Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Spring Break fun

I'm back into my daily routine after a full week off last week that I was lucky enough to spend doing things I enjoy.  I logged 130 miles in the 9 days I was on break, with two overlapping seven-day periods being over 100 miles.  That's the most mileage I've done this year, and I'm really happy with how well my legs absorbed it.

I started the break driving down to Georgia to do a small event attached to the new Double Top 100.  They had a 4-hour hill climb challenge that sent you up and down a 1-mile out-and-back up a powerline cut trail with maybe 400 ft of gain.  I'd never done something like this before, so I threw out 15 miles as a reasonable number for the day. After the first few laps, the whole thing became very comfortable as I bounced back and forth with a nice PT student from Atlanta, whose boyfriend was currently winning, almost a mile ahead of us already.  I thought about giving chase, but I kept with my plan of using this as a hard training effort for the two mountain 50ks I'm racing later this spring.  I pushed every descent and ran/power-hiked every up, though as the race went on, the ratio shifted toward a lot more power-hiking.  I stopped at 3:50 with 19 laps done, happy with the day.

Last Thursday I was fortunate to drive up into the Roan Highlands, a massif that sits betweeen 5500 and 6200 feet, less than two hours away.  I hadn't been that high up since summer, so I got a bit excited and ended up doing a 19-mile, 3 hour run over to Pot(s) Mountain, and back with some exploring the balds.  The trail up high was super rocky, and my favorite kind of trail for downhill.  Trail where you never really open stride, you just crouch a little and let your ankles do the work of keeping yourself upright as you jump around the rocks, hopping down 2-foot drops onto loose rock.  I really liked the area, and I'm looking forward to getting back out there this summer.

It was super winder along the balds

Then on Saturday, I met up with several of my favorite people, from the IMTR group, to run Eric's infamous 'two hour loop' over by Skulls Gap and Hurricane Gap. It is a fast loop, but 2-hours is insane.

Just a week and a half to go until Terrapin now. I had planned on training straight through, but I've got some aches in my feet that need to be addressed, and the mileage from the past couple weeks is catching up to me, so I think it's time for a short taper/recovery week anyway.

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