I’m the Brightest Thing out Here

 

Those words occurred to me two hours into my run.  Haha!  Gray, white, brown, and green (pine needles) are about the only colors out there right now.  But I won’t complain about the fog.  I even find it calming and beautiful.  It makes you notice things in the forest that you would probably overlook on a sunny spring day.  Like the way the dewdrops cling to bare branches.  Or even the way the branches twist and curl as if trying to find sunlight.

I ate 3 chocolate chip pancakes, packed up my gear, and headed to Kings Gap fully rested from yesterday’s run;  however, sore and tired legs were a given after a total of 4,000 feet elevation gain!  Mid 40’s and sore calves seemed like a great reason to break out my shorts and Zensah calf sleeves.  Turned out to be the perfect combo for today’s run.

image

I parked at the first parking lot (Pine Plantation) at the entrance to the park so that I could run the whole mountain.   I knew where I wanted to start and figured I’d explore and take familiar trails as well until I had at least 12 miles or 3 hours of running, whichever came first.  Since my legs were sore, I decided to make myself hike the first mile as a warm up and that proved to be a smart decision.  My running legs came back to me over the 14 total miles I ended up doing and I felt strong and great cardio and strength wise at the end.  I could have done more!

image
Scenic Vista lookout.  I know it doesn’t look like the magical, amazing lookout I described when I discovered it the other week, but I’ll go back one day when the sky is clear so I can show you!
image
See, I AM the brightest thing!  lol  My hydration vest is a Nathan Vapor Shadow.  Now that I’ve had it for a year I know what I like and don’t like.  That sounds like a post for another day!  Overall though it has served me well and there are only a few things I would change.  I can pack this thing full to the brim and it never feels too heavy on my back.
image
All this fog made me feel like I was in Stephen King’s book The Mist.  Have you read it?  

 

image
An usually rock-free trail.  This is not the norm, but it’s nice to get a break once in awhile!

 

image
Part of a trail I like to do requires about half a mile of running on this construction road.  It is always a surprise to see what conditions you will have.  I never turn around if this route is my plan.  A little mud never hurt anyone!

 

image
Ended up running to a new place called Irish Gap Hollow.  A nice surprise and I hope to get back here with my dog Irish!  I nicknamed this trail “Trail of Many Bridges” because …well, there were many bridges.  Some wooden and some rocks like this, but with 5 or more creek crossings it was a fun part of my morning.

 

image
Almost back to my car I decided to do this last little loop to get to 14.  Some roots but mostly pine needles and you can’t argue with this view.  They don’t call it Pine Plantation for nothing!

So that was my run in a nutshell.  My fueling plan is going well.  Eating every 40-45 minutes works well.  Today I had 3 leftover Honey Stinger chews, a whole banana, 2 peanut butter crackers, 2 more peanut butter crackers, an 8 oz bottle of fruit punch Nuun, and my water.  After showering and cleaning up, I refueled with 3 sunnyside up eggs, two pieces of sprouted grain toast with almond butter and honey, and a clementine.

The trails were pretty empty today.  I only saw one couple near one of the parking lots, and then when I was about 2 miles from finishing I saw a hiking group up ahead.  (Hi Christy!).

Weekly Mileage

Monday:  Double run to catch up from a non-weekend of running due to wrestling (12 total road miles)

Tuesday:  3.5 miles on roads (pouring rain), 20 minutes lifting and core

Wednesday: rest

Thursday:  3 miles with running club on xs course + 2 miles fast on roads(8:10)

Friday: rest…literally needed it…so exhausted!  (TOM or AF whatever you call it kicked my butt)

Saturday:  10 miles hard on trails

Sunday:  14 miles moderate on trails

Total:  42.5    (That 12 from Monday is spillover from last week, but whatever!)

 

Happy Running to Everyone this Week!

I plan to do a winter running gear post here soon (I do think we’re not out of the woods yet with cold weather).  And also a post on my thoughts about road running vs trail running.  I had some thoughts about that this weekend as I was out on the trails!

Plan for tomorrow is some cycling, stretching, and foam rolling to flush out these legs!  Thankfully it is a cutback week for me 🙂

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s