Sunday, August 2, 2009

Catching Up

It's summer vacation time so I took some vacation from the blog...but I'm baaaaack. I've had some serious fun these past few weeks. Let's recap:

Catherine's Furnace 50K Fat Ass. The quintessential VHTRC event: no fee (our annual 10.00 membership dues at work instead), no T-shirt, no wimps and no whining. My kind of fun! I ran the first few hours with Michele Harmon, Martha Wright, Marc Griffin and Bobby Gill. The weather was fabulous---cool, clear, and no humidity-- and the views atop Bird Knob were awesome:

I felt really good the entire 30+ miles. There is something blissful about running with friends and with no pressure for a particular finish time or splits. I was happy to run near 6:00 (my best time at Cat's was 5:51 on 2007 and I was running hard the entire time) given the amount of time we stopped for photo opps. Afterward, the classic post-run scene evolved as we cheered on finishers, ate delicious brats and burgers, and replenished with many cold beverages. The post run chatter included everything from updates on impending nuptuals, recent Badwater and Hardrock crewing and pacing experiences, and organic farming...we are a crazy fun bunch!

Typical Cat's post-run scene

Kirstin Corris, fabulous organic cook and half of the grill Team Corris

The usual suspects (Frank Probst, Martha, Quatro, Rhonda, Gary and Jack). Well, actually Q and Gary are the usual suspects and the others are innocent until proven guilty)

Bald Head Island. Last week we took off for Bald Head Island, NC.
I first went to this wonderful place 13 years ago with Rusty and Chapin for a friend's wedding...little has changed since then. It is only accessible by ferry and no cars are allowed on the island, so we got around by golf cart, bike, and foot. I usually dread running while on beach vacays (too flat, too boring, too much asphalt) but Bald Head was a blast to run on. About 10+ miles of roads including my favorite, Middle Island Road which is a rolling dirt road that snakes through the marsh and ends at a wildlife preserve. I also ran on the technical and rooty maritime forest trails---very cool! Our days were spent sleeping late, running and biking in the a.m., a late brunch and then off to the beach for excellent surfing and big waves and warm water, then perhaps a nap before yummy sangria and a good book before dinner. Then a killer game of cards with the kids before the teens went out to meet their friends (since they were only driving golf carts I wasn't too worried). Bed by 10 and then we did it all over again. Ahh, I love vacation---time is suspended and it's so fun to have nothing to do except eat, sleep, read and hang out with the family! The photo below of Virginia was taken at the easternmost tip of the island at Frying Pan Shoals, a famous area known for shipwrecks due to the convergence of waves from the beaches that face south and east:

Now we are back and I am excited to start on phase 2 of Grindstone training. I took a cut back week while at the beach and still managed 45 miles with a few quality days and the rest just time on my feet. The next 6 weeks will be big miles and lots of time on the course. I am curious to see how 80-90 mpw feels but I am ready to find out! School doesn't begin for another three weeks so this is a perfect time to trash my legs. I remember telling myself after Gstone 2008 that in order to run the course faster in 2009 I would need to train more on long, steep descents and on rockier trails to condition my quads and feet for the pounding. Stay tuned as next weekend I am off to the Priest and Three Ridges Friday and then the last 20 miles of Grindstone on Sunday.

More pics and details from Catherine's Fat Ass are on the VHTRC website here.


farmgirl said...

So glad you had an excellent's always far too short, hmm?

Rick Gray said...

It certainly sounds like you had a wonderful week at Bald Head. It is such a neat place. Enjoy the rest of your summer. Tammy started back to school today. She is not happy! See you soon, Rick