Saturday, November 23, 2013

Slim Pickins #8 in the Bag Report!

I am way behind on the blog posts.

This was Year # 8 of Slim Pickins.  Check this out for the historical details.

As this was my four day weekend, I headed over to Ohiopyle early on Friday, to get most of my mileage in.

My plan was a straight out and back on the Laurel Highland Hiking Trail, just to mile marker 10 and back, no epic "Gate to 8 x 2" Challenge.

Weather was looking good, there was still plenty of snow in the Laurel Highlands from a late fall dusting.

This was another run without headphones.  I don't listen to music so much, but podcasts.  But some of my runs I have been doing sans device.  I have been enjoying it.  It allows me to focus more on the running, on my particular run of the day.  Sometimes I think the podcasts are my little reward for running by myself, in particular non-pleasant running conditions.  It makes me feel like "someone" is accompanying me on my run.
But these solitary runs have been nice.  The woods, once I turned away from the river (with the active railroad lines) were silent.  There were a few chipmunks about, but that was the only wild life I saw.

I stopped at the Mile Six Shelters, to see whether there was a water source, in able to advise the 50K runners for the  next day.  (The water pump was functioning.)

Then up the mile six hill!  1.5 miles!  Ugh.  Wow, I felt out of shape.  I felt like I had not gotten much elevation in for quite a while.  (I think that is true..)

Much more snow up on the ridgeline, at Mile 8.  I had stripped off my jacket, in anticipation of the sweat fest on the climb, but once I hit the ridge and the wind, I tried to hold off putting the jacket back on until I stopped sweating, but got a chill and recovered.

I enjoyed going further down the trail past mile 8..we've been doing the "Gate 2 8" for a few years and have been focused on that.

 I was solitary on the trail going back until I passed the Mile Six Shelters.  I passed three couples hiking, on their way to the Mile Six shelters.


I spotted the elusive Mile One Marker.  Usually this is missed, as runners are talking, and looking around, and are not counting mile markers that early.

My legs felt really good after the run, and I was a good runner and iced my knee and drank my Ultragen after I checked into our luxury suite at the Yough Motel.

I love my Ultragen.  I use it after almost every run.  I did an experiment this week and did not consume my serving of Ultragen after my 8 mile run.  Sure enough, my legs were stiff and a bit sore.  When I use the Ultragen, I do not have these issues!!

Allison, Bob, Paul, and Jeff showed up in the early evening, as Slim was going to join us in the morning.  Surprisingly, it was an early to bed for us.

My plan for Saturday was to drop the 50K runners-Allison, Gombu, and Paul at mile marker 31, and then go back to OP and do another out and back.  But I decided to join the trio through Seven Springs Ski Resort, and double back-that would give me ten miles.

The 3 Amigos, aka the 50K runners, starting south

The Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail goes straight thru Seven Springs Ski Resort


You gotta look for markers through the ski resort!

The King and Kimba

The King and Allison

After I left the 3 amigos, I headed back north on the LH Trail.  As I crossed the road, I noticed a wide trail intersecting the path. I looked to my right, and saw a building.  A shelter? I did not recollect any shelter just one mile south of Seven Springs, so I walked over to it.

It was an old spring house.  Still producing, quite well!

  Wow, I consider myself "remotely familiar" with the LH, and  I didn't know of this springhouse.  Probably not, because there are at least three spots on Seven Springs where one can get water at.
Too bad this spot is not at a different location on the LH Trail!

I got back to OP about 11 am and wandered into the General Store, where the chili caught my eye.  As I wolfed it down, I thought perhaps chili wasn't the best food as a refuel for an afternoon run, but it sure tasted good going down!

I went back to the suite and took some Ultragen and again iced my knee.  I figured both could not hurt and needed to let my stomach settle.  Jeff returned from his morning run, and we chatted a bit. Then I decided I was getting real comfortable on the couch, and if I was going to run, I needed to leave sooner than later!

The training schedule was supposed to be longer on Friday, and then "ten" miles on Saturday, but I figured some extra mileage-especially at a hiking pace, with a full stomach-would be okay.

I took a leisurely walk up to the mile 2 overlook.  I sat on the rock overlook there, just basked in the sun.  I stretched.

I took pictures of moths-I believe there were mating.

After about a half hour, I could tell my legs were tightening up, so I resolved to go north on the trail until I ran into one of my NEO TC runners.  At this point, there was no way I was going up the Mile Six hill again!  I figured I could camp out at the Shelter Sign until someone came along.

And happily, Gombu came along as I was climbing up the mile 5 hill.  Oh yeah!  Now I can turn around!  Gombu and I ran back to OP.  So I got eight miles in for the afternoon run/hike, so I got 38 miles in on the LH Trail for the weekend.

After showering, we headed over to the Falls City Pub.  It is the best pleasure in the world, to have a pub at the trail head!

Allison had texted me when she got to the mile 8 marker, so we were guestimating when she would finish.  I gave her a 630 pm appearance at the pub, and she arrived at 6.27!!

Allison was the only one who went out of her comfort zone for Slim Pickins.  This was an unsupported effort, with one water/food cache at Slim's vehicle at mile 11.  She was also running in the dark in the last hour or so of her 50K-on a very technical trail.  She was alone for almost all of her run, and had a very successful time!  Very proud of her effort on going it alone out there.

I think she looks pretty good after finishing a 50K

Sunday morning was most Slim Pickins are. Gombu mentioned wanting to get in some run in. I agreed, Allison agreed, and Slim was in.

I also knew what happens when you accompany Slim and Gombu on a casual, off piste run.

The key word is "off piste". 

After a stroll through Ohio Pyle, we walked up the road, and then disappared into the laurel, looking for the Yough.  After some straight down hill bush whacking, we found the River.

I don't have any pictures of us on all fours, but we were.  This wasn't the best place to fall into the Yough.  The current was pretty swift, and the Yough, in November, really isn't the time to body slide.

But the quatro was able to ford the river-and back again-for our casual mileage for the morning.

1 comment:

  1. Great report of a lovely weekend on the LHHT. I agree, Falls City Pub at the trailhead cements this trail as my very favorite of all!

    Interesting observations on your recovery/Ultragen. Have you tried recovering with lean protein (like chicken or sardines) and starchy carbs (sweet potato)? It works fantastically for me - zero stiffness, and very little soreness compared to my old ways with Ultragen and maybe a beer. I wonder how it would compare for you?


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