Sunday, August 17, 2008

8/17/08: Appalachian Trail Adventure

I've been laying fairly low since the Vermont 100 trying at first to just recover and then nursing a bit of a knee issue, which I think was due to waiting too long to get new shoes.

I'm finally feeling mostly better, though my knee isn't quite 100% yet. The weather was beautiful this weekend in the DC area and Jen was out of town, so I figured what better time for an adventure out on the trail?

I decided to head to the Appalachian Trail where is crosses through Harper's Ferry. I haven't run on the AT except for the 16 mile stretch in the JFK 50, and this was only a 1:05 minute drive from where I live. The plan was to do somewhere around 25 miles, which would interesting since I hadn't done any mountain running or runs over 14 miles since Vermont.

(Shenandoah River in the morning)

I woke up at a5:15 and was on the trail by about 7am. After a little section through the town of Harpers Ferry where the Appalachian Trail Center is location, I went over the bridge that crossed the Shenandoah river. The two pictures above are from the bridge, and it was a really cool sight. There was a lot of fog, which made for a really beautiful sunrise.

Once I crossed the bridge, I headed up into the mountains. The first two miles went straight up, and I was already tired when I hit the top! I eventually hit my stride and started running pretty well. I felt good for the first 3 hours, but the last 1.5 hours were a struggle. Terrain was pretty tough and rocky, and it had been a while since I'd run this long.

All in all I had a great time, though. This run kicked my butt, but the bright side is that I'm sure it'll be a good jumpstart back into serious trail running. I'd definitely like to explore more of the AT, and I'd also like to go back to Harpers Ferry just to hang out some. I highly recommend a day trip there.

(Pretty much the only part of the trail without rocks of hills)


Laura said...

beautiful!! i am jealous of your mountains!

SBK said...

you're a herb!
love the site
love the name
see you soon