Sunday, November 27, 2011

Wilmington Road Runners Turkey Trot: Carolina Beach State Park, 11/26/2011

A cloudy sunrise poking through taken from our ocean balcony just before 7 am this morning!
George’s brother Chris and our sister in law Nikki and their awesome daughter Skylar recently moved from NY to Carolina Beach, NC. Since  George and Chris’ parents were going to celebrate Thanksgiving with the newly relocated Santucci’s , George and I took the opportunity to visit Carolina Beach for the 1st time together (George is a return visitor, me a newbie).

Since this is to be a brief post, I won’t ramble as usual!(For real!)

My personal goal, besides lots of beach walking, quality time with family and trying not to over indulge with food and drink, was to run the age I turned today over the course of the weekend, and to have it be stress-free (not having to forfeit sleep or sneak in runs here and there). It turned out great!

We stayed ½ mile from Chris and Nikki’s  at Golden Sands Motel…we were on the 6th floor w/ a balcony and great view of the ocean. (Ocean sounds were great too, when the balcony door was opened!).

We arrived at Carolina Beach around 1pm on Thanksgiving. Dinner was to start around 3pm so George went beach walking as I started my move towards a strategic 45 in 4 days with limited scheduling…I won’t prolong the details, yet will say I enjoyed running on flat, next to colorful houses and intermittently hearing the sea, depending on wind strength and direction.

Friday was a mix of running, hanging with Skylar, Nikki and Charlene before eating fresh fish caught by George that evening for supper.

Saturday was a treat: We learned of a trail run put on by the Wilmington Road Runners on Saturday, their version of an island Turkey Trot. Both George and I entered. What a great time! Very curvy and filled with pine straw and areas of deep sand, I was both in and out of my element at the same time!

I started out conservatively, waiting for my hamstring to scream, only it didn’t. It simply whined. So I keep increasing my effort and loving it! I wound up 19 seconds behind 29 year old race favorite and local superstar Melanie Lenk for a 2nd place open women’s finish and 1st masters. It felt great to work hard again! Full results here:

Fast guy Glen, George and I happy to represent the mountains on a coastal run!
George did great! He does not run regularly, yet has the strength and metabolism to toe the line for single digit trail runs and do wonderfully even if not in running shape. This is what he did on Saturday. Go Georgio, go!
George in the final 50 feet to go! (What happened to your right lower leg?
The coolest thing, I think, about this run was that Glen Bailey, 17, who I know and who attends Ashe County High School, where I work, also ran and achieved 2nd place for the guys!  Glen was All-State Cross Country this year. I really value the photo above of the tiny contingent that so well represented the Northern Mountains (Glen especially)!

George and I left Carolina Beach 7:30 am today and stopped at Olmsted State Park on I-40 for some leg moving on the route home. I was happy to run in a tank and shorts, quite possibly for the last time in weeks as winter weather encroaches on the Appalachian Mountains!

Next up for me? Many months ago I registered for the CrookedRoad 24 Hour. Despite my recent time off from running, I am considering starting the event and see what unfolds. I  hope to use my smarts to not over due it…and with it being just sub a 1 mile loop, will not put anyone in harms way if I need to quit! I will make a decision within 48 hours…

I wish to thank all of you sincerely who sent happy 45th B'day wishes to me today! You all make me feel really special and looking forward to sharing time on mixed surfaces running with folks!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Adding on and Sharing Miles… Bit,by Bit!.

Beth Minnick and I Saturday at the Trillium Trail Races

I have dearly missed running these last 6 weeks. Yet I am thrilled to start to be back building mileage and continuing my hamstring rehab. Last month, I had my left leg extended to the clutch and right foot on the break at the time of impact when a Suburu hit our Toyota. The impact jarred the hamstring attachment and I took some time off. I am not yet back to training, but building base mileage and endurance for several weeks first.

Besides the freedom of running, beauty of the autumn season and tiring myself out at times, I’ve missed my running buddies. Although most of the time I enjoy my long runs solo, I can certainly get too much of my own company and thank others for their willing companionship.

For me running buddies range from very close, dear friends to trail running kindred spirits whom I see only a few times a year. Last weekend I shared the Appalachian Trail with a new acquaintance. This past Saturday I got to spend time with awesome running friends I haven’t seen in months and on Sunday, some local buddies from my town.

Saturday was the inagural Trillium Trail Races on the Campus of East Tennessee State University. 
The 10 mile race was 2  5 mile loops of squiggly mountain bike trail-slippery and fun!
The awesomeness of Beth and Rick Gray, post race

 There were many other trail friends to say hello to and chatter with before and after the run. I had some other errands to do in Johnson City that day and had to leave right after the race...but before leaving, I got a quick photo of some feet wearing Montrails:
Clockwise from bottom: Rick in Mountain Masochist, Annette in the new 2012 Bajada and Beth sporting Fairhavens
 I  am not sure of the official placing or times during the runs, yet many prizes were distributed-I know Beth and Rick won some things...and Rick emailed me this morning telling me I won a Mountain Hardwear backpack, gift certificate for Salomon shoes and pottery medal. I'll likely use these items as door prizes for the 2012 NRT 50k. Cool. It was not a big field...yet definitely something I hope the race director will build on and repeat next year.

