I did it! I rode my bike! And I ran 18 miles – all in one weekend!

Recently I picked up a new bike from REI. And then I tried to ride it. And that was very, very difficult, as you can read about here. Seeing as how I have a little race to run in 33 days, I figured safe is better than sorry. So I had Jeff take off my nice new clipless pedals and put the regular ones on there. And then Jessica volunteered to come up and show me the ropes of riding, something I was very thankful for.

Maybe I should tell you about the run first, though.

The run

I described this run on Daily Mile, so I will try not to repeat myself, seeing as how you can read it there if you’d like.

Ronnie is back from California and a willing running partner, so he was to pick me up around 7 a.m. I set the alarm for 5 a.m. to practice a race day routine. Before the 1/2 marathon I had an Eggo Waffle with peanut butter and an egg, a glass of OJ and 2 cups of coffee. This seemed to work great so I thought I’d try again. However, the Kashi waffles I bought at the store were 24% of daily fiber per serving, and you’re not supposed to have tons of fiber before a long run (read: weigh you down.) So I broke out the Bisquick Heart Smart mix (only 3% of fiber), and I made pancakes because I couldn’t find the waffle iron and it was 5:30 a.m. (yes, I hit snooze) and I was groggy … I had 3 very small pancakes with peanut butter and one egg (I made 2 eggs but was too full.) I had orange juice and coffee and water. I had not hydrated the night before like I should have, so I tried to make up for it until Ronnie got there (my first mistake!), figuring I could pee at Colleen’s hotel (Crowne Plaza) before the run (we parked at her hotel; which is also where we are staying the night before the race.)

I didn’t shower like I had before the 1/2, since I had hit snooze.

Ronnie got here at 8 a.m., not 7 (he has a newborn at home; all is forgiven!). In the extra hour, I drank coffee. And more coffee. He got here and I realized he hadn’t eaten breakfast which I thought might be a bad idea since we were about to run for 3 hours. So he ate a banana and some of my what he called “gross” peanut butter (organic; only 1 g of sugar) and some Ovaltine. While he ate, I drank more coffee and water.

We got to the hotel around 9, parked, made a pit stop, and walked to the 16.5ish mile of the Thunder Road Course (where I had left off the last time I ran the course.) It was cold.  I was wearing a running skirt (short) and a long-sleeved tech tee. I was wishing I’d had that shower to warm my legs; they were stiff. We started running, and I could not warm up for the life of me. Cold, cold, cold. It’s hard to run while cold. And then … it got warm. And then hot. Very quickly. I wish I hadn’t worn long sleeves. I wish I’d hydrated more. The only good part about the run was having Ronnie there – we ran from Uptown to NoDa, the transition between the two neighborhoods being not the “nicest” area of town, but I wasn’t nervous since he was there. We were both hurting but we powered through.

I tried the pink Powerade this time (they are serving Powerade at the race) and I will say I like blue much better. Pink = too sweet.

Ran to the end of the course – damn you Thunder Road for making the last part all uphill – that’s just cruel! – and then kept going until we got to the start. Then we ran the first 4ish miles of the race course, turned around, and ran back. Around mile 15 of our run I had to go – now. I’d been holding it since around mile 9 but I could not hold it 3 more miles. Providence Sundries employees were very kind and let me use their facilities. Then I found a magical water fountain 2 miles before I finished. And it was wonderful – the perfect temperature.  This was landscaped into the front of someone’s home. I love, love, love these random water fountains people have put in their front yards and I will certainly have one of my own if I’m ever living in a good running spot like this! They also had a dog water bowl out with what looked like fresh water. So kind!

I finally made it back to the hotel, making the run 18.01 miles, with 2 breaks overall: bathroom and water. No walk breaks! We spoke with Colleen for a few before leaving; I’m sure she was laughing inside at the utter mess we were – I felt like I could barely walk!

The chafing I had while running 16 miles returned. Not that I was surprised. Body Glide doesn’t stay on that long, apparently. Cropped pants for me on race day, it seems!

Yes, this was my longest run ever, but it was not the last 2 miles that got me. The whole run was bad. I sincerely hope this does not happen on race day!

In a kick-me-while-I’m-down moment, I looked in the side view mirror on the way home and realized my white running hat was “dirty”. Took it off and realized my red hair dye had bled all over it and my neck and my white tech tee. Not fun. This is my first experience with hair dye so I did not know that would happen! Ronnie and I laughed at the fact that it probably looked like my head was all bloody – I bet people thought I was crazy!

