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.
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!
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!
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.
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 relaxed...as 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".
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.