We found Blood Rock during a search for a race to go with a weekend Girls Camping Trip. We saw the videos of the killer hills and decided to go for it. (There may have been beer involved). Not having totally lost our minds, we chose the 25k because it was a distance we were already trained for so the only thing new would be a lot more elevation than either of us is used to running.
We both said, “This is going to suck!” more than once. But, that was the part we were completely stoked about. And so we bring you….
5 Ways Blood Rock 25k Sucked As Much As We Hoped It Would
1) Feel the Burn– I read once that the characteristic you love about someone is also the thing that you hate about them. Like how you can love that someone is always happy and joking, but then you hate how you can never have a serious conversation with them because they are always being silly. That’s how we feel about beastly inclines. We look forward to the burn in our legs that makes us think we can’t take another step. We stood at the bottom of several hills on the course excited about how bad the climb would hurt and how we would be rewarded with the most spectacular views from the top!
2) Time Marches On– We spent some time on the drive to Alabama talking about how long we thought it might take to complete the 25k. Since we are working toward a 100 miler next September, we figured no matter how long it took, it would be far less than that. Having not trained on any elevation, and seeing the photos of the course, we knew it would be slow going in some spots. We were embracing that this course would take a good deal longer than the same distance would on the roads we were used to running. We finally decided we would be done in at least 7 or 8 hours, most probably sooner. While it took both of us longer to run those 15 miles than it did to run our slowest marathons, we both came in well under our goal guess and enjoyed the time on the trails.
3) Go Your Own Way- We never discussed our ‘race day strategy’ as to whether we’d stay together, or run our own race. Okay, honestly I’m using the word “race” loosely. The two of us started the race together and stayed that way for about the first 3 miles. After we yo-yo’d the first two significant climbs. By about mile 5, Tia pulled ahead while there was available runable single-track and downhill sections. Even if we had stayed together for the entire 25k, obviously we’d have gained two different perspectives from the course. Each of us experiencing the course on our own allowed us to tell each other our unique story and angle throughout the remainder of the weekend. We’d both seen all the same landmarks but had the advantage of sharing with each other the different struggles we’d faced, sights we’d seen, people we’d met and lessons we had learned.
4) Hurts So Good- We went into this hoping to wake up the morning after the 25k sore, tired, uncomfortably content, you know like we’d had our asses handed to us the day before. SCORE! Sunday morning in Pelham, Alabama brought us 32 degree temps, sunshine and stiff muscles. We were up and about around 6:00 AM but moving slowly. We brewed some coffee and prepared a delicious campsite breakfast.
5) Anticipation- As we each lay in our tents Friday night waiting for sleep to arrive, we chatted about what a fantastic day Saturday was going to be. We were looking forward to starting the race…and finishing the race…and finding a neat little spot to have a few beers…and eating the delicious pastry we brought with us for dessert! We left the campground around 3pm and found a cool little spot called The Beer Hog that had a ton of craft beers on tap. It had a great vibe and exactly what we had hoped to find. We each drank a breakfast stout, and then shared a spicy cinnamon brew, and finished the evening with a concoction the bartender, Goose, called Mayhem. It was a mix of Framboise and Left Hand Nitro Milk Stout that was sweet, smooth and tasty. When we got back to camp, we each bundled up in layers in our tents and ate dessert while we talked more about the day. It was the perfect end to a perfect race day.