Epic Training Runs 2012: #1
Everyone I know who runs ultras is getting amped for this racing season, and the common topic of logging some serious mountain running keeps coming up. In an attempt to: 1. Diversify training and 2. Explore new local places, I will start a series of “Epic Training Runs” in 2012’s conquest to finish a 100miler and accomplish other adventures.
A few weeks back my friend Carter offered to take me on this majestic 22 mile trail run near Charlottesville, VA. The weather couldn’t have been more perfect for a winter training run, this was still during our awkward snow-less-sunny-mid-60s anomaly of a winter out here on the East. Although a bit chilly, I braved it wearing only a tech tee and sleeve warmers, shorts and my trusted Inov-8 Roclite 295’s. Opting for minimalism over comfort, I grabbed my lightweight osprey pack and dual wielding bottles. The particular starting point Carter chose starts off with many river crossings and knowing this was a 22 mile loop, there was no need to get our feet soaking wet within the first 2 miles. What Carter and I hadn’t expected was the swollen rivers size and the nearly impossible to stay dry crossings, this greatly slowed us down in the beginning but well worth the slower pace to end this run on a good note (upon the last river crossing, I plunged my feet into the freezing water….relief ahhhh). Overall trail is mixed, we had mostly single track, some wider carved trail, gravel type trail, mixed rocky, paved road, river crossing(~8) and a good portion on the Appalachian Trail. Views were spectacular and well worth coming back just to hike it and enjoy the lookouts at a leisurely pace. Near the half-way point there is a pretty good climb, by pretty good I don’t mean to down play it but after pacing Carter through the hellacious course that is Grindstone, everything seems “not-as-bad” these days haha. On the way back down there is a sweet swimming hole with a rope on it, and you can guarantee we will be coming back to take a plunge after a brutal trail run. All and all, if you’re looking for a great mixed trail challenging long run for the weekend, Sugar Hollow is a great loop to run.
On February 25th, four of us will be going back as some of us are ramping up training for Bel Monte 50 miler in March. A side note I need to remember: you burn more calories when you’re freezing…bring more nutrition for next time. Happy Trails!
Here are a few pictures of the trail run: