Sunday, October 26, 2014

Most Beautiful Run Ever (and the pictures to prove it)

I like to run.  I don't go very fast, so I'm not in any danger of winning any races.  But running has given me something positive to do during a season of my life that has not been very positive.  Presently I am working towards running the Richmond (VA) Half Marathon on Saturday, November 15.  I talked my oldest daughter into joining me, so we're both working hard to be able to cross the finish line on race day.

I ran the Richmond marathon last year, but a hamstring strain earlier this summer set my training back.  I'm not complaining - I'm just glad I'm still able to run.  At my age, every day I can get out and run some miles is a gift.

Yesterday was one such gift.  I had worked up to the place where a 16 mile run could happen.  So I plotted my route, set out my water at mile 7 and 13, packed my energy chews, walked out the front door and started.  It was a perfect fall day, cool with bright morning sun.  I ran and ran and ran.  Two hours and forty five minutes later I chugged up the last slow rise and found myself back where I started.

I spent the whole run avoiding traffic and astonished at the beauty all around me.  After lunch and a nap I went back out with a camera and retraced my steps.  This is where I ran and what I saw:

Mile 0 - My street and my starting line.  That's the Blue Ridge in the background, on top of which is Shenandoah National Park, Skyline Drive and the Appalachian Trial.

Mile 2 - Pasture and a foothill of the Blue Ridge

Mile 3 - Apple orchard

Mile 3 - Looking east
Mile 3 - Looking east

Mile 4 - Blue Ridge
Mile 4 - More Blue Ridge
Mile 4.5 - Virginia Vineyard

Mile 4.5 - Drink Virginia Wine!

Mile 5 - Big Day in White Hall, VA

Mile 5 - White Hall, VA.  Not much more than this.

Mile 6 - Pasture on Sugar Hollow Road

Mile 7 - Moorman's Creek at Sugar Hollow Road bridge

Mile 9 - The view from White Hall

Mile 10 - Running past a White Hall house

Mile 11 - Farm on Brown's Gap Tpk

Mile 12 - Country Roads (running down the middle of)
Mile 13 - Mountain Plains Baptist Church cemetery

Mile 13 - View across field
Mile 13 - Mountain Plain Baptist Church, circa 1812 (it was a Presbyterian Church before then!)

Mile 13.5 - This way home

Mile 15 - Ran right by the taproom of our local Brewery.  Waved at friends.  Sorely tempted to  stop for a pint...

Mile 16 - Ran through our 'downtown'

Mile 16.3 - Finish Line!

Home again.  My room is upstairs on the left.  Where I take naps after long runs like this.

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