The ride

Then I was in a coma for a bit before Jess arrived and we went to Kabuto for some great carbs (pasta, rice, veggies – yum!).

The next morning we biked 10 miles – read it, 10! – to the Flying Biscuit for some breakfast, then 10 miles back. Again, I wrote about it here so I’ll try not to repeat myself. It was not a physically challenging ride, but definitely was interesting getting back out on the road with cars and intersections and left-hand turns. I am used to running and riding on these roads, but I have not really been on a bike since July, and that was a mountain bike, which does ride differently. I was more nervous about potholes than I used to be. Jess was a great and patient teacher, and any time she would get too far ahead she’d pull off and wait, and I felt more comfortable knowing she was looking out for me and letting me know if I was doing something wrong. We had planned to hike Crowders after our ride but by the time we got back (2 p.m.) we knew we’d be pushing it to get to the top and back before dark. Next time!

I did have one scare, which I detailed on Daily Mile, that involved cars passing me on the right side. I really wish people would treat a bike like a vehicle. If I had been a car waiting to turn left, no one would have passed me! It was very, very scary having cars come around me on the right side, other cars in the opposite lane coming head-on, and an idiot teenager behind a wheel who thought talking to his friends was more crucial than driving. But I made it, and from what I hear these things happen.

So, that was my weekend! I guess I don’t need to explain why I fell asleep at 8:15 last night …

6 creative and well informed people commented on “ I did it! I rode my bike! And I ran 18 miles – all in one weekend! ”

  1. Amy says:

    I was exhausted before I even finished reading! But wow girl! You go!
    Oh, and am taking notes …corpped pants for me too!

    Good luck! I hope I’ll have my own tales to share soon enough.
    .-= Amy´s last blog ..A brief Sunday funny =-.

  2. beth says:

    hi! I found your post searching for stuff on thunder road marathon. I’ve read mixed reviews on the course (the hills are horrible, the hills are not too bad, etc). what’s your opinion?

    also, oddly, I live outside of athens so I had to click your athens tag. I ran the terrapin 4.1 race and remember seeing your blue wig and thinking you had to be a trooper for wearing that the whole time! anyway, sorry if I’m oversharing in this random blog comment from a stranger.
    -beth
    .-= beth´s last blog ..everywhere we look =-.

  3. Melissa says:

    Beth, not too much at all – I love that you saw the blue wig! That’s so awesome :). Ok, so the hills at Thunder Road:

    Not as bad as I thought when I was told “the hills suck.” Not as bad as that awful hill at Terrapin. If you are used to running near Athens, I’m guessing the hills will be nothing for you. They are mostly rolling hills …

    If you look at the Thunder Road map:

    http://www.runcharlotte.com/maramap.htm

    Check out Colville Road (mile 3.) Right before you get to Providence Road there’s a pretty tricky uphill climb. Again, think the bad Terrapin hill but less.

    Then right after mile 24, on Hawthorne Lane right before a turn onto Central, it’s tough again. Then it’s a lot of gradual uphill once we get back into Uptown, which is gonna kill when that finish line is just an arm’s length away!

    But like I said, if you are used to Athens, this will be a piece of cake. I’ve taken that hill at Broad Street and thought I was going to *die*. And the hill at Terrapin race was worse than any of the hills at TR will be. It’s just the constant gradual uphill that we will hate!

    So glad you found the blog! Keep reading and I will check yours out too!

    Amy, cropped pants are your friend if you have thigh issues like I do – they rub together during the run and by the end of it I feel like someone stuck a hot iron to them! On shorter runs, Body Glide is all I need and I can wear my shorts. But after hitting 15 miles and more, the Body Glide just doesn’t last. I’m not interested in carrying it with me, so long pants it is! Glad the marathon is in December!

  4. Tamara says:

    Ronnie has a newborn?

  5. Melissa says:

    He does! And a wife! Can you believe it? It all happened so fast … Cole is 5 months old. He’s back in Rock Hill, too, as of a week ago!

  6. Tamara says:

    Wow, tell him congrats for us! My brother-in-law thought he was seeing things when he saw Ronnie in a local store the other day but we told him he was probably just visiting. Look forward to seeing you all again soon — you should try and make it down for our Annual Winthrop Art Auction on December 5, good event and a great time to buy art from local artists. Till then, be safe on the road!

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