“Mountains are not stadiums where I satisfy my ambition to achieve, they are cathedrals where I practice my religion” — Anatoli Boukreev
What a beautiful morning it is today! I haven’t posted in a couple weeks because so much has been happening with the plans for the Tour de France that I’ve gotten swept up in it all! Yesterday I headed out for a run in Shenandoah Nat’l Park – have to get to the mountains to train as much as possible now, so that I’m ready for the elevation on the Tour! This is probably my favorite part of the preparation though – I daydream about it all week. Even just the drive out to Charlottesville is worth it, cruising along Garth Road (one of my favorite residential stretches in VA) and then driving down past the Charlottesville Reservoir and into Sugar Hollow, where I’ve gone the last two weeks. All the roads there have names like “Quail Hollow Drive” and “Fallen Leaf Lane” or “Whippoorwill Hollow”. And then there’s the run, and the frigid stream crossings, and the view at the top, and the complete solitude of it all. Come springtime the area will be crowded with weekend visitors and AT hikers, but right now I go for a couple hours without seeing anyone. And some of the stream crossings are thigh-high, and I cannot wait until it’s warm enough to jump in the hidden swimming holes on the side trails. We got a little bit of snow Friday, and yesterday the streams were half-frozen and the trails snowed over. My CamelBak actually froze, which I hadn’t considered beforehand, but then I realized I was surrounded by untouched mountain snow. H2O doesn’t get any fresher than that!
Leaving RVA behind for the day and hitting the mountains is the best way to wind down a long week, and what a long, busy week it was! I’m happy to announce that Clif Bar will be providing product for the run, which I am so stoked about! Alex and I have been continuing to meet with World Pediatric, and their enthusiasm for this project is honestly contagious. I am so happy we get the opportunity to partner with them! We are planning some very cool things, T-shirt fundraisers and Monument Ave 10k activities and some fun events before we leave for France. Alex and I would also like to do a poster campaign – since he is so talented artistically, we’ll be choosing the most stunning images and/or creating unique, funky designs to have screen-printed and sent to supporters of the run and donors. Currently we’re working to settle on a “Run Le Tour” logo and once we have that set we’ll go from there.
As things move forward, I’ll be posting quick updates and training photos via my Facebook page, “Zoë Goes Running” so please check it out and like the page to see what’s happening and all the fun things we’ve got planned for before the Tour! I’ll be sharing details on a new website for the run there, and here on the blog as well.
Here are some photos from the run yesterday. The footing was kinda technical throughout because of the rocks and the untracked snow, and though I managed to handle the terrain just fine, I ate dirt while trying to step over a knee-high chain. Somehow I’m not surprised.