Sunday, May 17, 2009
God, give me hills to climb, and strength for climbing
This morning at 7:20am, I lined up with Amy Noll and Taryn McLean to run the Biltmore 15k on the grounds of the Biltmore Estate, America's largest privately owned residence.
It is AMAZING. Seriously. If you ever come to Asheville, I will point you in the direction of house; cause we can't afford to go visit it. But I would love for YOU to go see it!
We were all a tad nervous since 9.3 miles is a bit outside of the range of easy for most people and although we were all trained up...if something goes wrong; you are a long way from your car.
Amy and I had discussed that we would be happy if we finished in under 1:30 because we had gotten scared about the discussion boards about the race speaking of the hills prior to the house.
Let me break it down for you; 1.5 miles fairly downhill, .5 mile flat, 3.1 uphill. At the five mile mark, you make it to the house.
The road was originally designed to be ridden in a carriage and at the time of carriages it took 45 minutes. The ride was designed to feel like you are in the forest and then poof: you are in front of the house. Well, running didn't EXACTLY feel like that, but it did surprise me when we were in front of the house.
We paused to take a picture. It wasn't exactly a pause because thanks to the age of the Kiwanis member that greeted us at the house, he couldn't operate a digital camera. He had to get his wife. Out of the car. Ugh.
I guess they didn't know we were running a RACE or anything. We took full advantage of the break, said cheese and were on our way downhill.
You run through the gardens and bass pond and whole bunch of other stuff. I don't know. We were running VERY fast downhill, like 7:00-7:30 miles fast.
Once we hit mile 7, our legs felt like bricks and we didn't really want to go much further. Thankfully, we only had two more miles to go.
We picked it up a bit once we hit mile 8 and of course there was an increase in elevation AGAIN. A bit of bile hit the throat as we crossed the finish line at 1:18!
Truthfully, I wanted to finish under 1:20 and so I was pleased as I could be that we accomplished that goal. It would have been faster if not the picture snafu at the house.
Amy was #1 in her age group and I finished #33 overall female, #9 in my age group. I was really happy with today!
Now we have decided to sign up for the Asheville 1/2 Marathon in September. Anyone else in? You have lots of time to train!