October is a busy month for Sue and I. We both have anniversaries this month and we both celebrate our birthdays in October! But let’s not forget that we have several races throughout the month and all over the country but nothing compared to what November will bring. Guess this will be our “warm-up” to November.
I (Rhonda) started the month off with a double. Saturday, Oct 1st, I ran The Cherokee Harvest Half Marathon in Cherokee, NC. Our friend Lisa travelled and ran with me for the weekend, which was her first double. We arrived in Cherokee on Friday afternoon as it is a short drive from our homes in South Carolina. The first thing we noticed was the hills and the second the difference in temps! Much cooler in the Smoky Mountains.
We checked into our hotel and then headed over to packet pick up which consisted of getting our bibs and then to the next table where we received our t-shirt and sweatshirt. Afterwards we headed out to get dinner. Well, this is a small town and there really isn’t much to choose from. We ended up at Harrah’s Casino where we ate at the Chef’s Stage Buffet. I am not one for buffets but this was great. The food was great, the service superb, and you didn’t realize you were in a casino. With full bellies we headed back for a good night of rest.
Saturday morning came and it was a perfect 42 degrees out. A little cool for me so of course I had on capris and a t-shirt but it was really the perfect weather for running. I ran using the Galloway 2:30/30 and actually finished my second best for the year. The course was well ran and only one major hill which going up there was an Indian “band” playing tribal music. It was super neat! A few smaller hills but all in all the course was not near as bad as I had it pictured to be.
We finished, grabbed some food (which there were several items to choose from) and headed back to shower before we hit the road for our 4.5 hour trip to Nashville for the Greenway Half Marathon.
We arrived in Nashville (actually outside of Nashville close to the airport), checked into the hotel and then drove to check out the race start point so we knew how early we’d have to leave. It was only 5 minutes away so that made the evening even better. Went across the street to Cracker Barrel and had breakfast for dinner and then we were off to watch college football and get some sleep.
Sunday morning came way too soon. We made our way to the start point which is where we also picked up our bibs and t-shirt. It was warmer than we were expecting and way more humidity than I had anticipated. And the constant rolling hills…….wow! I was not expecting those at all! By the time I hit the 8 mile mark my lower back was in a constant state of spasm. I was at a point of walking up every hill because the shooting pain was not worth the extra seconds. It is always humbling to me though as I remember why Sue and I are running in the first place. ALS. It is currently a death sentence. No matter how much pain I was experiencing it was nothing compared to that which those with ALS were experiencing.
We finished the race – much slower than the day before, showered and headed home for an uneventful 5.5 hour drive. A much needed Epsom salt bath was in my future.