February Flyby

Damn, February went by quickly! I know it’s only 3 days shorter than the norm, but it felt more like 3 weeks shorter.  My total numbers went down pretty significantly this month. The two biggest reasons were

#1: I spent a week back home in Jersey visiting family.  I was able to get a few good runs in, but overall, I lost miles. and

#2: I spent a week fighting off what I think was a mild flu. I also am trying to figure out a back problem, I think I have a pinched nerve in my back that keeps getting aggravated any time I do exercise.  So for the past week I’ve been taking it easy. (feeling better at the time of posting – 3/6/18!)

Here’s the year-to-date diagram of my progress:

I won’t have any problem covering the extra miles, the weather is getting warmer and the days are longer.  As soon as my back heals up I should be able to knock out some big chunks.  The elevation is starting to pile up though. Most of my miles back in jersey didn’t have any elevation gain.  But as I noted earlier, once summer is here and I spend my weekends in the mountains, I should be taking some big chunks out of the climbing goal.


I signed up for a 50k! it’s a 32 mile, 7,250’ climb race in June called the Dirty 30.  I thought it was appropriate given I turned 30 last month.  It’s going to be a butt kicker, but I volunteered there last year and really want to participate this year. I’ve finished a pair of road marathons back in 2011 and 2013, but this’ll be my first ultramarathon. I think I’m more excited than scared…maybe it’s the other way around.



My Favorite Hike this Month

I mentioned it earlier, but I went home for a week in the middle of the month. This gave me a chance to meet up with old friends and hike old trails.  I always try to make it out to Glen Onoko, one of my favorite trails in the East.  It follows a river up the mountains and has 3 beautiful waterfalls to check out.  I met up with an old college professor and a college friend.  This time of year, it should be a pretty crazy hike, iced up and down the trail.  One time we hiked it in March and pretty much had to crawl the whole way up, it was so icy! But we lucked out and besides a few inches of fresh snow, it was an easy few miles.



My favorite Run this Month

At the beginning of the month I wanted to see what 20 miles would feel like, so I drew up a loop from my apartment that hit up a few of the close parks.  It had about 2700’ of elevation gain and a very fun ridge run halfway through.  The first half went well, I didn’t get too tired and kept a pace around 9 minutes.  But when I was following the aforementioned ridge, I accidentally missed the switchback that followed the trail and started a mile of bushwhacking and rock hopping on a trail-less ridge until I hit the road.  It was AWESOME! My body was getting torn up by the bushes and I had a few close encounters with cliffs.  That’s the kind of technical terrain I love.

But after that, I lost most of my energy and hit a wall. I only had a liter of water and two energy gels, so my reserves were running low.  But I made it back somewhat strong, I think I averaged about 10-minute miles for the second half of the run. It’s a big confidence booster for my 50k in a few months.




Where I was on the Trail

I passed it a few miles ago (mile 275) but HOT SPRINGS, NC! Easily my favorite trail town, Hot Springs was my first double zero of the trip. We got there for the Trailfest and met Miss Janet, who reserved a few campspots for hikers at the edge of town.  We spent most of our time at the Spring Creek Tavern, a cozy little bar that’s backyard was on the river.  We drank on the water for the first day, slamming AT burgers and draining the roulette beer cooler every day we were there. The town even let us hold the net to catch all the rubber ducks during the Trailfest’s duck race, which I very gracefully did with a beer pitcher in my hand. Hot Springs was the best.

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