Friday, August 14, 2009

Stories from the south, ep. 3 (and final): The Hills of Virginia.

In case you missed my first two stories (check them out. Here! And here!), I had a few nutty encounters. But, overall, I had a wonderful trip and it was good catching up with family. Most of the people I met were lovely. I just had to share my nutty stories!

My final story is nowhere near as nutty. Nor, most likely, as interesting (great intro, huh?). But here it is: The Hills of Virginia.

If you've read this blog for any length of time, you know I'm a hill runner. I love my hills and I've always thought I live in one of the hilliest neighborhoods going. That may be so, but I found much hillier neighborhoods in the suburbs of D.C. Specifically, Arlington, VA.

In the middle of our southern swing, we traveled to Arlington to stay with another sister-in-law and her family. Since we were spending two nights there, it was the perfect opportunity to get in some running.

I figured that I would be able to navigate the tree-lined streets with no problem at all, but I'm a naive travel runner. It's true: I got lost. Lost!

I had headed out from my SIL's house, running down the steep incline of her street. From there, I winded my way through the neighborhood in a direction that, I thought, would lead me to eventually hook up with the main road that I knew would get me where I needed to go. No such luck. First, every street seemed to be a steep, steep uphill. There must have been downhills and a few little straightaways in there, but where? I don't remember them.

Second, the roads were twisty and that threw me off. Third, and most important, every road I turned on when I was trying to get to the main road was a dead-end. There was a golf course plunked in there that I just didn't know about. So, dead-ends all around.

After turning down the fifth dead-end, I became a little frustrated and decided to retrace my steps and head back the way I came. The streets were so hilly as I was heading out, I thought they would be all downhill heading back so it would be a breeze.

Wrong. As I mentioned, I got lost and, as such, I was running uphill almost the entire time (because I wasn't retracing my steps; I was going in all sorts of wrong directions), until I finally found my SIL's street. By that time, my legs were beat from all the uphill running and my nerves were shot from thinking I would be lost forever. (Yes, I did have my cell phone with me so I could have called for help if I had gotten really lost.)

The run taught me two things: 1) I need to think about where I'm going before taking off for a run in a new place and 2) boy, I'm not as much of a superstar hill runner as I thought -- those Arlington hills were tough!

Lesson learned: My run the following day was much better. I didn't get lost and the hills seemed more kind.

The End of the Hills of Virginia

That concludes my stories from the south. Thanks for reading. And have a great weekend!

~ Felice

13 comments:

Marlene said...

I have had those runs where it just seems like you are continuously running uphill. How is that even possible?

Glad you found your way back and had a better run the next day!

B.o.B. said...

Man I wish we had more hills in Florida. Not. Although it would make me a much strong runner. Glad you are back in your own neighborhood not getting lost. :)

X-Country2 said...

Both excellent lessons to learn. If you want to hill dominate, just come to Nebraska!

Diana said...

Navigating while traveling can really suck though! It's great that you were able to get out and and enjoy yourself...at least for the second run.

Mel -Tall Mom on the Run said...

Heheheh...is it bad that I am a little happy you had one negative tidbit to share about hills? I was beginning to think you were wonder-hill-woman. Leaving me as miss-complains-about-hills

Great stories, as always..

Denise said...

Stories of the south were great!! Thanks for sharing.

MCM Mama said...

Those are the hills I run every day. And you must have been in upper N. Arlington where the streets make no sense whatsoever.

Glad you got a run in and managed to find your way home.

NY Wolve said...

What a timely post: I just ran some crazy hills in North Carolina, and I am in DC right now trying to find somewhere flat...Maybe down the mall and by the river.

Meg Runs said...

THe series is over? You MUST go on vacation again soon!
I LOVE hills too!

JenZen said...

Lost AND hills - whew, that sounds brutal! We have NO hills to speak of in Louisiana so they just slay me when I have to deal with a tiny one.

lindsay said...

i'm proud of you for lasting as long as you did! i'm sure i would have stopped and walked and whined and been in a bad mood a looong time ago :) why does it always seem to be forever uphill when you don't know where you are going?

I Run for Fun said...

To be lost when you're running hills...does not sound like fun! Glad you were able to find your way back.

sarah said...

the first time i went running in miami beach (meeting my then-boyfriend, now-husband's parents for the first time!) i got lost and they had to send out a search party. OOPS.

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