Runners Tell All: Most Memorable Running Experience

It’s Runners Tell All link-up time for the month of October! This month we’re talking about your most memorable running experience. It can be from a race or a training run, and I have a doozy of a training run to share with you!

I started running in February of 2007, and have been running consistently since then aside from taking a year off in 2010. So let’s say roughly seven years. During that time I have run a lot of races, but there have been even more training runs. One training run in particular, from early on in my running, still stands out in my mind to this day.

It was a typical Saturday in early April, and I was three weeks out from my very first race, the Country Music Half Marathon in Nashville. I had begun training for the race in early February with Team in Training. Each Saturday we met in the morning for a group long run. I loved running with the group and always looked forward to these runs.

On this particular Saturday, I woke up to a blizzard and 30 mph winds. Everyone in our group bailed on the long run except one other lady, Peggy. She knew I had a 13 mile long run on my schedule and that it would be the furthest I had ever run. She also knew that since I wasn’t sick or injured, I was not going to miss this run, despite the weather. So Peggy graciously agreed to meet up with me.

Back then I did all of my long runs on the Huckleberry Trail, which was about a half mile from my freshman dorm. It’s a great trail to run on, with rolling hills, but it’s pretty exposed in some areas and the wind on this day was wicked.

Huckleberry Trail Blacksburg

Just like this, but with the wind gusting and snow blowing all over

Peggy and I met up, shivering in the 25 degree weather that probably felt much colder with the 30 mph winds. As the snow whipped around our frozen faces, we headed out for what would end up being a nearly 3 hour run. The whole run kind of blends into one freezing experience as we ran into an endless white oblivion. You couldn’t even see more than a foot in front of your face.

Running in the snow

Not from this day, but just an example

At times we would be running downhill and the wind would be blowing right in our faces and I was convinced my face was just going to fall off. The icy cold wind gave me a terrible headache by the end of the run. I can’t even remember whether or not we carried any fuel or water, but if we did I bet it was frozen by the end.

This run stands out in my mind because of how tough it was, but also because of how accomplished I felt when we finished. The weather was definitely less than ideal (downright horrible, really) but I ran thirteen miles. And I finished this run knowing that I could handle whatever Nashville threw at me on race morning on April 28. As luck would have it, we had temperatures in the low 60’s with overcast skies on race morning. I had a great first race, and finished in 2:06:57.

2007 Country Music Half Marathon

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This is a monthly link-up for runners that poses a different topic each month. If you missed last month’s post, you can find that HERE. This link-up is hosted by Amanda @The Lady Okie and Beka @Sunshine to the Square Inch. Click the icon below to get all of the details about these monthly link-up’s.

16 Comments

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  1. I love that you chose a training run as your most memorable. And what an intense one–that weather sounds insane! I can see why that run would boost your confidence for your upcoming race.

    1. There are a lot of races that stick out in my mind, but they don’t outshine this training run!

  2. Wow that is an awesome story. Totally cool off her to brave the cold with you. Agree 100%, if you could run in that cold, you could overcome anything on race day.
    running schlub recently posted…Saturday Long Run & The ColorMy Profile

    1. Yes, it was amazing of her to brave the cold and run with me! Runs like that definitely make you feel like you can handle anything on race day.

  3. Tough runs like that give you confidence for the marathon. You might like to check the blog, Mile 20 Running, for her recent marathon race recap for another confidence boost. She used Hanson’s, too!
    Tina@GottaRunNow recently posted…Our New RV: My Race-mobile!My Profile

    1. I will definitely check it out. Thanks for the recommendation!!

  4. I am so impressed you trained for a half during your freshman year of college! I was so afraid to do anything but study my freshman year (I was a nerd). Of course, I later figured out that was not a great strategy and I got involved in a lot more stuff. But that is seriously impressive you managed to get outside to run in the snow!
    Amy recently posted…My BirthdayMy Profile

    1. It was during my spring semester, so I felt like I had a good handle on the academic side of college at that point. I had grown up playing sports year round, and was desperately missing having a structured sports schedule. So TnT was perfect for me. College intramurals were fun, but they weren’t enough.

  5. Way to go, Meagan! That’s what I love so much about training runs, the feeling of accomplishment after an extremely difficult one. I’ve been on a few snowy runs, and even an extremely snowy half marathon where we got about four inches of snow during the race, but never anything like a blizzard! You were obviously in beast mode that day! 🙂
    Debbie @ Deb Runs recently posted…My Most Memorable Running Experience: The Day I Ran My Marathon PRMy Profile

    1. Those hard training runs are really what boost you. You can think back to them when things get tough during a race and say “okay, I handled that, so I can handle this.” Haha – it was either beast mode or I was just too new to running to know better, and determined to tackle 13 miles before my race!

  6. I’ll be honest: I think I would have stayed home too. That sounds miserable! I’m glad that lady decided to go with you. Running is so cool, because it really makes you do things you never thought you could. Definitely a run to remember!
    Amanda recently posted…Runners Tell All: Tough Mudder RecapMy Profile

    1. It was miserable, I guess, but luckily I didn’t know what I was getting into because I was so new to running 🙂

  7. Every winter there will be one day that I’m so sick of running on the treadmill that I go outside and face weather conditions like these. I last a max of 2 miles and then I go home and finish the season on the treadmill. 13 miles on a freezing, windy, snowy day is legit. You are tough!
    Miss Nutralicious recently posted…Man Week 2013: My Most Memorable Running ExperienceMy Profile

    1. I typically choose the outside over the treadmill, but it’s definitely more tempting to stay inside when the temperatures turn frigid!

  8. WOW!! That is one heck of a run you have described!! I hate running in the cold so I wouldn’t have made it! Super impressed 🙂

    1. It was one heck of a run to complete!

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