Sunday, March 27, 2011

Laurel Highlands March 25-26

One area I need and still need to work on for MMT is my hill training. The LHHT-Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail-is the closest trail to me for this, using the first 8 miles of the trail:

I believe it's about 4000 feet of climb for the out and back, from mile zero to mile 8.
It was a bit startling, when I hit the first elevation driving over to the Laurel Highlands, to see SNOW still on the ground! I thought we were done with that!

Jamie met me at noon, at the trailhead, in Ohiopyle, and we headed out. Bob was running late, so we left him our departure time and went north. Brian and Suzanne were also on the trail; they had started earlier, and were going to run to the mile 12 marker and then turn and run back. Jamie and I were kind of winging it for mileage. I was planning on bigger miles for Saturday.

We ran into Brian and Suzanne just past mile 9, so we turned to run back with them. Bob caught us around mile 8, and he continued up the trail for a few more miles.

You always have to stop for the views and the scenic overlook. This is around mile 3, where the  Youghiogheny River peels away from the trail.
Another great feature of the LHHT is the Falls City Pub right at the trailhead. It doesn't get any better to come right off a trail, into warmth, good food and good beer. The five of us enjoyed a meal and some drinks, then it was off to get some sleep for more running in the morning.

I was starting out with Bob in the morning. When you run with Bob, plans frequently change..and my Saturday running plans did change. On Friday, Bob had gone off piste to hike up a gas line rightofway, to get in some elevation, and we agreed to run out to mile 8, and then at the bottom of the mile 6 hill, to go all the way to the Yough River downhill, and then take the gas-line hill all the way to the top. (It always sounds better in the planning stage.)
I managed to run SMACK into a tree with my head around mile 3! I was leading, watching the trail, and ran my forehead into a fallen tree which was right at my height! I scared Bob a bit with my scream I think. I scared myself! But not even a bruise from it..
Shortly after this, we ran into Rich and Moose. They had started from Mile 12, and were working their way down to mile zero, then back to their cars again. We were hoping to intersect them, on their way back north, but we were probably off on the gas line hill when they came through.
It was very good to spend the day with Bob on the trail, we chatted about training and MMT and life in general. The gasline hill wasn't that bad, I believe it was harder coming back down. The quads were beginning to protest with all the downhills.
We then made our way back to Ohiopyle, since Bob had a deadline to get home. I knew I wasn't going to get the double out and back in, since I was starting to have the 'guilty feeling' for being away from home for two days. Bob suggested a few trails right of of Ohiopyle, and I decided to go up to the Overlook on the other side of the river.
Bob left, and I found the Baughman Trail, which would lead to the Overlook. Although I ate both a banana and a Reese's PB egg, I was still hungry. I was also alone now, and the trail didn't seem so much fun without company. Still, I had said I was going up to the Overlook and was determined to get there. It was all uphill, so I tried to console myself with the fact that it would then all be downhill going back.
You can see the Laurel Highlands Trail, right about in the middle of this picture. The overlook, BTW, is the big white square you can see way over there when you are on the LHHT. It is a huge granite rock.

I just snapped a few pics, then headed down the trail. The Baughman Trail is 3.4 miles, so I got some more time in on my feet. But, as you can see, I am tired!

So, 18 miles on Friday, 4000 feet of climb, 21.4 miles on Saturday, 5200 feet of climb. Good weekend of training!

1 comment:

  1. that IS a great weekend of training, kim! way to go! it's fun following along on your training journey.
    great pics. yup, the snow is lingering this year, isn't it!
    glad you enjoyed running with friends...always makes the time go just that much faster!
    love that last photo of you - yes, tired, but also i can see a happy sense of accomplishment in your eyes! :)


I've had to enable comment moderation due to spam! Please leave a comment, humans! I would love to hear from you!