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Monday, May 17, 2010

Freedom's Run Marathon!!!

You might remember that I was debating whether or not to run the Freedom's Run Marathon in West Virginia this OCtober. I used to live in this area and really wanted to go back and visit, and the marathon sounded like a good excuse! I was a little concerned about it for a few reasons, though:
Concerns: I might not be able to get off work, I don't like to train in the heat, I have no hills experience and the course is described as "very challenging", that's a lot of money to spend on travel for one little race, I just got over a knee injury and what am I thinking.
But I persuaded myself to do it.
Persuasions: Limited entries were filling up fast, I DID get off work, my best friend from children's church when I was seven lives there, this is a great excuse to visit West Virginia (I can't think of any other particularly good reason), maybe overwhelming heat + 100% humidity will = same effort as hills during training.
So I signed up about a month ago and I signed the hubby up for the half marathon!! Haha, he hates me so much for that. Poor kid. I spent the last few weeks trying to find the spare time to make training plans, which I will share in detail later.
I am really excited about this race because I spent a large chunk of my childhood exploring these national parks. When you're one of nine kids you do a lot of FREE activities for fun! And I know the course is incredibly pretty. Check out how beautiful the course is in this gallery from last year:
Freedom's Run Gallery 2009.
I am still concerned about the hills and the ten miles of dirt road. But I decided that's ok because I am not setting a time goal for this race. I know, what's the point then, right? I don't want to set a goal because I really want to enjoy this race and the scenery. Some of my best childhood memories are here and I want to feel comfortable stopping at places with a lot of stories and laughs behind them. The course passes the place that my older brother flew off a 60-ft cliff on his bike and got caught in a tree top, and the place where I spun out on my bike and ground my leg into the gravel, leaving me with a large red scar that still oozed tiny pieces of gravel years after it "healed" (it's still there, a red triangle on my knee!). It passes the tow-path lock where our family ate many a breakfast purchased at Ye Olde Bakeshoppe in Shepherdstown, before setting off on a "death march" early morning walk. My dad trained for his marathon here, the Marine Corps marathon that he ran in 1991. My mother lumbered over many a hilly battlefield, hugely pregnant, chasing whoever the baby was at the time, while the older kids tried to keep up with whoever the toddler was at the time. One birthday we went to the battlefields on a day of reenactments, and I had my picture taken with a little girl in Civil War dress. I was so shy of her - she was only about my age, but she was so poised asking visitors if they wanted a photo with her!
So many family stories take place along the course of the Freedom's Run! This marathon I'm just going to enjoy. NEXT marathon (the Mardi Gras Marathon 2011) I want to run for time, but for now, it's just for fun and practice.
In honor of the marathon, and for lack of anything better going on this week, I hereby proclaim this week running week on my blog. So yeah, I'll finally review those Karhus I bought last month.


  1. Yay! Sounds like it should be a fun trip and run. I think you recover much easier when you take it easy at a marathon anyways. I paced my mom at one and felt fine the next day. I'm definitely becoming a fan of running slower lately. LOL

    Yes and I want to hear about those shoes!!

  2. Holy smokes - I never knew you were 1 of 9! I thought I had a big family (5 kids)!!

    Good luck w/ the training! We will be on similar training plans since my marathon is 10/10/10. It's my 2nd marathon and I feel like I am a much smarter runner than I was back in 2006 when I did my first one. Plus, my marathon is the week after the Twin Cities one, so I will be on a similar training schedule as the people in that running group I checked out last week so I should have some people to do long runs with! :)