Below is my Journal for the last 2 days of which was a Training camp with 2 really good friends at Uwharrie National Forest.
Saturday - Feb 16th 2013 - Uwharrie National Forest
Today has already been awesome and it is only 10:20am. Ryan F. and CL have joined me on what we call a Training Camp and Spiritual healing camp all in one. We all arrived last night around 8pm and just talked. They got to know each other and of course got along b/c they are such great people. While I am use to waking up at 4.20am and going to bed at 9pm - I pumped to know I got to sleep in for once on a Saturday morning. I wanted to come here with not a worry in the world and not care about time. Even better was that all our phones did not work. No TV. Just books and us talking.
I woke up at 5am (mental alarm I guess) only to hear the rain falling extremely hard on the roof. I also knew the temps were around 25 degrees so I went back to bed not feeling so enthusiastic. Cold temps and rain = miserable running weather.
Again, I woke up at 6.45 and felt restless so I "casually" walked over to the coffee maker to brew some coffee and to my surprise they both woke up ;). They then heard what I heard. The rain coming down. Not cool! We have a Long run, and hill workout run, and then an easy run all on this day. 3 Runs in this miserable weather. What could we do. Go back to bed and waste this trip away. I think not. I am in the same room with a 2.36 marathoner and a 15.27 5k guy who just averaged 5.24 per mile in a 14k race. And I, well- I like to think I am elite in the tri world.
Anyway- we put on our winter running clothes and started our first run at 7.30am. To our surprise- 6min into the run,the rain turned into Snow! A light floating, beautiful snow. As we are running in this National Forrest I could not help but thank God aloud. I was telling them how I think God saw 3 guys who have been stressed with the real world- One getting married in 3 months, another a single teacher who has the troubles of owning a home and the other an Accountant who for the last 2 weeks at work had to put in OT and the single home living as well. Its safe to say we all needed this trip, and God knew that. He turned a miserable weather day into a day that is indefinable. The snow was sticking, the wind was non existent, the only expression on our faces were smiles and the only noise coming from our mouthes was laughter. We just wanted to keep running but knew our legs would be gone on our mid day run. So we put in a 1.15hr run.
Got back to the cabin and I volunteered to cook. We had eggs/bacon/apples/bannanas/blueberries/and my Mom's specialty fruit bars that are all gone already. We decided to make our next run at 11.30am. This would give us around 2 hours of doing whatever. Ryan- read, Chris- slept, I- blogged and read.
Second Run - 1.02 hrs - 10x35sec hill sprints, 5x35sec hill skips
This one felt colder than the first. Not sure how, maybe because we mentally were prepared for cold weather in the morning and not so much for the 2nd run. We did a 20min warmup and got to an awesome trail with no rocks or roots- just dirt with a great hill. This is where we did our hill repeats with, of course, the 2 guys making it look easy and me not so much. After that, we did our cool down and were going to call it quits when we were at 45min in, but Chris said he was feeling good and wanted to add on a little so Ryan and I pleasantly agreed. The first 45min was in rain/snow type conditions. Then the last 15min, the same 15min that we were going to skip, ended up being the most fun we had of the day when it came to running. The sleet turned into snow, but not just any snow. Snow that was moving extremely fast but sticking. Our eyes were seeing white of everything. It was unbelieveable to be quite honest. Here we are, 2.15 hrs into our running for the day and we were on cloud 9. We swore the weather was going to be horrible. We swore our runs would not be fun. We did not swear God was going to be with us the whole time and that is where we went wrong!
So, we finally showered- ate some lunch. Fruit/protein bars/snacks. And sadly sent Chris off. His fiance was gracious enough to lend him to us for 1 night and 2 runs.
Ryan and I then had 3 hours to relax. We really couldnt sleep so I read some more as did he.
Third Run- 16min - Easy recovery run
We did this run at 4.30pm. The first 3min felt like our legs were cemented in the ground. Then, surprisingly, we both admitted how amazing we felt.
After that we quickly mad ourselves a fire outside. It took us 15min to start, but we were so determined to create a fire. However, once started- we were starving and went inside to make dinner and watched the fire burn from inside. On tap was chicken, peppers,carrots, and sweet potatoes. For desert cookies and brownies.
8pm rolled around and we were spent. Lights were off at 9pm.
No alarm again was heavenly. I slept in until 6.30am today so that was nice. Ryan and I decided to just go out the door and get our last run done with rather than sit aorund and drink coffee and let the temps warm up.
4th Run - 1.25hrs - Easy Long run
Ryan and I were extrmely sore (More me than him). For the first half of this run I said the rosary to myself as I do this every Sunday run and he prayed as well to himself. The Sun was rising, the sky was the stereotypical color of Carolina Blue and we were just 2 little peons in this Enormous National Forest. Our last 20min we started moving at a good clip; I think because we were ecstatic that we made it through agrueling 24 hours of running.
8:30am we finished, brewed some coffee, made breakfast and relaxed once more.
It is amazing how Life stands still when you have no internet, no cell phones, and no TV. We all admitted that 2 nights is a good number. Anything more would be pushing it (sorry to admitt that, but I need my Twitter :).
Below is a pic of each of us with the cabin.
In the end- 4 hours of running (4 runs) in a 25 hour span (7.30am was the first run on Saturday and we finished the 4th run on Sunday at 8.30am).
Tri season is about to get under way for me and I CANT WAIT!!! For Ryan, he is hoping to break 2.40 hrs at the Boston Marathon. And Chris, a 2.32 marthon is in his cards within the next 3 years.Just a couple of guys who love the endurance life brought together and be apart of an unbelieveable weekend.
Just know- God is not good, God is Great. Never give up on him for He NEVER gives up on you.