Sunday, I joined Jackie and Jonathon for a run on Railroad Grade Road, a flat road near where I live. I know it well, as I have logging hundreds of miles on it earlier this year preparing for the flats of Winschoten, Netherlands. Jackie and Jonathon are brother and sister and both preparing for their 1st marathon in early 2012 in Charleston, SC.
Brother and sis with 14.5 miles down and 5.5 to go on Sunday!
Age doesn't matter with running buddies...I am 19 years older than Jackie and 29 years older than her brother. Yikes!
Jackie was a student of mine many years ago at Ashe County, she is now working, married, has a charming 3 year old and is seriously training to run a sub 3:30 marathon. I have no doubt she'll do it!  Jonathon is a junior at the high school. The three of us have run together intermittently since a little before the vehicle accident. I fully enjoyed our run on Sunday morning, especially since it was sunny and unseasonably warm. Yay sunshine! Brother and sister ran 20 miles, I called it quits at 15.8.

Several folks have asked "what's next" for me racing...Right now I am dearly enjoying getting back to it and doing my best not to overdo things too soon, too fast. I hope to outline a race plan for 2012 over Thanksgiving Break later this week. Running makes me happy and running with friends makes me happy too!


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Brief Update and Ghost Whisperer Anorak

Ghost Whisperer, size medium...size small would have worked too.
I realized a few days ago, I had not posted that in early October I was involved in a car crash-2 days before NRT50k. In that wreck (other party take full responsibility) our truck was in the body shop for 4 weeks and I have been rehabbing a hamstring injured that night for 6+ weeks...I am getting stronger and healing, yet not where I'd be if the Subaru done what it did. (Big SIGH). Thankfully, life for all involved was very inconvenienced, yet not damaged.

This past week, in typical Appalachian Mountain mid-autumn weather I got to wear the new Ghost Whisperer Anorak by Mountain Hardwear, it will soon be available for Spring 2012.

Since I am still working on getting back in shape after taking 5 weeks off after last month’s vehicle accident, the runs were quite short, and not fast.

Which hand is it in?
Did you guess correctly?
Pretty awesome...weighs only 2 ounces!
 Run #1 5pm: 4.7 miles: sideways, pouring rain. Cold front was coming through. Temperature dropped 6 degrees in 40 minutes. Wore anorak with long sleeve shirt underneath. Soaked and chilled, yet did not feel cold. Shook the anorak out and it was dry in ten minutes.

Run #2: 8:3am: 4.6 miles: calm, clear with morning shadows, 34 degrees, short sleeve shirt underneath. Zipper made it easy to temperature regulate.

Run #3: 3:00pm, 4.6 miles: same day, calm, temperature mid 40’s warm in the sun. Sports bra only under anorak. Funky look, yet effective.

Anorak stuffed into compartment that would other wise hold my iphone or camera
Run #4: 9:00am, 10miles on Appalachian Trail. Temp high 30’s. Started out with jacket on, yet within 10 minutes removed it, as the hill climb made it un necessary. I stashed it easily in the front pocket of my Nathan Vest.
3.5 miles into Saturday's run
 This piece of gear will be truly GREAT for those of use "lazies" that don't want to carry a big pack...Yet, as a precaution, please remember...venture into Wilderness with skills, training and judgement and do otherwise, my compromise the health and safety of your companions!

This will for certain be a new piece of “go to” gear for iffy conditions…like a tiny beanie or pair of thin gloves, it is even small enough to jam in my sports bra mid-run, if I lack pockets. Now that would be interesting-the sight of gloves, hat and jacket sharing the sports bra…Women have it made…(I am hesitant to wonder where guys stash their extra clothes?) Read below to see what Mountain Hardwear says about the jacket:

Ghost Whisperer Anorak (OL4556)

A wind- and water-resistant shell so crazy lightweight and compressible you can pack it in your pocket.

Features: Super ultra lightweight shell * Wind and water resistant * Easily packable - stows in built in pocket * Deep neck zipper for ventilation *  Reflective trim for visibility

Usage: Under 2 ounces! This jacket is like having weather protection in your pocket.
Fit: Athletic
Fabrics: Body - Whisperer 7D x 10D Ripstop Weight: 1.7 oz.; 49 g. Center Back Length: 25.5"; 65 cm Color: Deep Blush; Sea Salt; XS-XL; $135.00