Monday, December 26, 2011
Sunday, December 18, 2011
Running in and of itself has always been a form of escape for myself. A way to clear my head and refresh my mood and energy. Trail running offers that and more. The opportunity to get in a great workout, clear my head, and ultimately relax as my body gets into a rhythmic stride where I feel as if i am no longer consciously moving my legs, but rather they seem to just swing forward as excited as I am to see whats around the next bend. This weekend Linds and I were going to keep it simple. We started out Saturday with an hour on the Mountains To Sea Trail. Getting an early start we ran as most of the country slept. It is a good feeling being out on the trail in the woods all by yourself. With Linds up front setting the pace and Kirra running around as if she owned the place, I found instant relief from a long busy week. With Christmas fast approaching, the world seems to focus on one thing, shopping, money this and money that. Sales are down, Sales are up. Its an emotional roller coaster trying to live in this world. Out on the trail things are different. The biggest hill could be ahead of you, trees could be blocking the path, but no matter what I always seem to have fun. The diversity and surprises the trail and woods offer are more than welcomed. These are the intricacies that make the journey worth taking.
After our brief but more than needed trot through the woods, we headed to north Asheville. Linds had training and i would drop her off and return to the trail for more relaxation. On the way there we were greeted by yet another of lifes great surpises. Unlike the trail these surprises aren't always welcomed. Today's great gift was a rock or a bolt, either or doesn't really matter, what does it the fact it smacked our windshield hard enough to break it! Yes, what a day it was now. No one was hurt, nothing bad really happened but it was enough to send me into a spiral of worldly chaos. I started thinking about the $500 it costs to replace and why the heck it had to happen, but a great lesson was due to be learned. Life isn't about broken windshields, life isn't about how much money is in the bank, life isn't about a lot of things we seems to get caught up in! This lesson of course didn't sit in right away.
I dropped Linds of at training, not in a good mood of course, and on I drove back to the trail. Today's first lesson came at the hands, or should I say the hills, of Kitsuma. Kirra and I went out for another run. I seemed to run the entire way out and most of the way back before it truly set in how truly UNimportant a broken windshield is. I glanced through the trees and saw yet another gorgeous view. I could see north, south and east and what I saw was truly humbling. There are things greater, much greater than me feeling sorry for myself and that dumb windshield. I had the world, the wild, and the trail at my feet. In that moment I realized how chaotic life can be when you get caught up in worldly things. Yes, we need jobs to make money and money to life, so they saw, but life today was free and what a blessing it was. I returned from the trail refreshed and calmed.
The second lesson came when I pulled in and saw my gorgeous bride. I am truly a blessed man. Not only do I have a truly wonderful and amazing wife, but she is crazy and, thank God brave enough, to travel this road of life with me. I not only get to enjoy the beauty and mystery of the woods and trail but i get to do it with the most amazing and inspiring woman i have ever met. I am a blessed man.
Sunday we decided to take another 'easy' trot through the woods. Today was the third lesson. A trail on a map can, may and will look much easier than when you run it. Today's run would be Turkey Pen Gap trail from the trail head to Black Mountain. A mere 5.5 miles each way showed the map. What I failed to spend time looking at was the contour and the many, many close elevation lines stacked on after the other. The trail was great. Back to the trail where surprised though painful at times always return the favor. Though the parking lot was filled, everyone else seemed to know how tiring this trail was and chose other routes. But yet again, we had the trail, the woods, and what feels like the world to ourselves. In this third run of the weekend I couldn't help but recap the previous two lessons. Life can be chaotic. Without a doubt life never goes the way you want it to. It is easy to get caught up in the plethora of things that do not matter. But in the woods, on the trail, it is easy to remember how simple life truly is and what a majestic world we truly have. There are things bigger than ourselves out there and how selfish of us to ever forget this. The other thing i thought about and what seems to always occupy most of my thoughts if how amazing my wife is. Again, strong enough, brave enough, and just as wild as me she chose to follow me on yet another journey through the woods. With her on my mind, our hearts beating as one, and the trail, woods and world at our feet, what a wonderful journey its going to be....
