Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Jacobsburg Recovery Snow Run

I didn't recover as well from the Naked Bavarian as I did from HAT or some of my other 50Ks.  Maybe that was due to the extra 9 miles, more running during the race or just the cumulative effect of ultras in back to back weeks.  Whatever the case, I was quite sore yesterday.  Today was pretty good except again the top of my foot was bothering me from having my shoes tied too tight.

Things weren't that bad though, so I had to get out and run.  I decided on the short loop through the fields at Jacobsburg.  I figured that all the snow was probably gone in that area.  The problem was that I waited for the evening and it freaking began snowing again.  Snow on the last day in March.  It has been a crazy year for sure.  This wasn't small snow either, it was huge flakes.

The temperature was in the upper 30s, so I threw on shorts.  I wore my jacket over a lightweight long sleeve shirt.  I wore a visor too.  At times, I had my hood up.  Other times, it was too hot and I put it down.  I was a bit chilly and wet by the end, but at least it was a short 4 mile run.

I started off parking at the new building.  Some guy was in the main lot throwing snowballs at the only car in the lot (I guess his).  He was then stretching.  I saw footprints too, but I'm not sure if they were his.  He was the only one I saw during the whole run.  Funny how if it was a bright and sunny night the place probably would've been packed.

The scenery was so beautiful in the beginning, along the creek.  I'm not a huge fan of running in Jacobsburg, but few places can match the beautiful stretch along the creek.  It curves in and out and there are tall evergreens at one point.  It's a special place to run in the winter.

I cruised along and took pictures.  I was in no hurry.  I was surprised that even with stopping some, all the miles were run under 10 minutes.  I tried to soak in what is likely the last winter run of the year.

I got out of this beautiful section and headed to the open field.  The uphill here isn't too bad, but two days after an ultra it can be a slight challenge.  I cruised along.  I even walked at one point.  However, it wasn't that steep, so I began running again.

There were probably a couple inches on the ground already on the open field section.  It wasn't difficult running, but it did provide some resistance.  Maybe it lessened the impact for my broken down legs.

Things were starting to get chilly at this point.  I put my hood back up and focused mostly straight ahead.  When I did look off to the side, it was beautiful.  The tall grass/brush was coated in snow.  I know I likely won't see this again until December or January.

It was nice to cruise downhill in the last mile or so of the run.  I think I even ran a sub 9 mile then.  I got back to my car at 3.7 miles, but wanted to get to mile 4.  I ran through the main lot and back along the creek to 3.9 miles.  I then turned around and ran to mile 4 and walked back to the car after I was done.

It was a good recovery run and nice to enjoy snow for one last time.  I'm looking forward to spring, but dreading summer of course.  I could definitely go for some clear trails at the moment.

As I move forward, I need to bring more balance to my running.  Last year, I ran nothing but big miles in the first half.  In the second half, it was all about elevation gain.  Now, I want to mix both tough climbs and long runs, as well as get back to biking more (for strength without the impact).  I also want to sharpen up my speed a little with some shorter and faster runs.  Maybe I can improve overall by implementing all of this stuff.

I have no plan for tomorrow yet.  That probably depends on whether or not the foot feels better.  I'd love to do 10 miles or so if it does.  On Thursday, Angie and I are hoping to run together in the afternoon at Merrill Creek.  That will be fun as we haven't run together since the summer.

4 miles - 37:42 (9:26 pace) 298 feet of elevation gain

Sunday, March 29, 2015

2015 Naked Bavarian 40 Mile Race Report

Today was a big day.  It was my second ultra in as many weeks, the Naked Bavarian 40 miler (after the HAT 50K last week).  This race was supposed to take place in early March, but got postponed due to too much snow on the course.  The field was smaller, as some people changed their plans and opted to run it next year.  There was a 20 miler, marathon and 40 miler.  Of course I had to do the biggest distance.

Ryan, Kobey and I headed to Blue Marsh early for the race.  We setup a canopy for people, specifically the Trail WhippAss group to set up their stuff.  We met one guy, Rudy but there weren't a lot of people doing the 40 miler.  They could drop their bags later.  It was also too cold to hangout much anyway.  We caught up with a few other friends who were running various distances.  It was a good prerace gathering, even if it was small.

The temperature made things interesting.  It was starting in the low 20s and going into the mid 40s.  I wore a lightweight long sleeve shirt with my jacket over it.  I had on shorts too.  At times, the jacket got a little hot, but there always seemed to be a chilly breeze off of the lake, so I never took it off.

I started off nice and easy.  Ryan ran with me for a bit, but then dropped back.  I passed these guys downhill because they were being too cautious on a technical section.  I then cruised along.

The course starts with some up and down singletrack.  Most of it is runnable and with people all around, I ran more than I likely would've on my own.  It was easy and I tried to just take it slow.

I often complain that even the early miles don't go by fast enough.  However, they were quite fast today.  The pace was pretty good.  The big key for me was taking in nutrition.  I had plenty of Tailwind with me.

I continued to run as the course flattened out after the first aid station.  I was running well.  Before long, it was on to the second aid station, around 6.5 miles.  I had no idea where I actually was because my watch lost signal early and then proceeded to add several miles for some reason.

I lost several positions after this aid station.  I put my Tailwind in Ziplock bags and it was hard to put that into my water bottles on the go.  That slowed me down, but really I was in no hurry.

I was very concerned in this early going.  Hot spots were developing on my feet.  I wore my Lone Peak 2.0s for just the second time in a race.  Last week, I tied them too tight.  This week, I guess they were too loose.  Eventually, I tightened them.  I think the frozen, crunchy snow was causing problems too.

The part after this 2nd aid station was tough.  There are some good climbs, including one nicknamed the "ski slope."  There was ice at the bottom of one of the hills, near a bridge.  I tried to be careful and I walked on it, but took a nasty fall anyway.  My arm hurt and was cut up quite bad, but I went on.  Some guys checked on me.

Around mile 10 was the 3rd aid station.  After this, it was about 4 miles of flat running along the lake.  I really did enjoy that part and I cruised along.  I was back to the end of this loop and refilling my Tailwind again at the aid station.  I saw my friend Miriam there.  She was running a different race.

There were a couple more miles of flat running.  I chatted with a guy for a few minutes, before pulling ahead.  I wanted to run all the stuff that was still runnable.  I was amazed around mile 15, because I still felt good.  That isn't often the case.  I usually start hurting by that point.

I ran so much going back to the start/finish area.  I was doing so well and on such a high.  I actually got choked up after 20 miles.  I had some issues going on in my head too and I wasn't sure how well I'd run today.  Even if I crashed, I was thrilled with 20 good miles.  That much good running rarely happens.

