06 January 2012

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Everyone bailed on me today for various reasons, so it was just me, myself and I going for an early morning trail run. This was the first time in a long time that I decided to go out for a trail run by myself, even though everyone else chose not to. There are a couple of reasons for that. First, it's hard enough to get up at 4AM in the morning to go for a run when you're accountable to your running mates. When they decide not to go, it makes for an easy excuse to roll over and sleep a couple more hours. Second, I have a terrible sense of direction. I usually would not venture out on trails by myself, let alone in the complete dark, because that is a guarantee for me taking a wrong turn or two and that's just no fun when you have to be somewhere (like the office) a couple of hours later.

However, I felt confident that after having run this route multiple times over the last two years and with a renewed commitment to serious training in preparation for the Fuego y Agua 100K next month, I was ready to venture out by myself. I was glad I did. Even the freezing temps at 5AM did not deter me this morning. I had a great run, rolling my bad ankle only once. And I ended up running a decent time. I ran from the bottom of Monte Sano mountain at Pratt Ave up Bankhead Parkway, where I entered the Tollgate Trail at the Tollgate Road intersection, continuing on up the mountain. About three miles up, I connected with the Cold Springs Trail until I reached the North loop on top of Monte Sano mountain. This trail section led me past the Overlook and to the burnt down Ranger Station, where I turned around and headed back. I had to watch every single step going up and especially going down the mountain. My ankle continued to be twitchy and the darkness and the Fall leaf cover coupled with the technical terrain of the route made this run extremely challenging. But, I made it in one piece. 

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