Thursday, July 24, 2008

La Alp De OOOOEEEzzzzzzzzz

This is not my picture (the other one further down is) just in case PETA is anywhere around. This is a picture from a camera that I found lying in the middle of the road last night on my way to Barley’s to watch the Tour De France and drink some hoppy beverages.

Yup, that’s right found this camera lying in the middle of the road on the yellow lines. Last night was crazy fun and I am paying for it today. Victory was the sponsor and wow did we ever win. Kristin and I brought home four coozies, a t-shirt and another jersey!! She won the Hop Devil Jersey which is very fitting I might add.

Thanks so much to Josh at Barley’s for putting these nights on! They are super fun except for when I wake up in the morning.

My trail running is coming to form. In the past year I have taken to Jone’s Gap State Park if you haven’t noticed. There is one loop that I will call my favorite for now and it involves looping together three trails. I call it the "Overlook Loop."

Kristin and I found this loop and overlook by accident last year as the overlook is not indicated on the map anywhere. The trails involved are Jone’s gap trail followed by Rim of the Gap -> “6 and 20” connector trail -> Pinnacle Pass (overlook) and this loops you back to Rim of the Gap and Jones gap trail.

It is extremely rare that I will see anyone on this loop even on the weekends. When Kristin and I hiked this loop the first time it took us about 4 hours. Last Fall I took Shade and we power hiked the loop in 2 ½ hours.

This past Tuesday I was determined to try some new trail running shoes I bought and best my time on this loop. I took Buddy with me as Shade is having trouble with the heat these days. I had it in my mind that we were going to really smoke the loop but I know running the entire loop is impossible.

Rim of the Gap starts off steep and turns into super steep. Cable assisted hiking kind of steep. I was powering up the climb pretty good when I got to a section that is hard to keep putting one foot in front of the other. I knew it wouldn’t last long but my heart was pounding. Once this section was through and we made it to the connector trail I knew we could push the pace as the trail flattens out for a mile. I ran the flat sections with Buddy right behind me and power hiked the ups. I could hear Buddy looming behind me on the ups “heh heh heh heh.”

I had the cell phone with me so I could see what our split time to the overlook was and we made it up to the overlook in one hour ten minutes. I knew that was pretty fast so we chilled and drank our water as all the streams for the dogs to drink in on the way up have dried due to the severe drought the southeast is in. Buddy lopped up a full bottle of water in a matter of minutes as did I and we were on our way down.

Two sections of super steep down and then it is a pretty easy fast run as long as you watch your step. When I heard the water of the Saluda at the bottom I knew I was going swimming with Buddy. We plunged into the river and lay in the streams. We barely beat two hours and I was really happy with this time considering the heat index was over 100 Fahrenheit.

I consider this loop to be one of the best training methods I have for the Double Dare this Fall while I am off the mountain bike. I think that an hour and a half for the loop is feasible and under an hour would be BEASTLEY!! We will see how the progression goes.
Happy ORAMM or NORAMM, whichever you decide.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Cat fish = sucker fish. Funny pic!