Where? Lynchburg, Virginia
Date? July, 2016
Race? Lynchburg Half Marathon
Finish Time? 1:50:00
HOT, HUMID & HEADPHONES
State #6, otherwise known as I’M MORE THAN HALF WAY TO 10! #6 was in Lynchburg, Virginia. Who knew Lynchburg was hilly? Not me when I signed up, that’s for sure. Who knows Lynchburg is 98 degrees with 95% humidity in the middle of summer? Not me, that’s for sure. But like I’ve said before, every single state is an adventure and an irreplaceable step in this journey.
This was also the first half marathon that my mom wasn’t able to come to (cue the sad music). My boyfriend at the time agreed to come be my cheerleader for this race. He lived in North Carolina, so we met in Lynchburg. In addition to being the first half marathon that I traveled to alone, this was also the first hotel room I had ever rented on my own… and probably the last that anyone will ever let me rent on my own. He got to the hotel first and called me in horror, “Amy, what the hell were you thinking?” I didn’t see the problem… it was just for one night. While checking into the hotel, the lady at the front desk asked us if we would be using the fridge or T.V. I must not have been hiding my confusing because then she explained how “they cost extra”. I didn’t even know hotels could charge you extra to use the fridge. Anyways, not the best hotel I’ve stayed at during this adventure, but it probably won’t be the worst either.
One of the absolute best parts of each and every trip: dinner. Where? OLIVE GARDEN. As you can probably tell, I love Olive Garden. Nothing says pre-race meal like free breadsticks and a big ass bowl of pasta. Not to mention the bottomless salad. Our waiter introduced himself as “Batman.” No, I am not kidding. We ate 3 baskets of breadsticks, 2 bowls of salad, and I got spaghetti and meatballs. I’d say I was efficiently carbed up and ready to run the next day.
That next morning, I woke up, had some caffeine, put on my race bib, and walked outside to see how it felt. It was HOT. I’m talking the kind of hot where everything feels disgustingly sticky and damp, where your hair sticks to your neck, the kind of hot where you can barely make any movements without sweat dripping down your back. PERFECT (yes, that is sarcasm).
So, it was hot. 98 degrees to be exact. On top of that, add 95% humidity as the cherry on top. But, like usual, my “it’s fine” mentality pretended that everything would go exactly as planned, I’d run my usual time with ease, finish another state, and smash some pizza afterwards. WRONG.
I was cruising along, got past mile one, got past mile two, and then my headphones started to slip out of my ears. I put them back in, they fell back out, back in, back out, in, out, in, out… WHAT THE HELL. Yes, you’re probably reading this and thinking, “well…. what did you expect when it’s 95% humidity and you’re sweating like a pig?” Moral of this disaster: BUY HEADPHONES WITH EAR HOOKS IF YOU ARE COMMITTED TO RUNNING IN ANY TEMPERATURE WHICH MAY INDUCE MASS SWEATING. For real though, I had to finish the race by listening to music out loud (sorry everyone).
The other major memory from this race: the elevation (which I did not mentally prepare for whatsoever). The race was flat for the first 3-4 miles, perfectly paved path with a few twists and turns, beautiful bridges….and then it happened. A massive, wrap-around, mountain of a hill. I’m talking the kind of hill that goes on so long that it wraps around and around and around, and you can’t see the top until you’ve finally reached it. When I got to the top, everyone around me had started walking. I tried to keep going, tried to keep my momentum… but I had to slow down. I didn’t stop, not quite yet at least, but I slowed down considerably. I ran miles 5-9 SLLLOWWWWWW. I’m talkin like fake-jogging at some points, the kind of jog where you’d be better off walking because you’re going to damn slow. But I FINISHED. It might not have been pretty, but it was #6.
- BUY HEADPHONES WITH EAR HOOKS
- HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE
- Maybe a massive pasta, bread, dessert type of dinner isn’t the best pre-race meal????