was excellent for the conditions. She finished 24th overall out of 119. Pretty impressive to finish 24th in the county championships as a freshman!

The Brookwood Varsity girls won County for the first time since 2002!

It kept raining and the conditions got a lot worse. The rest of the races today got continually worse and they were running through mini knee high rivers and mud everywhere. There was more than a few runners that lost their shoes going through the mud and water. I am just glad that Payton got to run the first race before it got that bad.

Looking forward to the upcoming races!

Tim Wilson - blog.262quest.com - subscribe - follow - virtual4now

A Week Of Firsts

This past week has been a week of firsts for me. The week started with my first 16 mile run. As the week progressed the week turned out to be one of my best weeks ever.

The first of the week was the end of my longest mileage month, the month of August at over 140 miles. By the time the week ended I had put in over 40 miles, run my first 18 mile long run, as well as my first 3 hour+ run. You can see all my stats over at my running log at RunningAhead.

I am sure this is just the beginning of firsts as I train for my first marathon. It has been a fun week and I look forward to many more to come.

Now if I can just get my eating under control.....

Tim Wilson - blog.262quest.com - subscribe - follow - virtual4now