Jarmans (times two) and an out and back on Skyline Drive
The CAT 50k training run was at Three Ridges again. Brian and I were planning to do it. But the snow we got last night made me reconsider. That run had been challenging enough with the little bit of snow and ice we encountered last time. With several inches of snow it would be a very slow hike for me. I didn’t want people waiting around for me and a slow hike really isn’t going to do a whole lot for me as far as training goes.
Brian didn’t like the 7am start time for the group run, so he was more than happy to skip it.
I was not happy about the snow, but there was no denying that it was beautiful. I would have loved it in December or January.
Our back-up plan was to run up Jarmans to the AT and then do a loop using the South Fork Mormon’s River and Turk Branch trails. But by the time we reached the top of Jarmans we were running in a couple of inches of snow.
The snow-covered rocks on the AT were treacherous. There was no way we were going to attempt to run 12 miles on that.
At first glance, I didn’t think we’d be able to run on Skyline Drive either. It was icy at Jarmans gap, but it ended up being mostly snow-covered.
I thought running on Skyline Drive when it was covered in snow and closed to traffic was pretty cool. Brian was less enthused, but he did admit it was better than running down and up Jarmans two more times.
We encountered some fresh looking bear tracks and followed them until they turned off into the woods. There were a couple drops of blood in some of the tracks. The fog rolled in and out as we were running and it was a little eerie when it was really thick.
We had followed another runner up Jarmans the first time. He turned around at the top when we continued on towards the AT and Skyline Drive. He was at the top of Jarmans again when we returned. He had just finished his third climb. He and Brian ran down together. I quickly fell behind. That first mile was slippery and steep.
The guy stayed ahead of us on his fourth (and our second) climb back up Jarmans. I contemplated turning around early just to avoid having to run down that last steep and slippery section. That would mean I’d have to backtrack somewhere near the bottom in order to get our scheduled 18 miles in, though.
The closer I got to the top, the less appealing that option became. It was mentally much easier just to get to the top and know that when I turned around, all I would have to do is run back to the car.
Plus it wouldn’t have been quite as satisfying if I couldn’t say I climbed Jarmans twice.
This was not an easy run and I’m pretty proud of us for managing to get all our miles in with such challenging conditions.
There are so many adventures with winter running!
I’m ready for spring.