Monday, March 30, 2009

Crammin’ the weekend full: real life and the Virginia Creeper Trail Marathon

Photo above at mile 11ish taken by Beth Minnick.

I look like a real trail dork in my calf compression sleeves...yet they helped keep me warm-yet do they help me w/ performance or recovery? The verdict is still out! And the "sunglasses" are orange lenses that kept me from cryin' due to the wind! My feet aren't very dorky. They are wearing Smartwool PhD socks and Montrail Hardrock '09's!

This past weekend was full and busy-“sucking the marrow” out of life all weekend long is exhausting. From the time I got off work Friday at 3:30pm to last night (Sunday)
I got in:
61 miles of running
7 hours of “required teacher workday” on Saturday
A “date” with George to the 2009 Banff Film Festival (we got tickets months ago).
And less than 10 hours of sleep…

There will be a bit more time for sleep this week, I hope!

Because of all the “snow days” this year, 10 month employees missed getting in one of our contracted “teacher workdays” so it was announced last week that we would make it up on Saturday, March 28th. Our principal was able to be flexible and opened the school building at 4am so we could put in our time early or late that day. My plan to run 30 miles on Saturday, followed by the VA Creeper Trail Marathon on Sunday, to make a good “double” was foiled. So instead, I plucked out 13 trail miles in the rain after work on Friday and did something different for Saturday.

Friday night I measured out a 1 mile loop in downtown West Jefferson. My plan was to get up Saturday while it was dark and run via street lamps without traffic- and run the “flatish” course 20 times to work on my pacing for Worlds. I started around 4:20am and finished around 7:20ish. For the 1st 16 miles I did a good job of pacing-staying between 8:26-8:40 per mile. The last 4 miles I sped up to 8:02-8:04ish-both because the lightening of the sky and because I wanted to finish and get home and get ready for work.

This was a useful exercise in pacing and I plan to do something similar Easter Weekend when I can do 30 miles and not feel rushed. I will seek to find a place without traffic too. Matt Chaffin trains for pacing in parking lots-I may head down to Wilkes County and try that around the old Mall.

I will say that contrary to what I expected I didn’t get bored Saturday morning. I had my ipod, yet listened to it for just 10 loops-partially listening to music, and partially a book on tape. Circling West Jefferson early on a Saturday was very awakening experience:
All of downtown smelled like bacon from 6am on…that scent is credited to Smithy’s CafĂ© on the backstreet! I also learned there are 2 roosters living on a hill just outside of downtown…and I learned that people started waiting outside of Smithy’s from 6:45 on!

I saw maybe 10 moving vehicles before 6:30 am and 4 were Police and Sheriff mobiles driving around.

Banff Film Festival was a fabulous as always…the coming and going is a fun reunion everytime- Outward Bound folk, former co-workers from ASU, former students, fellow adventurers, and just good people and great films coming together! And I got a look at the new END road shoes at the little exposition set up inside the theatre lobby!

The VA Creeper Marathon was a fun run. Well done and very low key as always. I ran without using my watch-willing myself to run as I felt. Yet I must admit I did feel the dorsal fins emerge a few times and I really had to work on pouncing the fins down as I was passed and switched places with “Jamie”. I enjoyed running with this young woman-it was great to have companionship for 10 or so miles-until her husband started to companion her on his bike…I am not sure what happened. I learned later she had to drop. She seemed like a strong runner to me.

It was quite windy, yet otherwise the cool temps made it a perfect running day! I ran 3:17:30...a PR for this distance. I was 1st woman and 4th overall. Robert Preston from Athens, TN was 1st overall: 2:48:20. Complete results are now posted on the race website.

After the run, I went the “long way” home through Boone and tied on the END road shoes. Ever since Saucony discontinued Omni 6 I have been seeking a stable shoe I like for pavement.

Upon arriving home and drinking a half bottle of gingerale and homemade toast (funky stomache after the run), I set to work cleaning the house.

The weekend ended with a “catch up” phone call from our cousin Elinor who is coming with her Dad to the American River 50 in Sacramento to crew for Monica and I this coming weekend! They live in the Bay area and I so look forward to their cheering and assistance!

And for now-sleep will be good!


Rick Gray said...

Marrow sucking weekend! That is an excellent way to describe your weekend. You certainly survived the weekend in fine Annette fashion. Congratulations on an excellent time in not too friendly of conditions. Rick

runamanda said...

Awesome Marathon!!!! Way to go!!!! I am sure I'll probably say it again but just in case you leave before I do Good Luck at AR. RUN FAST, KICK BUTT and GOOD LUCK. Remember you are a strong person and can do it!!
"Catch a dream and RUN with it."

Frank K said...

Always good to have you with us, Annette ... and congrats again on the PR!!

Frank K
VCM Director

Mark Lundblad said...

Great job at Creeper! You may already know this but in Morganton where you qualified for Worlds, there is a nice paved greenway that leaves out of Freedom Park, after less than a mile to the Catawba River there is a 1 mile loop after the bridge crossing and a 4 mile out/back section mostly along the river. It is rolling to mostly flat and would make great training for 24 Hour Worlds. You can do like a 9-10 mile segment and get aid back at your car every loop...much better than a parking lot. Good luck at AR 50 this weekend.

Stuart R said...

Congrats on a great result at the Creeper. I enjoyed running with you. That finish of yours was phenomenal!
Good luck in the 24 hr Worlds in Italy - say hi to the Geetah (Bill Allen) for me.

Anita A Chauvin~Hurst said...

WOW! What a weekend! AnD.....I can't *wait* to hear about Cali. when you get back! Sorry I couldn't fit you in before you left.

You've simply got to tell me about this West Jefferson loop that you did, so that I might be able to follow in your footsteps ;)

OH, get this!!! .... Ed and I were in Hickory this week, we stopped in @ Fleet Feet, he's been wanting a good pair of shoes lately and he bought his very *First* pair of trail runners...Brooks. YAY!! This is going to be an outdoorsy kinda' spring/summer for us!

PS.... PR = ?

See ya' soon! :D

head handler said...

Great job! You inspire me to keep at it.

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