I had run with Rudy for a bit before this loop was over.  We chatted briefly at the start/finish and I was out on my way.  I made sure to keep using the Tailwind.  So far, it was working great.  I had finished the loop around 3 hours and 35 minutes.  That was solid.

I saw a friend Bob early on in this next loop.  I told him I had 20 good miles, so I was thrilled no matter how the rest of the day went.  Of course, it was still a long way to go.  I was surprised that Ryan wasn't closer to me, but he was running solid and smart.

I tried to hike a little more during the early part of this loop.  I felt good though, so I still ran a lot.  Seeing runners from other races coming back was a big plus too.  They were encouraging.

As I closed in on the marathon point, I started to lose it.  The energy levels were still up, but my quads were getting sore again.  They are clearly my weakness on trails.  I just had to keep moving though.  I continued to run a lot.

I felt pretty bad as I began the loop.  I couldn't believe that I still had about a half marathon left in the race.  I wasn't completely falling apart, but I wasn't strong either.  I took it easy through this tough part.  I just wanted to get to mile 30.

It was great to get to that aid station, even though my legs were kind of dead.  I took a Hammer Capsule from the aid station.  I was sweating a lot.  I knew this next section was runnable.

Of course, runnable after 30 miles is always a big question.  I was thrilled to see that I could run very well on the flat.  I took some short walk breaks every now and then, but for the most part, I ran when I could run.

The strangest thing happened as I got to mile 33-35.  My quads no longer hurt and I actually felt better.  I continued to run a lot, since it was flat and I plugged away.  I couldn't believe how good I felt this late in the race.

At the second to last aid station, I ran into Sophia from the Trail WhippAss group.  It was good to meet her and chat for a bit.  She ran a 50K last weekend and was doing the marathon.  She was struggling a bit though, so I ran past her eventually.

I was so happy to get to the final aid station.  A guy, Jeff, who I ran with in January was there.  I talked to him briefly about where we ran together and thanked him for the support.

I continued to run.  To me, the most amazing thing wasn't that I was running the flats.  More amazing, I was running the uphills too.  I ran basically the entire open field section.  This guy behind me seemed to gain ground and then fall back.

I was still good to run, but there were some wicked climbs in the last two miles.  I had to hike them and that slowed me down.  Finally, after one of them, I just let the guy pass me.  I wanted to get done, but I was hurting a bit and in no rush to finish.

The funny thing was he asked me if I need S-Caps.  Of course right after I declined and he ran off, my quads began to cramp, basically out of nowhere.  Talk about frustrating, there was less than a mile left.  I was forced to hike most of that.

I ran a slightly downhill not too far from the finish, but nearly cramped again.  I tried to stretch, but other muscles nearly cramped.  I managed to run very slowly on the road into the finishing area.  At least I could run through the finish.

I hungout with Kobey, Rudy and Sophia at the finish, as we waited for Ryan.  It was good to chat.  Ryan came in about 45 minutes after me.  It was cold, but I didn't want to take anything off, since I was nearly cramping.

I've struggled so much in ultras.  This was my second farthest distance ever and I handled it so well.  I fell off a bit in the second loop of course, but I didn't crash.  I was beyond thrilled.  If only I didn't cramped down the stretch, I would've perhaps broke 8 hours, which is what I was hoping coming into the race.

I'm very sore, so not sure when I'll run again.  I do usually bounce back quickly.  Sometime this week, I would like to try to get 5 or 6 loops around Mt. Tammany, in preparation for Hyner.  Maybe I can do that over the weekend.  That will also depend on the Mt. Tammany trail conditions.  I'm sure they are improving, but could still be crap.

Officially 40 miles - 8:03:48 (12:06 pace) 5423 feet of elevation gain (Watch added distance)
24th of 47 finishers

Friday, March 27, 2015

A Couple Miles Back on the AT

I didn't end up running yesterday.  Instead, I was going to go for a short run this afternoon.  The plan was to hit the Appalachian Trail.  I was hoping the snow would be melted.  I started at Route 191, so that I wouldn't have too much elevation gain.

It was chilly for the run.  It still feels like winter.  I wore my jacket over a short sleeve shirt.  I was sweating by the end of the run.

I headed northbound.  This part runs along the ridge on the north side of the mountain.  I figured that it would get more sun and be clear of snow.  I was correct and the first 8/10 of a mile was a blast.

I ran along at a good clip.  I stopped at the Nelson Overlook to take a photo and take in the view.  I was running a sub 10 minute mile before that.

I then headed along the trail.  The conditions quickly got crappy.  The trail went away from the ridge and the snow was covering the trail now.  It was uneven, so I ran slowly.

There was a mix of rocks too.  It was a pain.  I ended up hiking some of the tougher parts.  At 1.5 miles, I simply turned around and headed back.  I'm 2 days from a 40 mile race and didn't want to overdo it.

Going back of course was frustrating too.  There was a lot of hiking.  I took my time now.  There was no point in rushing.  I was looking forward to getting back on to the clear stuff.

Finally, I was over 2 miles and to that point where the trail got better.  It was rocky singletrack now, but still great that it was runnable.  Most of it was downhill too.  I had fun over this part.

I got back to the road crossing.  I still had not hit 3 miles.  I decided to cross the road and over that point.  I did that and finished up with over 3 miles.

This wasn't as productive of a run as I hoped.  It was quite frustrating to still have so much snow on the mountain.  At least I checked it out and did something. 

Tomorrow will probably be an off day.  Then, Sunday is the big 40 miler.  I hope I'm rested for that, but I'm not sure.

3.03 miles - 42:43 (14:06 pace) 455 feet of elevation gain

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Blue Marsh Recon

I didn't work today.  Therefore, I decided to go to Blue Marsh.  I wanted to check out the mud for Sunday's Naked Bavarian 40 miler.  I knew there would be mud, but was also wondering if I'd find snow.

I drove to the day use area first.  Sure enough, there was mud on the trail there.  I then went to Old Church Road to park.  My plan was to get in about 8 miles here.  The key was that I wanted to check out a few different sections.  I wanted to run short segments in three different directions.

The weather was excellent when I left the house.  That changed as I drove out and it was raining when I began the run.  It was a bit cold too.  I wore my jacket and visior to protect against the rain.  I had on shorts.  My legs actually got cold at one point and I considered stopping, but I kept at it.

I began by heading along the lake on the loop that I usually do.  Today, I was only going to go out about 2 miles.  I didn't want to do the whole ski slope loop.  It started off with huge puddles and crazy amounts of mud.  Luckily, it wasn't that bad the rest of the way.

There is a singletrack with plenty of grass surrounding it.  If you try to run on the singletrack, it is muddy and slick.  However, the grass is fine.  At least there are options.  Plus, it is flat running, so that helps.  I cruised along and then turned around 2 miles out.

There was a little snow here and there too.  I then went the opposite way on the loop after crossing the road bridge.  This would have a decent climb up to the cliffs.  I ran along there.  This part was in much better shape and less muddy.  I was kind of surprised, since it has more tree cover.  It was actually beautiful and I enjoyed it, even with some climbing.

I got back to the car at mile 6.  I was clicking off sub 10 minute miles, so it was definitely very runnable.  The only time I bothered to stop was to take photos.  I then headed out toward the start.  This was the worst section I encountered.  It was very muddy and wet.  Worse yet, horses had gone through and made it sloppier.  Even the grass along the sides sucked.

Luckily, this part, like many of the other very messy stretches, was short.  It was about a quarter mile long at most.  I ran out until mile 7.  I was running in the grass.  My body was getting tired.  Even avoiding the mud, I was having some resistance. 

It was good to get back to the car and finish up.  I had over 8 miles in the books.  They went by quickly.  I ran the whole time, so that was good.  This course is much more forgiving than last week's rolling hills course.  This would be an excellent race if the trail was in good shape.  It still might be come race day, but there will be a lot of traffic going over the mud.  It will be multiple loops.

I'll be able to run a lot more of this than I did at Saturday's race.  Today, I wasn't hurting, but my legs didn't feel great either.  I'm sure it didn't help that all I ate was a cucumber for lunch.  This will be a tough race because it is 40 miles and sloppy, but it might be better than HAT anyway.

I think tomorrow might be my last run before the race, although it is supposed to rain a lot.  I'd like to go up to an easy part of AT on Route 191.  I'm curious how much snow is remaining there.  If I don't make it tomorrow, maybe I'll run there on Friday.  I'm sure I'll take Saturday off.  Maybe I'll hike one day.

8.19 miles - 1:21:07 (9:54 pace) 792 feet of elevation gain

Monday, March 23, 2015

Jacobsburg: It's Been Awhile

My foot was a little sore from the HAT 50K, so I took off yesterday.  I had my shoes on too tight. I guess and it bothered the top of my foot.  However, I didn't have too many other issues.  I race terrible, but at least I recover well.

I had to run today.  I've been kind of stubborn training over the winter.  All I worried about was getting elevation gain.  While that may have helped some, I was hiking too much and not running enough.  I decided to go to Jacobsburg today.  It sits at a lower elevation and I knew the trails would be in better shape, plus a bit easier.

It was still a bit chilly.  I'm not sure if it got above freezing and it was windy.  I wore my jacket over a short sleeve shirt and had on shorts.  Since my new shoes were a problem during the race, I played it safe and wore my older shoes.  That was okay.

I started off from the main parking area and began my normal loop.  This part along the creek is heavily traveled, so it gets packed down and icy.  It was icy in the sections with the evergreens above.  The other parts were more slushy snow.  There were some bare spots too.

I ran along nice and easy.  I was feeling pretty good.  I passed a couple walking there dog.  There were a few people out, but not too many.  Mostly, it was dog walkers.

Going up across the road and then along the back of the park was decent.  A lot of it was clear and runnable.  The ground was mud and soft though, so it wasn't exactly easy running.  I was clicking off sub 10 minute miles anyway.  I was relaxed and enjoying myself.

While my legs weren't bad, I certainly can't say they were great either.  The sections of the three road crossings were quite clear and I cruised over those.  It has been so long since I've seen rocks that I almost forgot how to run on them.

I thought the Sober's Run loop would be good.  I was wrong.  The powerline was clear.  I slowly chugged up that.  It was a struggle, but I made it.  The downhill was just awful.  It was full of snow, sometimes ice.  It was uneven and hard to run in.  I usually fly down this section.  It might've been easier if I had not run an ultra 2 days ago.

I had considered maybe running 10 miles here beforehand.  However, with the effort it was taking, I knew I was only going to finish this 6 mile loop.  I sputtered along.

I was elated to get on to the road.  The top of my foot really started to bother me there.  It was only a slight problem earlier.  I got back on the trail quickly though.  I was back at the parking lot and over 6 miles in no time.  I decided to finish the loop and run for just over an hour.

This was a nice and relaxing run.  I was hoping for more clear trails, but it is what it is.  At least it was partially clear and runnable throughout.  I liked the temperature, but I can't wait until the snow melts.

I'm hoping to run at least two times between tomorrow and Thursday.  One day, I want to get down to Reading and run the Naked Bavarian course.  I want to know the trail conditions for Sunday.  I hope my foot feels a little better too.

6.17 miles - 1:00:03 (9:44 pace) 544 feet of elevation gain

Saturday, March 21, 2015

2015 HAT 50K Race Report

Mud, mud and more mud.  That's about the only way to sum up my first time running the HAT 50K in Maryland.  It was mess when Ryan and I were there last week, but things got even worse today at Susquehanna State Park.  A late season snowstorm brought a couple inches yesterday.

I was already dreading this race before the start.  It is popular, so I assumed that it would be an easy race.  Even without the mud, it would be anything but easy.  It is nonstop rolling hills.  Some people, like Ryan, might like this style of course, but it doesn't suit me at all.

It was a little chilly at the start.  I went with my shell over a short sleeve shirt.  I dropped my jacket after the first short loop.  That worked out well.  It was chilly at times and cloudy most of the time.  It got a little hot by the end, but it never was too bad.  I managed the temperature at least okay.

The start was interesting.  It is a giant open field.  It's like a cross country race.  The snow was fairly nice and crunchy.  It was very runnable, but did provide some resistance.  I got in decent position.

The first short loop was mostly open fields, but there was some singletrack too.  That wasn't bad either.  The pace was maybe a little quicker than I would've liked, but it was easy running.  I certainly wasn't going to push, but didn't back off too much either.

I got back my bag, near the start, at under 40 minutes.  I was doing well so far.  I stopped to fill my water bottles with more Tailwind and I saw Ryan run on by.  He ran well and I knew that that would be the last time I would see him.

It was now on to the main loop.  I settled in with plenty of other runners.  There always seemed to be runners around.  They were running more than I would've, so I did run more frequently.  I still hiked some hills and was passed by plenty of people.

The course wasn't too bad at this point.  It was still relatively cold and no one had run on the trail yet.  There was mud here and there, but not too much.

It was rolling hill after rolling hill.  We crossed the creek pretty early into this loop.  That was part refreshing and part freezing cold.  Luckily, after some running, it gets better.

After that, it was more hills and some more hiking.  At some point in this early going, I was able to settle in and follow another runner.  That helped a lot.

The open field section was a little messy, but not too bad at this point.  I was able to run most of it.  There was an aid station, but I was feeling good at this point, so I didn't stop.  I did realize that I was using a lot of my Tailwind though.

We were now on the green trail.  We ended up running this park the opposite way of last week's run.  This has a lot of up and down.  At one point, my friend Wayne caught and passed me.  He was looking strong.

The course then goes through the campground and on to a dirt road.  This was kind of nice, to go downhill and move faster, but my feet and legs hurt a bit.  I ran this part though.  After a couple miles, it was on to the aid station.  This time, I stopped there.  I grabbed a bunch of stuff.  I hoped that that would help without having enough Tailwind.

I felt okay as we headed up the Ridge Trail.  However, this trail was a huge mess.  It was so muddy and tough to run.  It was scary knowing that it would only get worse.  I was doing a lot of running and hiking.

I looked forward to just finishing the loop.  It helped that Destrie was volunteering at the aid station there.  I kind of needed someone to complain to.  The remainder of the loop was still a mess.  The second creek crossing was even deeper and colder than the first.

It was great to finish the loop.  I was still on pace for around a 6 hour finishing time, but I knew I wouldn't do that well.  My quads had already been feeling like trash at about the half marathon point.  It was setting up for a long day.  Seeing Destrie and talking with her briefly was a big help.

Going out for the last loop was mentally tough.  I knew once I started it though, I'd finish the race.  I felt like such crap and thinking of all the mud made me considering dropping out.  However, I've never dropped from an ultra and wasn't about to now.

I continued on.  The first mile or two of this loop was nice, but then it was a struggle.  The miles just seemed to click off slowly.  Around mile 20, I nearly got a cramp.

I got to the field section and ended up passing someone that looked like Wayne.  I figured that it couldn't be him though.  There was a guy dressed like him that had been running around him.  I got to the aid station and it turns out it was Wayne.  He was struggling and had other plans, so he dropped out.

That gave me a slight boost, knowing he is tough and dropping.  Now, I was just going to keep plugging away.  The boost wasn't long lasting and we hit the brutal rolling hills of the green trail.  They were even more muddy.  I was just thrilled that I never fell.  I slipped plenty.

I sort of looked forward to the road section, but it was tough.  I ran a lot of it, but had to walk some too.  It was slow, but at least I was moving.  I was thrilled to go over the marathon distance.

I was more thrilled to get to the last main aid station.  I took some time to grab plenty of food.  My friend Alison caught me there and we got a photo.  We ended up running together with another guy for several miles.  This section was slow and muddy, but her company was outstanding.  I ran parts that I might've walked.  I led the way.

Time flew by, but I could only sustain this effort for so long.  Alison seemed strong, so after a few miles, I told her to just go on.  She flew away and the guy left too.

I got passed by more and more people.  The combination of being tired, nearly cramping and the mud forced me to hike a lot.  I saw a woman in front of me really struggling.  She ended up falling in the open field section.  That part was hard to run, as it was so muddy.

I was mixed about the last road section.  Again, it was close to a mile and downhill.  That made it faster and more runnable than the mud, but still a challenge for my legs.  I was happy to not cramp up in this part, even though I came close.

Before this downhill began, we ran close to the finishing area.  I could actually see others finishing.  That was frustrating.  More frustrating though was what was up ahead.  More trail running to finish up.

I kind of had some energy left and could.  Unfortunately, this wasn't really runnable.  It was almost all gradual uphill.  It was super muddy.  There were even mud puddles.  I ran very little, although I did pass the woman that was struggling.  I passed only a few people and got passed by a ton down the stretch.

It was nice to finally be out of the woods.  Now, it was about a quarter to half mile to the finish.  The open fields were so sloppy.  I walked some of that and ran some.  A few more guys passed me.

I ran on the road, but nearly cramped, so I stretched my calf.  I wanted to be able to run into the finish.  It wasn't pretty, but I did it.  I was so frustrated that I threw my visor at my chair afterward.

It was a well organized event.  At least I finished it in tough conditions.  Even without those conditions, I'm not a big fan of the course.  Others would find it outstanding, but me not so much.  I'd like to volunteer in the future, but highly doubt I'll ever run it again.

I battled through dead quads for most of the race.  One day, I'll have to figure out how to better deal with that and run a good race.  I've run plenty of ultras now, but only one of them has been good.  Every other time, I've fallen apart.  It's funny because I'm a good road runner, but hate it.  On the flip side, I love ultra and trail running, but suck at it.  I think do secretly enjoy the torture.  If I ran these races well, I'm not sure how much I'd enjoy it.

The best part of the race was actually the social aspect.  A ton of different friends were there.  We stayed for at least two hours to chat.  That was one of the main reasons that I signed up for this race in the first place.  The company was great.

This was a nice way to get a long run in.  That's something I haven't been able to do in the winter.  I'm quite beat, so I think I'll wisely take off tomorrow.  This week, I'll run some, but it is all about recovery.  I have 40 miles to run again next Sunday.  That course could be a mess too.

31 miles - 6:39:51 (12:53 pace) 5325 feet of elevation gain
Finished in 136th place

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Clear Trails at Wissahickon

I didn't have time to run yesterday.  I had to run today though.  I didn't work, so I was able to travel.  I decided to head to Wissahickon (near Philly).  I knew it would be clear.  It is a place I love to run too.

It was supposed to be kind of warm, so I brought a singlet.  Luckily, I also had a lightweight long sleeve shirt.  I wore that and it worked perfectly with my shorts.  It was quite windy and chilly.  I also had on a visor, to keep the sun out.

I began just on the other side of the Valley Green Inn.  I decided to run this loop in the counterclockwise direction.  Last time, I ran the other way.  The first climb was tough, since I wasn't warmed up.  I ran up it though and was breathing heavy.  I stopped at the top to adjust my socks.  I thought they might give me blisters, but they didn't.  I was happy with that, as they were sliding down my ankles. 

At the top of the climb was a guy resting with his dog.  Later on, I saw him running with the dog.  I think he was the only runner I saw on the trails.  I like that no one runs on them.  I saw a few hikers and one mountain biker.  Mostly, it was peaceful.

I ran along the flat ridge.  It was nice and fast.  I got into a groove.  I knew that in the past I got to the end of some trails here and it went into a yard.  This time, I took the down option for once.  These trails aren't marked, so they are tough to follow at times.

I ran past the golf course.  That was kind of weird.  As I was standing on the top of a cliff, I noticed a guy below.  I followed that trail.  This was great.  It was a fun, new part I had never been on.  I was surprised to find it.

I ran down along the ridge.  Then, I came to the bridge on Forbidden Drive.  I knew where it was, so I ran over it and found a trail on the other side.

This was now much more technical.  I ran along and had fun.  Eventually the trail kind of disappeared and I had to climb up to the main trail.  I climbed over a stone wall.

This part is really cool.  There are a lot of old stone structures.  After a bit, I got to a small feeder stream.  I had been running now for over an hour.  I couldn't figure out how to get over this stream.  I had to run out quite a bit and and then cross a bridge.  Then, I ran back on the other side.

There was a small section of snow here.  There was a bit of mud too.  I cautiously ran over some circular pipes too.  I had more fun on some technical stuff, including when the trail went straight between two giant rocks.

I was taking in Tailwind and doing good.  I ran probably 99% of the time.  I was falling off slightly, but not too bad.  My watch GPS mileage was way off.  That was frustrating.

I did miss a bunch of the cool parts of this trail.  I took the lower trail options, but somehow missed them.  I don't know how.  At least I got to run up some cool stone steps.

Some guy's dog was ahead of him and it scared me.  I decided to run to the covered bridge and head back.  I wanted to do the whole loop, but it was taking too long.  Somehow I did way more mileage that usual there.

I crossed the covered bridge.  Then, I ran along Forbidden Drive for a bit.  I wanted to go back up on the trail.  When I could, I went up there.  I climbed a bit to the top.  Then, I ran along, but I was on the wrong trail and going away from everything.

I turned around and headed down.  I had another trail climb, but I figured it might take too long on trails.  I turned back around and finished up on Forbidden Drive.  It was about a mile of running on there.

It was slightly over 2 hours of fun trail running.  It was much needed.  I was glad to be able to run snow free.  It was a blast.  I can't wait for the snow to be gone.

This is my last run before the HAT 50K on Saturday.  I feel well rested and good.  I'm going to use the race to get back into shape.  It will be simply a training run.  I don't like the course anyway.  It will be fun to hangout too.

16.47 miles - 2:12:23 (8:02 pace) 1708 feet of elevation gain INCORRECT NUMBERS

Monday, March 16, 2015

Slushy Tammany Double

Ryan and I had planned on running Mt. Tammany yesterday.  However, I wasn't up for it and I just took the day off.  That meant I had to run today and I went up there for the run.  It was around 3:30 PM when I started.  I took advantage of the extra daylight that we now have.

The parking lot was super crowded and so were the trails.  It was a Monday afternoon, but the temperature rose into the 50s.  I wore shorts and a short sleeve shirt.  That was kind of weird with plenty of snow still on the ground.  I was warm at times.

I didn't know what to expect for trail conditions.  I kind of figured that it would probably suck.  There isn't much snow on the ground any more, but still plenty in the woods.  I was hopeful at first because the early stair section and the flat part after that weren't bad.  They were a little muddy, but very runnable.

I ran the beginning of the first steep and rocky section.  However, that section never gets much sun, so it was tough.  There were probably still a few inches of snow.  In the steeper parts, it was slush and tough to get any grip on the steep part.  A guy coming down was actually smoking.  That was so annoying and the first of many stupid people up there.

After this first part, the trail becomes a bit more gradual of a climb.  Some parts here had completely clear trail.  It was weird to run these parts.  Some other parts still had snow.  I had to hike some too.  I wasn't feeling too bad.

Then, I got to the very steep and rocky section.  I had to hike all of this.  It was super difficult.  I had to grab some of the exposed rocks, just to make it up.  I saw a hiker up ahead, but I guess I wasn't fast enough to ever catch him.

I did hike most of this, but also did some running when it flattened out at the top.  There were a bunch of people at the overlook.  I didn't venture down.

I had to run around a group of women sitting on a rock.  They were blocking the paht to the Blue Trail.  This part along the ridge was a mix of clear and rocky trail and snow covered trail.  I basically ran all of it.

Next came the Blue Trail descent.  This was very interesting.  It was all runnable, but very slow and challenging.  On the steepest parts, I was basically sliding down the hill out of control.  I guess it was probably like skiing.  I was amazed that I wasn't falling.  It was pretty dangerous.  The whole trail still had a couple inches of snow on it.

I passed some hikers who were also struggling with footing.  They must've really thought that I was crazy.  I commented about the condition of the trails, as I slipped on a downhill and fell into the snow on the side of the trail.  I slid into a log later and banged my knee.

One part of the trail had water runoff over it and then it was wet underneath the snow.  My feet got a little wet.  There was runoff at the bottom too.  My socks were soaked in no time.

It had been very slow going for this loop.  I finished up at just over 58 minutes.  Usually, I can do a loop in 50 minutes.  I filled my bottle with Tailwind.

Since I have an ultra this weekend, I strongly considered passing on a second loop.  I didn't want to fall and get injured.  However, I was having too much fun.  I went back out there.

At first, this seemed like a big mistake.  I was feeling very sluggish.  The heat was getting to me and I was mostly just hiking up the Red Dot Trail.  That was frustrating.  I passed an Asian couple coming down.  The woman realized that she saw me earlier and that this was my second loop.  She was impressed.

I took my hat off and that help reduce the amount I was overheating.  Still, I was struggling, at least until the descent.  I battled to the top though.  I got to pet a dog coming down and slipped slightly while doing so.

I encountered some more annoying things on the way up.  One group came down and the guy was blasting music on a boom box.  I'm out there to enjoy nature, not listen to hip hop.  Another guy was smoking weed off the side of the trail.  I do miss having this trail to myself, especially with all the city hikers that show up here.

It was nice to get to the top.  This time, I was alone up there.  I took and photo, but didn't spend much time.  I slipped and nearly fell on a clear rock.  That would've been ugly.

Again, I ran along the ridge of the Blue Trail.  Then, it was more cautious running down the trail.  I didn't fall though.  Some hikers kindly moved out of the way.  I was running pretty consistent.

Before long, I was at the bottom.  The waterfall is now rushing.  I came up behind a group.  One person already had soaked the back of their pants.  As I was passing them, another in the group fell right into some runoff.  These people make me laugh.  They come to one of the toughest hikes around and wear jeans and sneakers, as if they were walking around the paved loop at the county park.  I certainly don't feel sorry for them.

It was good to put in a quality run.  I can't believe that people are going to try to run 10 loops there on Saturday.  That should be interesting.  I'm glad I'm not one of them.  I'd probably just quit early.  It would be easy to fall once I start losing concentration.  It is nice to have some clear trail, but it looks like Tammany is still several weeks away from completely clear trails.

Tomorrow, I'm planning on running again.  I have to go to the doctor in the afternoon.  I'll run in the morning if I don't work.  If not, I'll run after the appointment.  Either way, it probably won't be too long.  Perhaps I'll go to Trexler.

7.09 miles - 1:59:00 (16:47 pace) 2541 feet of elevation gain
11th and 12 summits of Mt. Tammany in 2015

Saturday, March 14, 2015

HAT Course Preview with Ryan

It has been a very sucky week of running.  The snow is beginning to melt, but there is still a lot of it around.  On Thursday, I tried to run at Trexler.  I took about 10 steps and gave up.  It was such an uneven mess.  I knew miles of it would be frustrating and unproductive.

In part because of that, I asked Ryan if he wanted to go to the HAT course in Maryland to run.  They have much less snow and the race is next weekend.  It would be good prep.

We got there in good time.  It was late in the morning.  It was raining heavily on the way down, but let up quite a bit as we started.  It was chilly on the Susquehanna River side of the trail and warm on the other side.  I wore shorts, a light rain jacket and a short sleeve shirt under it.  It worked out great, even if I was a little hot at times.

We parked near the boat launch at the southern end of Susquehanna State Park.  Again, we would just run the training loop.  Running the exact course would be too puzzling.

The start really sucks.  It is the steepest climb by far and the toughest part.  Your lungs and legs aren't ready.  I waa well rested and did feel good early on, even if I was breathing hard.  I pulled away from Ryan a bit.

The course was tough.  It was quite muddy, from the heavy rains.  Before long, we were on the white blazed Land of Promise Trail.  This had some early uphill too.

It was up and down, up and down, throughout the run.  Since my legs weren't as dead as last time here, I was actually having more fun now.  Even though running in the mud was hard, I found it to be a lot fun.  There was plenty of ice and snow on the trail as well, although it was melting.

I was a bit ahead of Ryan and I forgot to tell him to switch to the yellow trail.  He had to bushwack a bit.  We then went on.  There was rolling hills, but also a lot of downhill until we made it to the road.  There was a small creek crossing.  That was a little chilly, but overall not too bad.

We ran on the road for a short distance.  Then, it was on to the orange trail.  This was hard at the beginning, because it was mostly uphill.  It was mostly runnable, but with the mud, that was very tough to do.  I combined running and hiking.

I felt good and got quite far ahead of Ryan.  Then, we came out to a road and I waited for him.  I took a wrong turn here last time, but this time I went the correct way.  It was now on to open fields.  I don't like them, but I am fast on them.  I'll have to use that to my advantage on Saturday.

We were on the blue trail now.  That eventually turned into singletrack.  There was a fun downhill section before a small creek crossing.  It was technical, muddy and snowy.  I was amazed that I didn't fall.  I had been reckless.

Now, we were on the green trail and heading up.  I hiked a bit of this, with Ryan not too far behind.  This looping trail goes up and down.  It definitely hits one of the highest points in the park.  You are now above a stream that feeds into the Susquehanna.

We were over 5 miles at this point.  I don't enjoy the green trail too much, but this trail did seem a little better today.  It might not be too bad in nicer weather conditions.  At least it wasn't raining much now.  It was very foggy, however.

After several ups and downs, it was finally on to the red blazed Susquehanna Ridge Trail.  That went up for a bit.  Then at one point, we got to a junction.  Neither trail looked blazed.  I took the down route.  It was slightly overgrown and I could tell early on that it wasn't the right way.  However, we kept going on it.  It was likely an old trail.

There were some big rocks.  Eventually, the trail kind of disappeared.  The road was right below, so we just went down to it.  We stopped to look at the river from there, but the visibility was very low.

I let Ryan lead on the road.  Before long, we came to the old building.  At least since we were off the trail, we didn't have to cross the creek.  That was nice, as I'm sure it was quite high.

We stayed on the road briefly and then it was back on the red trail.  Ryan continued to lead the way.  I was starting to slip.  I had some Tailwind, but probably not enough.  Also, I just haven't been able to run for long periods very often lately.  That was taking its toll on my legs.

Ryan stopped at one point and took a video.  The trail then turned to muddy and snowy crap.  I got better in this section.  I do enjoy terrible conditions.  I flew ahead.  It wasn't too long and we were to the one view of the river.  However, it was too foggy.  We were nearly done at that point.

We flew downhill and finished up.  It was slightly under 9 miles.  I don't think I missed a turn on this course, but they call it an 11 mile route.  I'm not sure where that comes from.  It was good to be done with this muddy and messy run.

We then headed home, but stopped for lunch first.  We went to Iron Hill Brewery in Delaware.  That was near where Destrie lives and she stopped by for a bit.  That was nice.

It was nice to run on semi clear trails.  Tomorrow, we are probably going to loop Tammany.  That will surely still be a mess.  It could be interesting.  I'm sort of looking forward to it and sort of dreading it.

8.76 miles - 1:48:31 (12:23 pace) 1280 feet of elevation gain

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Another Crappy Mt. Tammany Run

This time of year is killing me.  The temperatures are getting warmer, but there's still plenty of snow and trail running is hard.  At least clear trails are only a few weeks away.

I didn't get around to running on Monday.  I wanted to make sure to do so today.  I headed to Mt. Tammany again.  I figured that it would be packed down after the weekend and starting to melt.  I got there late in the afternoon and was hoping for a few loops through dinner time.

When I got there, it began to rain.  It was cloudy, but in the 40s.  It was kind of weird wearing shorts with snow.  I had on my new lightweight jacket over a short sleeve shirt.  The jacket did keep off the rain, but also made me a bit warm.  I used my hat to keep water out of my eyes.

I'm not sure why, but I expected fairly solid and runnable conditions.  I thought there would be some snow melt, but really there wasn't much.  I ran slowly early on with my MICROspikes.  Even the spikes didn't help much.  There wasn't much grip on the wet, slushy snow.  It was particularly difficult going uphill.

I hiked the first steep part.  My back was a little sore.  Otherwise, I felt decent.  I was just slightly frustrated.  It was good to get to the flattened out part.  I was able to run some of that, but not much.

Near the lower overlook, there were deer on the trail.  There must've been 6 or 7 of them.  That was pretty cool and they took off when they saw me.  The trail was covered in deer tracks.  There were no cars in the lot on this day and I didn't see anyone else throughout the run.  It was nice having things to myself.

It wasn't long and I had to hike again.  I was getting very annoyed.  I just want to run.  This trail is too much work in conditions like today.  I was cursing over and over again.

I tried to speed hike a little.  Going through the very rocky section wasn't too bad.  It is steep, but the rocks are still mostly covered.  Some of the larger ones are now showing though.  I saw three more deer near the top.

Eventually I made it to the summit.  It wasn't without more complaining though.  It was a little foggy at the view.  I now headed on the Blue Trail.

Running this part on the ridge was kind of annoying.  I lost my footing several times and my foot fell deep into snow.  I ended up walking a lot of it. 

I had been looking forward to the descent.  However, it wasn't much better.  Sometimes the trail was packed down.  I could run about 5 steps.  Then on like the 6th step, my foot would sink in 6 inches to a foot into the snow.  It was quite frustrating.

I also slid down the wet snow, rather than running down.  It was kind of like skiing (I assume).  It was a slow go.  It was kind of frustrating.

It wasn't long and I was down to the bottom.  The waterfall was running now.  Finally, I went onto the AT and was back to the parking area.  This was too frustrating of a loop, so I just ended my run there.  It was disappointing, but at least I got something done.

I really hope I can run again tomorrow.  It is hard to get out there in these conditions.  I would like to go to Trexler.  Running 10 miles would be great.

3.63 miles - 56:43 (15:37 pace) 1308 feet of elevation gain
10th Summit of Mt. Tammany of 2015

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Trail WhippAss Fat Ass

Today was supposed to be the Naked Bavarian 40 miler.  However, with all the snow, they postponed it last week.  Since a bunch of people from the Trail WhippAss group were going to do it, they decided to run a Fat Ass instead.  You could do loops, up to 40 miles.

The event took place in Valley Forge.  It was a 4 mile loop.  I knew it had some solid climbs, but I had not run there since my very early trail running days.  I was worried that the course would be a mess like yesterday's run was.  However, the trail was packed down and nearly perfect.

Last night was daylight savings time.  I lost an hour and that really hurt.  I didn't even sleep for two hours.  Then, I had to drive over an hour to the start.  I would pay for this.

The weather was tricky.  It was still chilly in the morning when we started.  It was going to get warmer as the day went on.  I wore a lightweight long sleeve shirt with a jacket.  I had on tights too.  That was too much. 

It took us awhile to get started.  I was getting chilly standing around.  I decided to be goofy.  I bought a colonial style hat yesterday.  I figured it was perfect to run at Valley Forge in.

In addition to running, I wanted to take some GoPro video.  Therefore, I recorded the start and wound up behind everyone.  Luckily, I have some good road speed.  Then, I ran up a hill too.  I passed about half the people.  It was a lot of working doing so though.

I think the videos turned out good.  The trail was in excellent condition, but it still takes some effort to run it.  Clear trails will be great, whenever they come.  There was some nice running along the ridge and then more climbing of Mt. Joy.

Mt. Joy was a decent climb.  My problem is that it was pretty much all runnable, but with so much difficult terrain, I can't run long periods of time any more.  I usually need to hike.  I need to work on that.

After going up for a bit, we had a fun downhill.  Then, we crossed the road.  It was back up on Mt. Misery.  This climb was awful and much tougher.  I had to hike a lot of it.  I was trying to catch one group, but I was using too much energy.  I was already zapped from the lack of sleep and I was overheating too.

Coming down Mt. Misery was nice.  I caught Ryan at the bottom and he couldn't quite find his way.  The course was pretty well marked though.  Maggie and Destrie did that earlier in the morning.

I was happy to be done with the first loop.  I had been hoping to do three loops at least, but already I wasn't feeling great.  I took off my colonial hat and headed back out.  I took my time and Ryan and Russ got quite far ahead of me.

Again, I was kind of slow going up Mt. Joy.  I was glad this was easier.  The pace was pretty quick.  One thing that screwed me up the first time was that I was trying to do video and forgot to start my watch until about a half mile in.

Now, I was getting quite hot with my jacket on.  The problem is that I was already sweating too much and didn't want to be wearing a cold shirt, so I kept it on.  It seemed hot at the top of the climbs.  I was happy to be going downhill and heading over to Mt. Misery in no time.  These loops were short.

The smooth trails did make this run fairly quick.  I took my time with some videos, so that slowed me a little.  I ended up hiking most of Mt. Misery again.  Near the top, some kids were carving on a tree and shoveling snow.  Apparently, the kid was asking someone to the prom.  I could not believe he was ruining the tree.

By this time, I had resigned myself to this being my last loop.  I was overheating and just feeling like shit.  There was no point in forcing any more.  However, going downhill on Mt. Misery was nice and it almost made me reconsider.

I did the smart thing though and just quit.  It would give me more of a chance to take some videos.  I finished up around 8 miles and got some climbing in.

I was pretty beat, so I hungout and rested for a bit at the aid station.  Destrie wasn't running, so she was working there.  I was chilly after a bit, so I changed clothes.

After hanging out for awhile, I headed back on the course.  I wanted a couple more course videos.  I got some downhill and uphill ones.  I hung around for a couple more hours and left late in the afternoon.  Ryan did a good job, running 20 miles.  I might've been able to force myself that far, but that would not have accomplished much.  It was a great day hanging out with both old and new friends.

I hope to get up to Mt. Tammany again tomorrow.  The snow is beginning to melt.  It will either be an awesome route or the snow will melt too much.  If it is good, I hope for three or four loops.

7.57 miles - 1:24:17 (11:08 pace) 1424 feet of elevation gain

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Pulpit Rock and the Pinnacle with Ryan

Again, I've been slacking off this week.  The winter weather has been brutal, with several storms.  I was tired of breaking trail, so I only ran once.  I had to get out there on the weekend, no excuses.

I met up with Ryan and talked him into running from the Hamburg Reservoir.  I was headed out that way in the evening anyway.  We'd run to Pulpit Rock and then the Pinnacle.  It would be around 9 miles.

The weather was fairly solid.  At least it was in the 30s.  I wore my new jacket over my lightweight long sleeve shirt.  I had on tights with shorts.  I had my gloves and headband, but didn't need either too much.  It was a little windy from time to time, especially when we got to the Pinnacle.

I thought this would be a great run, because it is heavily traveled.  I was thrilled to see a full parking lot and nearly nowhere to park.  I figured that the trail would be well packed down.  I was only sort of right.

We started off on the icy stone road.  It was great to have on MICROspikes.  It had taken my watch some time to get a signal.  I was happy to get on to the Appalachian Trail.

I led the way there.  A lot of people had traveled on this route.  However, the trail conditions were quite disappointing.  We had powdery snow, so it was uneven and there was little grip.  The MICROspikes were mostly useless on it.  Running up any incline was tough.

The trail generally climbs to Pulpit Rock, but there is a mix of up and down.  It is almost all runnable when clear, but today was another story.  It was a lot of hiking. 

It didn't take too long to get to Pulpit Rock.  It is very rocky coming up from there.  However, the rocks were buried in so much snow.  The view at the top was great and a couple people were hiking.  One of them took our photo.

I thought things would get better heading out to the Pinnacle.  I was wrong.  It is generally fairly flat, but it weaves around and is narrow.  Footing was quite tough.  Ryan led now and we combined running and hiking. 

It was so slow and seemed to take forever to get there.  Finally, we passed a hiker near the Pinnacle.  There were a few people there and we encountered a couple people throughout the run, but not as many as I expected.

The view from the Pinnacle was outstanding.  We stayed a bit and took in the view.  Then, we ate a couple Fig Newtons.  I needed that, since I had no calories.  I just carried water.

This run was going way slower than I thought it would.  We were at around 1 hour and 20 minutes when we turned around.  I let Ryan lead again on the way back.  He was cramping, so he hiked a lot.  That was good for me.

I was struggling too.  It was hard to get footing and I was losing it a bit.  I was getting frustrated and cursing.  I knew I just had to focus on getting back to Pulpit Rock.  Once there, it would be mostly downhill and more fun.

Ryan stopped before Pulpit Rock, to use the bathroom.  I went ahead.  It seemed much quicker between the Pinnacle and Pulpit Rock in this direction.  I was glad to get there.

Coming down the rocky part of Pulpit Rock was a blast.  I overshot a couple turns and even fell once.  It didn't hurt though and was fun.

After that, it was easier, fun downhill running.  I cruised on down.  On one downhill, I saw a local ultrarunner, Jim Blanford.  He wins some 100 milers.  I was just telling Ryan about him.  I should've stopped and introduced myself, but I wanted to get back.

I thought Ryan might catch up, because he flies downhill.  He never did though.  I ran by two hikers on the icy road part near the end.  They must've thought I was crazy to be running.  Good thing I had the spikes on.  They almost slipped walking.

This was a tougher run than I expected.  It took longer too.  It was great to be done though.  I was happy to put in a quality workout for a change.  I can't wait until the snow melts, so I can pick everything up.

Tomorrow will be a fun day.  Since my 40 mile race was postponed, the Trail Whippass group put together a Fat Ass.  I'm only going to shoot for 40 miles.  I'm hoping for video with my GoPro.  I also bought a Colonial hat for the event.  It is taking place in Valley Forge, so I figured that that would be appropriate.

9.91 miles - 2:23:01 (14: pace) 1567 feet of elevation gain

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

One of Winter's Toughest Runs

It has been another terrible week for me.  On Sunday, I didn't have enough time to beat the snow.  On Monday, it was warm, but I didn't feel like breaking trail.  It snowed again on Tuesday.  Finally, today I got out there.

I decided to head out to Mt. Tammany.  With all the winter weather, I wasn't too hopeful of the trail conditions being good.  They were even worse than I anticipated.

There was snow last night followed by ice.  However, it was nearly 40 degrees when I started.  The snow was melting.  It was slushy on roads and parking lots.  I wore shorts, my new shell jacket and a short sleeve shirt under it.  I also had on compression calf sleeves.  The attire was pretty good.

When I got to the trailhead, I was disappointed to see that there were no footprints.  I at least thought I'd sort of be able to see the trail, but it was slightly hard to follow.  I'm glad I know this route quite well.  I ran up the first short hill and some of the flat part.

I then got to the first steep section.  I found out quickly how difficult this run would be.  With the soft and wet snow, I couldn't get much grip on the steep parts.  At times, I had to turn my feet sideways.  There was little traction.

My back was hurting and my calves got tight early on.  It was so much work to even hike up this stuff.  There were some deer prints, but they were of no use.  I was just happy to get done with the first steep part.

The problem was that it was hard to even run the slight uphill sections.  It was too much work.  I was reduced to nearly hiking the entire way up.  That made it slow.  At times, I would get slightly off the original trail and wind up sinking in deep.

I took photos at the first overlook.  That was pretty, as always.  I was thrilled when I got to the steep and rocky section.  I was wondering if I could get up this part.  It wasn't easy, but also not as bad as I thought.

At one point, I started to see some human tracks.  They disappeared off the Red Dot Trail.  I was happy to see them though, since I hoped that they had used the Blue Trail to get up there.  People usually don't use that way, so that would be excellent news.

I followed the tracks.  I had to make sure they were the right way.  I was still moving slowly and hiking.  At least I was making progress and nearly over

1,000 feet of gain.  This was so frustrating though.  The only worse conditions were the day where it was a complete sheet of ice.

Eventually, I got to the top.  This was the 9th time that I made it up there this year.  I'm behind my goal of 100 summits for the year.  I'll catch up when the snow melts.  Now, it was on to the Blue Trail.

The Blue Trail had footprints, so I was happy about that.  However, the ridge had super snowdrifts, so I had to hike in them and couldn't run.  I couldn't wait to get to the descent.

I was hoping downhill running might be better.  It wasn't much better.  The only plus was that I was able to run the whole time.  However, every few steps, a foot would sink in a couple inches.  That was so frustrating and I kept cursing.

I was grateful that someone made tracks.  I tried to watch for where they sunk in and that helped, but I still fell into deep spots from time to time.  Snow kept getting in the top of my shoe, around my ankles.  It was making my feet chilly.  Even if I wanted to do another loop, my feet were getting too cold.

The section at the bottom by the waterfall was pretty.  I do love the scenery along the AT, through the hollow there.  It is super pretty in winter.  The AT seemed more runnable for some reason.

Before long, I was back at the parking lot and my car.  I was glad I got out there, even though this was a frustrating run.  It was so slow and took well over an hour.  At least I did something.

Of course we are supposed to get dumped on with more snow tonight.  It should be a few more inches, so today's work has been useless.  I probably won't run tomorrow.  At least warmer weather is on the way this weekend and into next week.  I love winter running, but this new snow every week is tiring me out.

3.6 miles - 1:05:24 (18:09 pace) 1251 feet of elevation gain
9th Mt. Tammany summit of 2015