|Mama Grey in her hood ornament perch, starting the weekend...|
It has been both difficult and a relief to return to work. Difficult because I have relished the freedom of the past 5 weeks and because there are many changes going on where I work. Changes in budget, personnel, and leadership are stressful. However stressful though, I am thrilled to still have a job and work in a place where the ideal is to help young people learn and grow and become more of who they really are! AND, although I am working more hours during the weeks, my weekends are still time for George, training, projects, adventures and mini quests. Yay!!
The month of August, as far as running goes is to be a month of strength maintaince, cross-training and fun! Though the focus is still on running with the plan to amp things up in a few weeks to prepare for Gibraltar (that will be another whole post). This weekend was the first of the "10k trio" I am participating in: CTR 10k on the VA Creeper Trail directed by Jenny Nichols on 8/14, Spring Maid Splash on 8/21 and Continental Divide on 8/28.
|Jenny at race start in race director mode!|
Jenny Nichols is an ultra runner, mom, very cool human, and sometimes training buddy of mine. Her brother Christopher died several years ago and Jenny created this event to generate scholarships in his memory. 2010 was the 3rd year running of this event. The course was out 'n back on the VA Creeper Trail out of Abingdon, VA.
I am certainly no 10k runner, yet wanted to support Jenny's event and knew of my ultra friends would be running or volunteering. and I knew that without stress, or expectation, that this would be a fun morning!
I arrived at race start in time to do a 7ish mile "warm up" run and pick up my race number. There were close to 80 runners. I placed myself in the middle of the pack, yet it wasn't long before I was needing to pass folks in order to get into my comfort pace. The 1st 3miles is a very gentle, barely noticeable downgrade, which means the 2nd half is a gentle incline.
I did not intend to race. To run comfortable for 1/2 and to push a bit more during the later couple miles seemed a good training plan. For 3 miles, I thought there were several girls ahead of me and I was FINE where I was. Not racing, just training. Then at the turnaround, I passed a young woman and soon realized I was in 1st. Damn! The dorsal fin came out without command. Now that I was in this position, Dorsal Fin took over and I switched from rollicking on the trail to focusing on keeping steady and breathing. I didn't work harder, yet got more serious!
|Doug Blackford, me and David at finish line.|
|Super cool locally crafted pottery awards!|
Jenny and volunteers did a super job with this event! I used to be afraid of running fast stuff like this, because I am out of my league, (or so I think), yet I think mixing up distances is really run! And the key to feeling better than worse was the 7 mile warm up!
|Late summer in the VA Highlands from the AT|
|Yay! Wild blueberries "mountain huckleberries" are ready!|
After arriving home, and wishing George wasn't still away on the New River Expedition, I cleaned house, canned some apple butter I started yesterday and started a batch of zucchini wine. The wine sounds weird, yet with the abundance of zucchinis we've had from a mere 2 plants, I am game with doing something productive! The only gross wine we've made so far was goldenrod wine.
This week I am back to Coach Howard's schedule. It's a relief to be back to a plan, instead of taper/recovery as I have been in for the past 2 months! I asked Howard to help me include some cross training and I look forward to including it in a more formal way!