Sunday Runday!

Last week was a light running week. As I was adding a new pair of shoes to my Garmin app, I was trying to figure out why I had such a low mileage week and only ran twice. And then I remembered my day and a half dealing with my body’s rather robust immune response to the Moderna booster. How could I forget so quickly?

Even so, I ran 15 miles last week. 10 on Monday, making up for the lack of a weekend long run due to traveling Saturday and working all day Sunday, and 5 on Friday. I tried out a new hydration pack Friday, hoping it will work for a little race I have planned this coming weekend: the Freight Train 50k. I’ve never attempted an ultramarathon before, and I would feel better knowing that I will have more control over my hydration. 

This pack was only $14.99 from Marshall’s. Definitely a bargain, but lacking in some other areas, most notably pockets in the front with easy access to storage and to accommodate a bottle. The bladder, which I use for water, works great. But I like to have water and electrolyte replacement with me for long runs. 

With my crew on the T. Pott bridge, wearing my hydration pack!

Sunday, I was invited to run trails with some friends. We are so very lucky to have the James River Park trail system here in Richmond. The views are always spectacular, and it was particularly lovely this time of year with mother nature signaling the trees to shed their remaining leaves. It was like wandering through a fall movie. I kept picturing that scene in Dirty Dancing when Baby goes to talk to her father in the gazebo, and the leaves are falling gently. It was simply beautiful. 

View of the Richmond skyline from the T. Pott bridge.
Another view from the T. Pott Bridge looking over the rapids toward Manchester.

We ran across the James River twice. The first time, over the T. Potterfield Bridge, and the second over the Nickel Bridge, both routes revealing some of the most amazing views in the City of Richmond. The T. Pott bridge has been in the news lately, as its metal platform isn’t aging well at all. Parts are raised and could potentially cause a tripping hazard if you aren’t paying attention. It’s really unfortunate. 

The James River from the Nickel Bridge.

The dirt hasn’t changed, though. We ran the entirety of the North Bank and Buttermilk trails. I have forgotten how humbling they can be. Just when you think you are fit because you just ran a marathon, the trails remind you that quick changes in elevation will raise your heart rate and convince you to take a walk break to hike up a hill more often than you would like. These trails are fairly technical compared to the short, flat ones I’m used to running in Ashland, with rocks, exposed tree roots, and frequent stream crossings. There were parts of these trails where navigating felt more like strength training, just like doing step-ups in CrossFit!

View from the North Bank trail
Downhill from the Buttermilk Trail approaching the Nickel Bridge.

I’m ready as I will be for my trail ultramarathon this weekend. The main difference is my race will be fairly flat and on pea gravel. It’s so NOT technical, I will wear road shoes instead of my trail shoes, and new ones, at that!


Do you like to run or hike trails? We are so lucky to have so many choices for trails in the Richmond area, with the James River Park system just one of these areas. Want to support the park? Take a look at this book for sale, with photography by my friend Bill Draper. It’s stunning! All sales go to support the park. 

As always, I hope you all are safe and healthy.

Published by annecreates

I am a physical therapist, wife, mom, runner, artist, and vegan. I'm passionate about helping others find wellness, speaking about the human experience, and in fighting for social justice. Assistant Coach for the Sports Backers Marathon Training Team. Current ambassador for: Boco Gear, SaltStick, SPIbelt, Goodr, Noxgear, and Switch4Good.

2 thoughts on “Sunday Runday!

  1. Very best of luck with the ultra – I did my first this summer (also 50k) and really enjoyed it. Not having done one before I didn’t put myself under any time pressure and found that very liberating.

    Liked by 1 person

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