So I did my third run at Bennett's Pond without any major health issues. If I hadn't watched video clips of the HAT 50k Run and a few other trail runs I wouldn't have known that the trails at Baxter Pond weren't the ones I should be training on. I guess that's one of the problems with doing this by myself so I'm thinking of maybe trying to find someone to train with every once in a while or at least find a trail runner that can spare me some of the rookie mistakes I've made recently. I can only learn so much by reading books and magazines.
So what are the trails like at my new spot? I use the first 3/4 mile as my warm up because it looks like a rocky and uneven stream bed, a good place to snap an ankle if you're not warmed up. After the stream bed the trail splits, with both directions being very runnable and fun. I usually turn right onto the longer and smoother of the two. When I first found this route I felt like I'd finally found a trail that looked and felt like the trails I'd seen in Trail Runner and UltraRunning magazines. The trail is soft and wide enough that it's not one continuous ankle roll as it was at Baxter. It then turns into a fairly rocky and muddy but still runable section for a few hundred feet and then turns to beautiful rolling singletrack again. There are sections that get a little bit rooty but never so much that you can't work your way around them with a little bit of fancy footwork. It opens up again into a light downhill that you can open it up on. There are 3 choices at the end of this stretch. You can either head back, hang a right and do a pretty extended climb (for me anyway) including a section with a 15% grade or hang a left and go through/over a stream and into some ungroomed trail that's ferociously rocky and a roller coaster. Even though the combined length of all of these trails in no more than 5-10 miles, it's still an amazing place to run. The forest canopy keeps it nice and cool, the trail is soft but still challenging in spots, and you'd never know that you were a few miles from a highway and a mall.
As far as nutrition is concerned, I tried a combination of some protein powder chocolate milk, watered down Gatorade, and a Gingerbread Gu. Not a tasty combination but it got the job done. The Gingerbread Gu is fucking disgusting. I'd read that it was very tasty but it tastes like ass. The Vanilla Bean is better but I'm not sure either are better than Shot Bloks. I ordered a free Chocolate Agave #9 and got it in the mail today. I guess it has a low glycemic index which should cut down on huge sugar crashes. I'd aslo like to look at First Endurance EFS drink to replace Gatorade.
I went out exploring today to see if I could find the connection between Bennett's and Pine Mountain. After heading off in the wrong direction for a half mile I got myself turned around and off toward Bennett's Pond. I went for about a mile before I turned around. The terrain is very rocky and hilly and most of it isn't runable. It will be good practice for me walking the steep climbs at the HAT Run and I'd like to get to the point where I could run the not too steep sections. For now I think I should just focus on running the trails and leave the hills until my legs are a little bit stronger. When I'm ready I'd like to race against myself from the Bennett trailhead, around the pond, down the yellow trail to the Pine Mt. Road parking lot and back and see how my times improve as I get stronger. Here are some pictures of Pine Mountain...
I bagged todays run after work. The fucking traffic was backed up for miles and it was a shit day. I may just go out for a short one on Th... wow, this has really degenerated into some Twitter shit. How about this: Work sucked dick and all I wanted to do was go to sleep to forget the fucking day so I did.