Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Lapping Up (and down) Boone Greenway

Greenway photo taken in the springtime
My 100k training plan called for a 5 hour pavement run this past Saturday. Though usually I am pleased to be doing my long runs alone, running laps on pavement, called out to me for some sort of amusement beyond my little ipod shuffle.

(Many people ask why I don’t do my long runs on dirt-to “save my knees”, truth be told, I need the road’s harshness to toughen up my quads and bottoms of my feet. After November 7th, I’ll return to running most long runs on dirt, yet for now, pavement= preparation).

A little poking around on local runner’s blogs led me to the Boone Free Marathon website, and I learned of the October 16th marathon to be run out there. These runners, some of which are part of the larger Marathon Maniacs, are an enthusiastic group of low key runners that seem to run at least 2 marathons per month. 
Photo from Boone tourism website
The marathon was 7 laps of 3.75 “out ‘n back” from the Watauga County Recreation Complex to the Watauga Animal Shelter Parking lot. We stashed our aid and coolers under a picnic shelter and started a little after 8:30am. Joe Sinclair organized the event and introduced me to his buddies Richard McNeil, Gladys Lippard, Brent Roach, and Shane Hamby. Resident of Boone ultrarunner Bobby Cordell joined the group for part of his Saturday run also.

My plan was to hold an 8 min pace and aim for 37.5 miles. Though I didn’t run with a companion, waving to one another as we passed each other was fun and especially after a few hours, I looked forward to sharing encouragements. This little group of spirited runners really made my day and I hope to share in their company again.

I wore a new pair of shoes I am hoping will work out for World’s: Saucony Grid Tangent 4. Lighter than what I have worn in previous road events-I did wind up with blisters on the balls of my feet-yet I hope more wearing of them in the next couple weeks will condition my feet. Otherwise, I wound up happy with somewhere around 37 miles and a few new running friends. My marathon time was 3:31:02. For everyone’s marathon results and info on the next Greenway Marathon (October 23) go to: http://boonemarathon.blogspot.com/

Bobby, Joe, Richard, Annette and Gladys after our runs!

Sunday’s run was prescribed to be 40 minutes. This was in direct conflict with the Dark Mountain 17 mile Trail run, I’d registered for prior to obtaining my current training plan. Yet, flexibility is one of the keys to sanity, so I choose to drive the 30 minutes to cheer on Maritza’s event and run the 4 miler. Last month I featured Maritza and her races on this blog and there was no way I would just not go!

Shortly after finishing the 4 mile run....
Running the 4 mile event was perfect for me-a lot of fun in a little time on a great trail in a pretty place! The 4+ mile course contoured and featured a few hills, flats and some pavement. I crossed the finish line in 36 minutes and continued running until rounding out my assigned 40 minutes.

The trail running events didn’t have a big turnout and I felt disappointed as it is very organized, marked well, good aid and fabulous prizes. I ran the 17 miler last year and loved that too.

Shortly after finishing, I hopped back in my little Echo and zoomed up the mountain. It was high time to spend time cleaning the house this afternoon!


Rick Gray said...

Annette, Sounds like a wonderful weekend of running and getting chores completed around the house. Glad to hear your car is back in one piece. You are ready for Worlds. Now you are on maintenance and soon to be time to begin the taper. Have a great week!

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