Ah, yes, Fountainhead. I’ve been here before and yet somehow I signed up to run you again. I must be crazy. I knew signing up for this race was going to be on the razors edge. As an asthmatic I can only run outside during certain times of the year here in the mid-Atlantic. Between the humidity and the air quality summer is not asthma friendly for running at least not for this asthmatic.
I got to Fountainhead around filled with a calm I haven’t experienced before. Maybe it was because I knew what was coming. Maybe it was because I like running with this company. Maybe it was because I really have gone completely insane. Regardless of the reason I was completely calm and relaxed. I think that’s the thing I really LIKE about trail races it’s a whole other kind of animal. I mean people are relaxing, friendly, and actually enjoying themselves before they start to run!
We (the 10k crowd) started to run after the half marathoners did and the temperature was already starting to creep up. I was just praying that we would be done running before the air got too thick.
This was going to be an out and back style course which has its merits and its flaws.The first mile of the course was relatively flat, but I knew what was coming. This was Fountainhead afterall. Into mile 2 we started down the hill which in my last race was the finally uphill push. While I was enjoying the speed of going down it (with caution, I’m not a complete loon) I knew that coming back up was going to be a bitch. I had
run trudged up it before.
Perry was going to have his work cut out for him given the air quality and the fact that I’m a bonehead and haven’t sewn on his service dog patches onto his running vest yet. As we crossed the first stream crossing mid way through mile 2 he decided to run through the creek something he never does when we are out on course. Yeah, buddy, I’m hot too.
I was very proud of myself (and him) given the amount of running vice walking we were doing. Right up until we hit mile 3.5. Looming in front of us was this MASSIVE hill. As we started pushing up the hill my first thought was that the course designer must have thought they had a sense of humor. This hill sucked every ounce of oomph that I had in me and I still had another 3(ish) miles to go before the finish line.
In life there are these moments where you have a moment of pure joy and clarity. I had one of those today. As we were coming down yet another hill with some speed I just remember smiling and thinking, I will never bitch in barre again. Okay, realistically I will always bitch in barre because, well, barre is hard. The thing is, though, barre is hard but it is making a HUGE difference in my running. See, as I was pushing up all of those hills and screaming down all of those hills my thighs didn’t hurt, and my ass wasn’t on fire. This is a massive change from the last time I ran Fountainhead. Note to self; I need to give Alli G and Kelly W a huge bear hug and a bottle of wine a piece.
On our way back towards the finish line I let Perry stop at every creek that was deep enough for him to cool off in. He was overheating, I was overheating, and yet we were still making really good time. Perry kept checking up on me a little bit more on the way back as I was having a harder time breathing as the air had, unfortunately, got thick.
We wound up crossed the finish line in 1:30 for a per mile pace of 13:14. I couldn’t be more happy about it. Last race in DC until Fall and I ended it right!
True, I’m a little wheezy now and will probably have to take extra medicine for a couple of days, but it was definitely worth it. I’m looking forward to running this in the fall with another few months of
torture barre to help propel me even faster.