Monday, March 30, 2015

A cold start to 2015 Virginia Creeper Trail Marathon 3/29/2015

Start of run.Women's winner in blue singlet: 2048, me securing my 2nd hat, far right.
All race photos courtesy of Brendan McSheehy.

Yesterday’s start to the VA Creeper Marathon was the coldest I can remember feeling during a run in a very, very long time. I think I’ve become a bit of a softie-last time I remember feeling so uncomfortable was during Bandera 100km in January of 2010.

To make things more fun before the start of the run, I got to see long-time "ultra buddy" Bryon Backer and Kevin Townsend. These fine men have been part of my entire journey of the world of ultrarunning since 2003.

I have run Virginia Creeper Marathon 4 or 5 times prior, so I should have done better at being prepared. The course is run from a central location with several out ‘n backs all coming through a central location where runners can easily access a bag to drop clothing or collect clothing.  I choose to be a Patagonia groupie and wore the new Strider Pro Shorts, All-Weather Zip Hoodie with the hood up, a beanie and Columbia’s Omni-Heat mittens, and sunglasses. I kept my Nano Air Jacket on for the first short out ‘n back, then like a silly person, threw it off as I passed my bag at mile two.
Two miles in. Not loving it. Frank in the background.

For the first 11 miles, all I could think about was running out of the shade and into the sun and trying not to trip due to having a hard time seeing with my eyes streaming cold weather tears. From roughly miles 9.5-11.5 I considered not continuing as the shivering and teeth chattering wouldn’t stop. I think it was the fig bars, wafer cookies and Gatorade at the mile 11ish aid stop that saved me. I took every chance after that to consume calories. Heavily fueling combining with the warmth of the sun brought me back to life and the run was fun from mile 18 until the end.
Warmth = Good Attitude
With a little more than a mile to go, I spotted Jessica the third place girl in the distance, I knew she was slowing as I could see her gap with the other lady leaders changing at the last Abingdon turn around. I saw Byron too and I knew that if I caught and passed them he would give me a good-natured hard time. I had a strong last mile and caught them both, finishing 12th overall, and third woman. Kevin finished very soon afterwards.

This was not a fast year for the women, yet look at these speedy men's times: Jeff Powers 2:39:48, Eddie Posey: 2:52:07 and Sam Allen rounding out sub-three: 2:58:49. Jeff wore singlet, shorts, gloves,  hat and ice on his beard. He was a thrill to watch. I wonder what he thought about yesterday morning?
Jeff cruising. He collected bigger icicles through his run.
Thank you to Frank Kibler, race director and all the volunteers helping us out to a very chilly early morning. Thank you too to whoever made those yummy white chocolate chip cookies at the finish line. Happiness in dough.

This is a USATF certified marathon course so I know I ran 26.2 miles, yet I wonder why my fit bit shows that during that 3:34:02 that I traveled just 21.5 miles? I wonder how the device converts miles to steps or vice versa? I forgot to turn the Soleus on. Oh well, my eyes were streaming so much I am sure I couldn’t have read the watch, yet it is nice to have documentation to reflect back on…

When I arrived home early afternoon after emptying my car of dirty shoes and clothes, I did some sun worshiping on our front deck. Such a delight to finally be warm again!

In closing with this post, I want to share a favorite picture taken the night before this run: Georgio and kittio love:
Loves of my life!


Mandy Higdon said...

Annette.. I'm glad you thought it was cold too! I couldn't feel my hands or feet for 6+ miles! Craziness. I'm glad I got to briefly meet you and thanks for the cheering on the trail. I've heard nothing but great things about you as an ultra runner and person. Good luck on your up coming adventures, hope to see you again. Best, Mandy

bparquet said...

I've enjoyed reading your blog over the years!

I didn't realize that was you I that I crossed the finish line with at Blue Ridge Marathon yesterday! Last few miles, I was wondering how anyone had so much energy at the end of that marathon, but 26 miles is just your warmup! Congrats on winning 1st Female Masters!

Best Regards, Bill