Sugar Hollow loop
The CAT 50k training run was on Dick Woods road today. I’d had enough of roads and really wanted to get back into the mountains. Brian hurt his knee on our long run last weekend, so I was on my own.
There were two cars and three guys in the parking lot when I got there. I couldn’t tell what they were doing. Fishing, probably.
I didn’t see another soul for the entire 18 miles and 4+ hours that I was out there. Crazy. And a little spooky. It’s so weird that Skyline Drive has been closed for pretty much the entire winter.
It started out chilly, but not too bad. The river crossings were knee-deep at most. But as I climbed up to Skyline Drive the wind picked up. It was really whipping up on the ridge and bitterly cold.
The trail was relatively clear until the last two miles of the Appalachian Trail, where there were many blowdowns. Turk Branch trail was even worse. Lots of downed trees and leaves and sticks in the trail. I tripped on so many loose sticks!
It felt like a completely different day when I turned onto the Turk Branch trail, though. Sheltered from the wind, I could really feel the sun. It felt about 40 degrees warmer than it had up on the ridge. I stopped and sat on a fallen tree and took my shoes off to apply some lube to my big toes because my new socks were giving me blisters. The run so far had been hard and cold and sitting in the warm sun felt so good. It was the happiest I’d felt all morning, so I took a minute to enjoy it before I headed down the trail.
I can’t say I felt very strong today, but it was definitely nice to be in the mountains with no snow on the ground.
I’m looking forward to spring.