This was a weekend of real NC winter trail running: Saturday an organized “race” and Sunday morning an surprise social run with local running buddies. I am sore and whooped right now. A token of too much time away from trails! I am happy to be slogging back to the trails!
All I could think for most of the 15.5ish miles of the inaugural 25k Lakeside Trail run was: JOY!
The route is a lollipop course with the “lollipop stick being the “out ‘n back”, except for the lake crossings it was all snowy/muddy and a bit icy (in parts) wonderful, single track trail run! The “candy” part of the loop was an interesting circle (kinda circle). Most of the trail was covered with 2” of snow. I live in Jefferson, NC where we have at present 5-9” on the trails-so coming to Greensboro was both a surprise and joy. Greensboro rarely gets snow that sticks more than a day…Soooo: snow yes! Awesome adventure with 115 starters: YES!
As with any run of in 20-30ish degree heat, I wondered today about appropriate attire. Today I knew I would not run fast so don’t need to run “bare”…
I finally settled on Montrail Mountain Masochist shoe… I warmed up in the super lightweight 2011 Montrail Rouge Racer…yet I wanted more traction in the snow and mud…so the Mountain Masochist performed to my delight, superbly in the shallow snow and immerging mud!), I noticed the girl who ran with me and finished just behind me, wore the same shoe! (Cool about your shoes, Sara!) I wore shorts and LS shirt, w/ Montrail jersey over top!
The Lakeside Trail 25k was a great and fair re-entry to trail racing (‘though I was committed to run’ and not “race”!..I met my goal of working hard and staying in control. I completely enjoyed trail time with Todd Hartung and Dan Bensimhon as we shared much of 12+ miles together! We are all within 3 years of each other’s age and it was neat to talk and realize how our lives have been so very different from one another’s! After 1 bloody fall, I talked less and listened more!
|Sam Kilsdonk, 1st woman in just over 2:00...She's headed to Boston soon!|
I finished up in 2:08:57, 14th overall and 3rd woman. Go here for full results!
|Finish Line after most of us were done!|
This morning I awoke around 7am and after talking with George, we changed our plans. We were going to go to Wilkes County to run/bike, yet George just learned of the death of a colleague and would instead head to Winston-Salem to pay his respects and celebrate a man’s full and generous life!
I checked email over coffee and learned that Doug Blackford and Dennis Norris, two awesome men and tough trail runners invited me to join their snowy Mountains to Sea Trail adventure. They were meeting at 9am on the Blue Ridge Parkway. After exchanging a couple emails, I joined them in Deep Gap (a 16-minute drive on a vacant-road Sunday morning, ready for our adventure!
We drove on the partially snow covered Blue Ridge Parkway for a couple miles to the trail head we wanted to start at. In a 2-wheel drive 4 cylinder Toyota Echo, I was stressed by the drive up hill and could only dread the drive down in a couple hours time! (The parkway can be steep in places and doesn’t always offer guardrails!)
|Mountains to Sea snowy trail|
|Dennis and Doug running uphill on icy Blue Ridge Parkway|
|We passed by several icy outcroppings....|
|Doug (front)and Dennis admiring the view through the trees...|
|Me, proving I was really there!|
After finishing our romp in 1:50 we started down in our cars on the snowy Blue Ridge Parkway. I was scared as a couple hours brought slightly elevated temps and more slickness to the surface. I felt like I might have a panic attack (though I haven’t had one before) while driving down the mountain at 5-10mph in 1st gear, riding the breaks. Thank you to Dennis and Doug for putting up with my fears!
This week in the NC High Country looks fairly mild and I hope we’ll get a full week of high school in! I have not been to work (officially) in a long 9 days and am scratching to get back at what I need to do! (Yesterday was a school day, yet happily my principal is supportive of my running and is willing to work with me on the several potential Saturday conflicts I might have with sudden Saturday school this winter!) Thank you Principal Krider!