The Virginia Happy Trails Running Club puts on the MMT 100 each year and has three weekends of training runs leading up to it. I decided to join in for a 32 miles training run that covers the beginning of the MMT course. MMT is a really tough race, and this section probably has something like 7K feet of elevation gain and descent with a lot of rocks along the way.
It would be a tough training run on every day, but yesterday it was -5 degrees at the start of the run and probably didn't get above 15 degrees. When it's this cold outside some people stay inside, others go skiing, and I decided to spend 6 hours running 32 miles in the woods!
Believe it or not, I actually had a lot of fun. I was pretty well prepared for the cold with lots of layers, hand warmers, SmartWool socks, etc. I managed to stay pretty warm throughout the run, especially on the 3 big climbs that are ~ 1,500 each. I also had some good company and met some new people along the way (including a guy I ran with for a while who was 3rd in the MMT 100 last year).
This was also the first time I had run out in the Massanuttens in the winter. There were tons of great views from up on the ridges. Without leaves on the trees, you could see the mountains, lakes, and frozen rivers on both sides of the valley. I wanted to take some pictures to show you all, but unfortunately I forgot to put new batteries in the camera before the run.
On the bright side, after the run, Jen and I drove to Hagerstown to pick out our new puppy, so here are a few pictures of her (we're still working on a name). She's the one in the middle in the first picture.