Sunday, March 25, 2012

A training sandwich and the Virginia Creeper Marathon 3/25/2012

Happy, wet training on the VA Creeper Trail!
Last month, after Black Mountain Marathon, I posted I wouldn't run in an event again for training purposes-because, like it or not, my dorsal fin emerges and I push more than I should for a training effort. This results in the need for major backing off for a few days to recover and seriously gets in the way of a girl's training schedule!

Yet last week after a mentally draining 4:20, 31 mile run alone in 42 degree rain, I swore I would do what it takes to stay positive and not dread hours of plodding along alone in uncomfortable weather.

Midweek, looking at this weekend's weather forecast, I knew that unless I rallied, my 5 hour run would be done in 45 degree rain and alone. I certainly don't mind alone-yet when it is raining and chilly, my hands don't function well and I can easily get calorie deficient. Rain also gets in the way of even my usual moderate use of ipod...and well-back and forth on the only flat paved road we have within a 40 minute drive can become a chore... My own company is great...yet for only so long!

Soooo....Today I drove to Abingdon, VA and started running at 6:45am-ran an hour, pinned on a bib, ran the VA Creeper Trail Marathon in 3: 27 and change, and finished my 5 hour run off with a 4 mile jog. Yes, it was rainy and chilly those last 4 slower miles...yet the spirit of the event and familar and new faces on the out 'n backs kept my spirits wayyy up!

No, I was not out there to race-mentally especially, as  I won't go "there" until 4/22 and effort-wise, I ran easy the 1st "uphill" part of the course and let the slight changes in terrain dictate from there.
I got "meet" and wave at sooo many great folks during the out 'n backs...including this fellow who is a 50 state 26.2 finisher!
Totally love this shirt!
I could be totally wrong, yet I wonder if the cyclist is the Dad of the young girl in blue? She was steady all day, yet I think the youngest person out there! You go girl!
The weather was misty and rainy and I think there were several "no shows" to the day...I started out very easy until the 1st turn around in Abingdon. After this turn, the course was ever-so-slight, downhill. Around mile 8, I caught up with Cat (or Kat?) who lives in Nashville and was running not her 1st marathon, but 1st VA Creeper Marathon. We shared about a mile together before I moved ahead. I enjoyed the limited interaction I had with this young woman and got to cheer her mom, Karen on too!

The rest of the run was wet and beautiful during the earliest of Spring days on in a valley of the Southern Appalachian Mountains.
Early spring in the cow fields
After one of the long tressels was destroyed in a tornado last year, the town of Abingdon built a steepish path connecting the east and west parts of the trail...A good change of pace for the amazing almost flatness of the trail!
First place, especially when staying true to my "bigger picture plan" was a treat!
This event is AWESOME. Not high-profile, costs just $10, is a BQ event and is done with great quality and attention to details: Gatorade mixed perfectly and water each 3 miles, later miles offer, in addition, fruit and cookies...fig bars rock! Thank you to race director Frank and all your amazing volunteers. I hope by now they are finally dry and warm!
For complete results see:

Next up for me: Continued work on New River Trail 50k -registration opened 3/23 AND we are now committed to it being a certified 50km course offering runners marathon time splits!

Mainly I am focused on being a good professional school counselor, trying to be balanced in my personal relationships (thank you George with your patience with my 9:30 pm bedtime and 4:30am alarm! and  continued training for WC 100km, Seregano, Italy on 4/22. No dorsal fin appearances until then!


L said...

Loved seeing you out there. It was my first marathon and friendly faces made all the difference!

mamakaren said...

Hey Annette,
My daughter Kat and I enjoyed meeting you on this muddy adventure run. Thanks for the shout out.
Right back at you: