Training for 2009 started today. I ran!! About 30 minutes in my neighborhood. Cold and rain, oh what fun. It was great having the HRM because I didn't have to push hard, just run steady. I'll get to run a couple of times each week until for a month or so.
I used to run a lot. I ran a marathon a couple of years ago. I did that in 6.5 hrs, in Charlotte. It was a great run in that I finished, but it was a long time to be pounding on pavement.
In college I ran a lot of trails. We had WMA forest right out the back door. I remember the first time I ran for 45 minutes. I was elated. While there I ran the Hog Pen Hill Climb, a running race from Helen GA to the top of Hog Pen Gap. This is a point where the Tour de GA crosses on the way to Brasstown bald. Go visit sometime. The Appalachian Trail also crosses the road there.
My family sometimes goes to a place near Elizabethton TN, to stay at Fairhaven. The AT also goes nearby there.
One time I was feeling ambitious so I decided to run on the AT from Carvers Gap down to hwy 19. It was 13 miles and I felt good. There was a lot of downhill.
The next time we went to Fairhaven, I was feeling ambitious but didn't want to run the same thing. So, I switched it up and ran from hwy 19 up to Carvers Gap. This trip took about two hrs longer than the other direction. I ran out of food, bummed some from the only person I saw all day: a backpacker. Shortly after that I ran out of water, with about 6 miles still to go, and about an hour of daylight left.
The backpacker had told me about a spring that crossed the trail a couple of miles up. I didn't have anything to purify the water with, but filled the bottle and drank anyway. Right by the spring was the paw print of a rather large cat.
I don't know if it was just the pure mtn spring water or what, but I felt energized, really energized after that. I continued on, cresting the last mtn right as it got dark. The last half mile or so was in the dark. I had planned ahead enough to bring a flashlight though. That was a great day. Oh, yeah, it was the middle of winter too!!!
Have a great day!