Monday, February 18, 2008

Valentines Weekend: a feeble run, pond jump and team marathon

(If you look carefully you can see me in my sports bra, mouth open wide behind the guy dressed as a polar bear!)
Mid week last week I decided against “back of the packing” at Holiday Lake 50k. My reasons were 2 fold: 1) I felt on the edge about being ready to run 32+ miles after having done only 2 “long runs” of 12 and 15 miles each. After being on the edge for several days, the universe intervened by blowing the door off my car! Seriously we had gusts of wind in Ashe County last week in excess of 70mph and when opening the car door in the driveway it was torn out of my hand broke the door check, dented the front panel and bent a hinge. It didn’t actually blow across the neighborhood, yet still did some damage. Ooops!

The wind event made my decision for me. After physical therapy visits and an MRI bill this past month, $$$ is a bit tight so traveling to the race + late entry fee would cost as much as the door to fix. For the sake of my wallet and impact on my body, I thought a lot about the event instead of going!

Instead I filled my weekend with friends and experiences. On Saturday I occupied myself with a morning run. I’d planned on doing a slow 20-running 6 alone and meeting up with an old friend Russ Hiatt to do 9 and then continue on alone. Russ is training for the Black Mountain Marathon coming up on Saturday 2/23. I am still signed up for the Mt Mitchell Challenge 40-and will decide by mid week whether or no to run.
I drove 40 minutes out to the Cone Estate off the Blue Ridge Parkway and was running up the fire tower by 7am. The red sunrise was beautiful! 6miles and 50ish minutes later I was back in the parking lot changing into shorts and readying to run with Russ. We set what should have been an easy pace for me, yet after 30 minutes or so I was having trouble breathing and carrying on a conversation at the same time. A sure sign of being out of shape! I was so disheartened getting back to the car; I bailed on my next 5 miles. But only temporarily. After a little self talking, I stopped at the Wellness Center in Boone where I do occasional treadmill workouts and plodded out 5 slow miles. No harm physically and I did feel better mentally.

I went home and curled up with Mama Grey and took a nap. Saturday afternoon I joined with 50+other folks for a “polar plunge” fundraiser in the 34degrees Ashe County Park pond. This event rose well over $5000 for the Ashe County Humane Society!

Sunday morning, I met my friend and sometimes running companion Carrie at her house and we drove to Greensboro for the Valentines Day Massacre Marathon and Team Relay. Carrie used to be an ASU track runner and is currently is readying for the Boston Marathon. For the massacre, runners could choose to run the event solo-1 lap of 2.2 miles followed by 15 laps of 1.6 miles or run in teams of 2 or 4. The event was entirely on pavement and route circled a lake on rolling pavement. Carrie and I did the duo-each running 8 laps, swapping on and off. We both worked our butts off and each sent one another an email this am titled, “What are you trying to kill me?” I had a blast-never, ever having done anything like this! And my knee didn’t hurt-some soreness afterwards. Yet I think my knee is the only body part that did not hurt! I did the 2.2 mile lap to start off (15:52) and was amazed to see how close my other splits were: 10:55/11:04/10:49/10:51/10:49/11:01/10:56. I think working out on the elliptical trainer has helped!
The weekend truly zapped me and I went to bed last night at 8:30pm. It is humbling to be so tired after runs of the same length 3 months ago would have barely registered energy drain! Yet I figure at this point, unless I do dumb things, I will only get stronger! I don’t want to wish time away….yet look forward to not feeling so feeble!
Best wishes to Russ this weekend!!!


ncultra said...

Annette, glad you are back training again. I always love it when we can "use pain as a guide," except sometimes we don't use it as a guide, we use it as a motivator ;-) Live and learn.

zircon said...

I seem to remember me being the one who stopped talking halfway through the run. Good thing for me you were tired cuz there was no way I could have pushed that pace any faster. Thanks for the vote of confidence and again for the wonderful companionship on a great morning. Hope to see you on the trail Saturday or sometime soon after that.