02 January 2012


We finally got an actual "group" of runners together this morning. I picked up Richard and we headed to the Land Trust parking lot on Bankhead Parkway to meet with Mike and Ed. It seemed we were not the only ones with the brilliant idea to go for a run. Every year around this time, lots of folks ramp up their training for the well known Mountain Mist 50K trail race at the end of this month by running on different sections of the actual race course. We had decided to run the final 10 miles of the course, which included a couple of rather long climbs including Waterline Trail.

We took off on our run at 7AM and temperatures were barely above 30 degrees. I still opted for shorts and a short sleeve tech shirt with a half zip fleece top, gloves and a hat. After just a couple of miles, I had warmed up, just in time for the first major climb up Waterline Trail. My first goal for this training run was to run the entire Waterline Trail section until I reached the bottom of the Waterfall. Check!

Mike was kind enough to stash Gatorade for all of us at the hiker's parking lot on Monte Sano Blvd, which is just a mile past the climb and also serves as the location for one of the Mountain Mist 50K aid stations. Just before we reached our "aid station", we were passed by Dewayne Satterfield, local inspiration and ultra running legend, who also won the Recover From the Holidays 50K just two days ago with another sub 4 hour finish. After hanging with him for about 100 yards, Mike and I smartened up and settled back into our own pace. We reached the Gatorade just a few moments later and I gladly guzzled it down.

We continued on the Mountain Mist course and the McKay Hollow Trail. We had one more climb left around mile 8, but my main concern and focus remained on my ankle. Having run out of athletic tape, I used an ace ankle sleeve and my ankle brace on top of it. Thankfully, I survived the entire run without rolling it once. Mike and I decided that we would also run the next and final .75 mile climb without stopping. Check!

I arrived at the top with time to recover before the rest of the group arrived. Even with all of the climbing, my heart rate never climbed above 170, which was pretty gratifying. It seemed I wasn't in too bad a shape after all. We made it back to my car that we had left at the hikers parking lot at Monte Sano State Park in just over 2 hours, which wasn't too bad considering we climbed almost 2000 feet in just 10 miles.

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