This weekend I was invited to travel to the quaint and fair city of Charlottesville, Va. Run the Rivanna Trail, which is a trail system that skirts around the perimeter of Charlottesville. It's a mixture of mostly singletrack, greenbelt/bike path, and some pavement through some cool neighborhoods within the city.
Sophie Speidel had the wonderful idea of having this "Winter Solstice" group run the saturday before Christmas, have everyone meet 7:30am at Greenberry's at barrack's road. Then post run, everyone has the opportunity finish up their christmas shopping at the Barrack's road shopping center. This was the 5th year of this cool and fun event.
Brock, Todd and myself drove up Friday night and stayed at a hotel near barrack's rd. We got there early enough to have some yummy Thai food and check out Blue ridge mtn sports before retiring to the room.
Toddy and I at Tara Thai
I was shocked once I arrived at the coffee shop saturday morning how many people were there! I had told brock I was going to run with 5 or 6 people! Little did I know the vastness of the charlottesville running scene! and apparently, I had just met a very small faction of c-ville runners!
I was super happy to meet so many new, nice people!!:o) and absolutely elated to get to run with my friends/ultra peeps: marlin yoder, bill gentry, bill potts, quatro hubbard, and of course the stellar hostess and fleetly Sophie!
The vibe was chill, the trails snowy and icy but SO much fun. I really felt this was an excellent training run for frozen sasquatch 50k just given the conditions of the trail ( it reminded me alot of FS 50k 2010-- but I couldn't get over how much faster and more confident I ran on the snow and ice and didn't have that crazy fear of running downhill or falling)
I wore my mtn masochist GTX shoes and smartwool socks, and even though we had numerous creek crossings and ran in the snow, my feet were toasty and dry the entire run.
Zero hot spots, and no toenail issues yay.. it had really taken me awhile to find that right combination of socks and shoes that keep my feet and toenails happy.
Also I tried some new gel out on this run: cliff shot turbo I have never really been a big cliff shot fan. I primarily use Hammer products ( hammer gel, sustained energy and perpetuem) but recently one of my good friends gave me a bunch of cliff blocks, and I had been using those on my long runs with some success, so when I saw the cliff turbo at blue ridge mtn sports friday evening, I thought... I'll try that. So i'm happy to say, that I liked the cliff shot turbo, i used the espresso flavor and had zero tummy issues and really felt it will work for me during races. So-- cool. experiment a success. I just drank plain water in my hydration pack and in addition to the turbo and one pack of cliff blocks, I ate a pack of cheese nabs :o) by the end of the run, my calves were cramping-- I feel I probably should of taken one salt tab( S! cap) somewhere along the run.. I think during winter time, it's easy to forget about salt intake. but by the time, I noticed I was cramping up, we were literally running through red lights in c-ville 2 blocks from barrack's road.. so I guess it was good timing for the run to be completed. :o)
Q and I all smiles on the greenbelt section ( it was a great place to make up some time and stretch our legs on the snow and ice!:o)
Q and I hammering down! :o)
one of the cool things about an "urban adventure run" is being able to jump off the trail and score some cinnamon rolls from hardees! ( also had full 3g cell service the entire run haha so THAT was def a change! )
coming into hardee's parking lot with my two heros... bill gentry and marlin yoder. I want to be like them one day ( hopefully soon!)
the motely crew that ran the entire rivanna trail ( minus soph who was taking the picture)
for WAY more super cool pictures from the run, check out Quatro Hubbard's flickr. He really captured the vast array of terrains both natural and manmade we encountered yesterday!
Post run we all went back to Greenberry's coffee shop and hung out. Brock and Toddy came to meet all my friends!
Sophie gifted all the runners with some yummy pistachio chocolate bark she had made. MMM!
Then after a quick wardrobe change out of my wet clothes, we went on to grab lunch at chipolte's and finish up the remainder of christmas shopping we had. Such a great day:o)
Thanks so much to Sophie for the invite and all the c-ville and harrisonburg runners who made it such a fun event and fantastic day! :o)