Friday, March 23, 2012

Past, Present, Future..

No it's not a cheesy Jared Jewelry plug, it's just another blog post ...

Past : It's only March and I feel like a lot of incredible runs have already taken place in 2012! with all the fun goings on, blogging has taken a back seat. A lot has happened since November so let's backup a bit and review or at least hit the highlights thus far....

We started off the new year right with Eric's traditional Over the Top Run! we had beautiful weather, a great group and a beautiful course up and over Whitetop Mountain.
 Me, Rob French, Doug Blackford, Morgan Buchanan, Rick Gray, Eric Grossman, Guy Love, Jenny Nichols, Alan Couch

 1.7.12  - Joined the WNC group and ran the Tanawha 50K - last year our attempt to join this run was thwarted by massive amounts of snow. We had a great time this year on a tough and technical trail. I hiked this trail in college and had run it once before. Doug, Dennis, Kathleen, Kari and I stuck together for the entire journey!
Tanawha 50k 2012
 1.16.12 - Martin Luther King Day - Solo trip up to Mount Rogers to play in the snow! so beautiful.

MLK 2012
1.21.12 - My 3rd year running the Sultan 50k in South Mountain State Park for Mo's Birthday. Always a blast to run with such a great group, eat red velvet cake, wear crowns and do tricks to earn bonus points. The Sultan sure knows how to throw a party!
2.11.12 -  Matt and Mohammed concocted a plan to run RAM (Roan Adventure Marathon) which follows the AT from Carver's Gap to 19E and back. Seemed like a solid plan until the weather began forecasting some nastiness which led the group to change the plan a bit and do it in reverse. If it were to snow a ton, the chances of the car being stuck @ Carver's Gap when we finished were much greater so we started on the lower end. The weather man was right and we started with snow, cold, and when we came out of the woods and hit the first bald we discovered the power of wind. Long story short, Kathleen and I decided to head back after tackling the first bald and ran in the opposite direction where things were much more balmy :) it's amazing what a couple of miles and feet of elevation gain can do for conditions. Matt, Mohammed, and Charlie made it to Carver's Gap and back! check out their blogs for some great photos, videos, recaps! These guys are no joke!

2.18.12 - Jeff Smith hosted the first ever Pinnacle Fire Tower Trail Run in Erwin Tenn, and it was a huge hit! I think about 30 people came together to run to the top and back! Donna Bays social ambassador for SFTC (state of franklin track club) graciously volunteered to bring breakfast goodies and coffee and greet everyone that morning! She's the best! Great visiting with some old friends and meeting some new peeps! The weather was beautiful and unseasonably warm! the best part was Scratch Pizza was just down the road in Johnson City! best pizza ever in my book, so every chance I get to run in that area I hit it up :) Order a  Trust Pie (let them create a masterpiece) no meat it's the way to go!
Scratch Pizza YUM

2.19.12- Snowy Run on Treasure Mountain
2.20.12- Snowy Hike from Elk Garden up the AT and in the woods with JJJ
2.25.12 - Mount Mitchell Challenge - 40 miler from Black Mountain to the top of Mount Mitchell, the highest peak east of the Mississippi. Elev. 6684 ft. It was my 4th year running the Challenge. not the worst weather year, but still challenging up top. Mega wind gusts with temperatures in the single digits. They faced possibly having to shorten the course to 17 miles, but luckily things didn't get to icy up top and we ran the full course. I got to run with Rick and Kathleen for a good portion going up to the parkway and then a good portion of the remainder of the race within sight of Mo, check out his post and great video. just don't laugh to hard at the girl in orange, she is the sensitive type ; ) I was so proud of the crew, everyone had a good run! Ed Marsh finished his 13th Mitchell, and Doug Blackford and Rick Gray went 10 for 10!!! awesome! I took 30 min. off my 2011 time and finished 3rd Female in 7:01, happy to see a bit of improvement each year.
Donna, Rebecca, Dana!
Happy Finishers

I thought the weekend couldn't get any better until JJJ called Sunday with the news Breadzilla was fired up and pizza was on tap! As if that weren't pure bliss, I was presented with my very own special piece of what can only be described as the best Tiramisu on the planet, period, end of story! I will run to the top of Mt. Mitchell any day of the week for some of that goodness!

3.3.12 - A great gathering with a bunch of VHTRC crazies!! and finally a clear view from McAfee's Knob! Legs felt pretty good a week out from Mitchell but I was happy to do the short version :)

3.10.12 - Jenny's Last big Umstead Training Weekend!! she did a big day on Friday and then met us on
Saturday for Eric's "2 hour loop" which translates to roughly a 3 hour loop for us mere mortals :) Guy, Tim, Micah, Eric, Jenny, and I had a great morning running together. Amazing to see how strong Jenny was running after a tough/long day on Friday! so excited for her first 100! prediction- she is gonna kill it!

3.16.12 - Abingdon hosted it's first Shamrock 4 miler. We Run Events did a great job as well as Wolf Hills Brewing and Bonefire Smokehouse! chip timing, free bbq, 2 beers and a tech shirt, for $20! that's a deal. Iron Mountain Trail Runners had a great turnout! proving you can do both! Eric (overall winner), Robin, and Gavin Grossman (2nd AG)! Jennifer Nichols (6th Female, 2nd AG) JJ Jessee, Donna Bays, Aliese Harrison, Tanner Smith (3rd AG) Rick Gray (1st AG) It was my first time actually getting to "break the tape" so that was a great way to kick off the weekend and get pumped for our trail run on Saturday!
lt-rt. Aliese, Jenny, Eric, Me, Rick, JJ, Robin
See Previous Post for Saint Patrick's Day Fun Run :)

Present: I'm thankful for remaining healthy and running injury free so far this year. Looking forward to running Terrapin 50K this weekend! one of my favorite races. Spring in the mountain is such a wonderful thing. This is one of my favorite weekends of the year, racing on Saturday morning, spending Friday night and Saturday with the "family" then Sunday getting up and volunteering for the creeper marathon right in my backyard! JJ and I have done this for the past several years and it's so much fun cheering and hanging out in one of my favorite spots. Sadly they have still not replaced the trestle where our aid station is set up from the tornado that came through last April. Losing that trestle was like losing a good friend. I miss it every time I run through there, so Sunday will be no different. I'm sure the marathoners will miss it as well, considering they have to run up and down a steep "valley" now that it is gone :)

Future: I'm still in shock that in three weeks I will be standing on the south rim of the Grand Canyon, preparing to run to the bottom, across the river, to the North Rim and back! It's been on the list for a while, but plans came out of the blue two weeks ago and I jumped at the opportunity to share the experience with some of my favorite people on the planet! sandwiched in between Terrapin 50K and Promise Land 50K it's a lot going on in a short amount of time! I'm afraid I'll blink and it will all be over......until then I'm going to do my very best and enjoy every second ~


  1. yay! you blogged finally!!! I'm going to tell the world. can't wait for umstead this weekend! SO happy you are going to be there with me:)

  2. Great post, Beth! I can't wait to hear how your Grand Canyon trip goes. You are a beast!

  3. hey, you been keeping this blog a secret, Beth? Nice, keep the posts coming.

  4. You've already had an epic year, and it's not even April. :) Congrats on Terrapin!!!

  5. So cool! Great running. Grand Canyon is on my list too.

  6. I have THE biggest smile on my face after reading all this!!! So glad you are running so strong and soaking it all in.