Inaugural Fonta Flora Half Marathon

About a month before I started down the path of wrist pain and coronary procedures, I signed up for a first time event: the Fonta Flora (trail) Half Marathon. Rolling terrain on the trails of Lake James SP about an hour east of Asheville. 90% single track trail with a little bit of gravel and pavement. The event was sponsored by Fonta Flora Brewing in Morganton, NC, starting and finishing at their new farm/facility (currently under contstruction), with proceeds going to build more Fonta Flora Trail.

Craft beer and running trails? Woohoo!

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Three. Five. Nine. (Give Or Take 56)

Last fall I ran the Citizen-Times Marathon in downtown Asheville. Despite a lack of training beyond 8-11 miles at a time, I had what could only be described as the “best day ever”, and crossed the finish line in under four hours… a goal I’ve had in the back of mind since before I ever ran my first marathon. Last weekend I ran the Biltmore Marathon, also here in Asheville. Unlike the previous race, I had what can only be described as “very far from the best day ever”. It wasn’t the worst day ever… not even close. Crossing the finish line, no matter how long it takes, can never be described as a worst day.

So how long did it take? Well… nearly an hour longer than C-T: 4:55:47.

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Three. Five. Nine.

On more than one occasion, when discussing running events and goal times, I have said to someone, “I would like to try and break 4 hours in a marathon”. This was a somewhat silly thing to say, since not only had I never run a marathon before, I had no plans to sign up for one either. But then I did my first one last March and finished it in 4:28. Considering I ran that one with a camera and spent 10-15 minutes of the 28 standing around, I still thought 4 hours that was a pretty reasonable goal. Even if I did limp the last four miles to the finish line. I figured I’d need two things: 1) find a marathon with a flatter course than the ones in Asheville, and 2) somehow manage to get thru more rigorous training without any injuries. With the tendency towards Achilles Tendinitis (right foot) and Plantar Fasciitis (left/both feet), I was never really sure how far I could push said training and if 4 hours was possible.

Apparently, it’s possible. I don’t need a flatter course, and I can do it by training perfectly for a half marathon and then faking the other half.

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Marathon Mileage Bump

Started looking at the calendar and noticed that the Asheville (Citizen-Times) Marathon is coming up in just a few weeks. Although I’m not training up to the same distances for this marathon as I did for the one at Biltmore last March, I figured it’s time to start pushing up the mileage a bit.

I figure I’ll be really well prepared for a half marathon, and then I’ll just have to wing the rest of it.

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A Gust of Early August

August blew in quite a bit differently than July blew out… although there was still rain in the forecast more days than not, and we did get showers, they were a lot shorter in duration and lessened in intensity. It was continuously gray and overcast, but for the first time in longer than I can remember we managed to score a pretty damned nice first weekend of August. It wouldn’t last, but for a few days things were more like a normal summer in the North Carolina mountains.

Except for the temperatures.

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Wrapping Up July

For some reason I want to think we got a break in the rain somewhere in July, but it can’t have been much. I know we never went more than a single day without some amount of precipitation so maybe the fourth week was a case where I just got lucky with a couple hours of breaks in the clouds a few days in a row.

Or maybe I just stopped thinking about it and accepted it as part of daily life.

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NYC Trip: “The Last Gasp”

Tuesday morning.. time to head back to Asheville. Julienne had an earlier flight than I did, since we couldn’t fly in together we also didn’t manage to arrange to fly home together either. I had a few hours to kill before I needed to head to JFK, so I requested a late checkout and spent a hot steamy morning running the streets of Manhattan. Today’s destination was the Manhattan Bridge, where I could get some views of the Brooklyn Bridge, and a side of the island I hadn’t yet seen.

I ran down Broadway, past a number of parks, once again through Greenwich Village, and Little Italy/China Town. And once again I stopped for a lot of photos along the way. The total run was about 9 miles, a little further than I had originally planned, but I got back to the hotel in plenty of time to clean up, check out and head to Penn Station to catch my train outta town.

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