Wednesday, September 14, 2011

VA Racing Scene

New couch in the living room
After being somewhat settled in Virginia, it's time to start figuring out races for the rest of the year. By somewhat settled, I mean that our stuff (Navy term = household goods or HHG) has been delivered to our house. Christy is doing an incredible job at unpacking. Unfortunately, I'm not home during the day to help her unpack. There are boxes everywhere. It looks like we have a ton of stuff everywhere because it's all still boxed up, but it's really not that much. We got rid of our couch, big chair, washer and dryer, and some other things. Christy unpacked the kitchen yesterday. I believe the unloading of books is on the agenda for today. That's at least a five man job, but she is quite the capable librarian when it comes to her books.

Brooks PureFlow
(Coming soon to my feet)
So...back to running. The Hampton Roads race scene is much more lively than the East Texas race scene. Now...that's not to say that I prefer it this way. One of the most appealing things to me about races is seeing the same people over and over at local races. That's the benefit of living in a small place like East Texas. Even if you travel to races that are two hours away, you see the same people who genuinely love to race. You get to know the field and who you might be racing against. I could take a quick glance at the starting line of a Nacogdoches race and know in an instant whether or not I had a shot at being in the top three or if I could just go on cruise control and use my energy to motivate other runners. One of the drawbacks to racing in East Texas is the lack of race options. If you don't live in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, or Austin, there aren't races every weekend. Another minor drawback to Texas is the heat. Being someone who hates the cold, lived in the south for the majority of my life, and has spent a year in Iraq, I'd say that I'm pretty accustomed to the heat. I miss the camaraderie of the Lufkin Area Pacesetters though.

On the other hand, running and racing in Virginia is quite different. There are seasons here despite what the people who have lived her forever say. Try living in South Louisiana or East Texas. There are no seasons there. Because it isn't as hot in the summer, there is more opportunity to train safely. While I never broke my training in the summer heat of East Texas, it wasn't the smartest way to train. But a quick Google search provides a statewide race schedule that is much more abundant than in Texas. One of the major running groups here is the Tidewater Striders. I met some of them in July when I was here. They had a small presence at the 4th of July race in VA Beach.

Races in VA are much bigger than in East Texas. Of course some races are just generally huge. Any Rock 'n' Roll Series race is massive. But even local races here are crowded. Unless I join a club, I likely won't really get to know anyone like I did in Nacogdoches. Not seeing familiar faces in such a big place is a result of a bountiful race schedule. You can't have it all.

Because I've been in transition for so long now, I haven't been able to run as much as I would have liked. But we're settled now, and it's time to get back to it. One of my first orders of business is to get the Brooks PureFlow shoe. I still have a free shoe and jacket voucher from working the expo at RNR Dallas. I held out because I knew this new line was coming out. I've been seeing pictures and videos of everyone opening their new shoes online, and it's time for me to be one of them.

Looking forward to reading about everyone's fall race season.


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