Sunday, December 11, 2011
Sunday, December 4, 2011
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Sitting here on the living room floor after a nice bowl of soup and big salad I am left pondering what made today so great?! Was is the fantastic company (wifers and dog), was the the unusually warm fall weather, the clear blue sky, the awesome section of A.T. (thanks Jon for the recommendation)...in the end I think without a doubt it was the perfect combination of all three.
We hit the trail about 9am on some rather sore legs after a day of hill repeats on Ferguson Peak and Little Pisgah Mtn in the Hickory Nut Gorge (picture below) but our spirits were high and with such amazing weather it was very easy to find energy and motivation for the expansive balds that lied ahead.
The trail was perfect with a few leaves matting the trail making the run rather comfortable on the good ole knees. With the trail and the mountains all to ourselves enjoying views in every direction. We made our way from Sam's Gap roughly 6.5 miles to Big Bald. On top the wind was blowing but the sun was shining and it was glorious. The warm breeze was very uncharacteristic of mid November weather but much appreciated. We enjoyed the views, soaked in the sun, drank some some wild air. Another awesome run and gorgeous day.
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Sunday, October 30, 2011
We loaded in a couple of cars and headed back down the mountain to give up every foot of elevation would would re-earn on foot. As the layers of clothes were shed and we quickly started running to stay warm each stride brought us further from civilization and closer to the gorgeous expanse beyond. We shared this beautiful morning and run with Hayley and Damien Wells, Isaiah M and El Guapo (canine friend, maybe Kirra's new boyfriend), Brian Beduhn, and a great cameo by Mad A. who graced us with a very convenient shuttle. We slowly ascended the mountain traversing the Shut In Trail along the Mountains to Sea trail. With strategically placed aid we enjoyed some Gatorade and cookies along the way.
A few hours later we stood in the parking lot in the shadow of the peak itself. Damien decided to rush to the top before the temptation of cupcakes and beer, which were standing by in the car, convinced him otherwise. I soon followed and moments later enjoyed a gorgeous view atop Mt Pisgah taking in the 360 views of the beautiful fall day. We grouped at the cars and finished the day reveling as we lay in the afternoon sun sharing cupcakes and few sips of very deserved and refreshing beer fending off the dogs which apparently were as hungry as we were. A big thank you to Hayley and Damien Wells who put this great run together, Adam for a friendly shuttle to the start and everyone else for the great company.
Saturday, October 22, 2011
With one foot in Tennessee and the other in North Carolina we started down the A.T. All three of us felt great and who wouldn't with the views we were soaking in. Not many people were on the trail as it was still cold and mostly frozen. There were a few hunters out though which made us feel great that they came to this very spot to hunt black bear! Nothing like starting a good long run knowing the bear population is doing well on the trail. Nonetheless the run began and off we went. It was hard to not stop and take more pictures but knowing each step provided a more gorgeous view than the last, if that was even possible, we pushed on.
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Monday, October 3, 2011
|He always matches so well!|
|Freezing and waiting to start|
|Post race picture|
Sunday, September 18, 2011
|Looking south off of Round Bald|
|The white blaze of the AT|
You start the run on the Overmountain Victory Trail (OVT) running through cow pastures, avoiding cow patties and climbing fences. It seems as if the pastures are a never ending hill until you get into the forest. But once you reach the forest it just continues to climb. The trail intersects with the AT and makes a quick little jaunt up a bald with unbelievable views all around you. It's a 5 mile trip up to the top, but man does it feel much longer than that. Tim reached the top at 57 minutes, me around 1:08. Heading back down through the forest was very technical but so much fun! We all reunited back at the cars and cracked open a few cold ones. Much deserving for a great day of running!!
We figured since we wanted to get away, we'd camp out Saturday night as well. The campground at Roan Mountain State Park was perfect. After getting all cleaned up we did some exploring with the dog, since somehow she still had energy. Soon after we got back to camp we all crashed for an afternoon nap.
We drove to the top of Mt. Pisgah and left a car and a cooler stocked with chocolate milk. Drove back down to the bottom and off we went. In the 13.14 miles we gained 4,716 feet, not too shabby for a training run. The dog made the whole trip and could've done it faster than both of us.