Training Widget

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Trail Run - Hightop Mountain

Day 479 - April 24, 2010

I'm so far behind on posting but I'm going to try and catch up. Here's an account of the trail run I did this past Sunday.

When my running partner canceled on me at the last minute, I decided to head up to Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park and get one more trail run in before the Tough Mudder. To keep it simple, I chose the first trail south of the Swift Run Entrance. The Hightop Mountain trail starts at an elevation of 2637 feet above sea level and quickly rises to over 3500 ft (3608 according to my GPS).
The trail was in really good shape. I had no trouble with footing and there was only one section where it was especially rocky. No, the hard part was the climb. Nearly 1000 feet in less than a mile and a half on the way out. I broke it up with several walking breaks, but I tried to keep moving.

The other difficult thing that I hadn't expected was the temperature and the wind. when I left my house, it was 60-65 and a little breezy. Up on Skyline it was easily 10 degrees colder and the wind was howling. Of course I was completely unprepared and only had on shorts and a t-shirt. I contemplated heading back down to lower elevations but decided to stick it out.

After reaching the summit, I started down the other side of the mountain and the next 2 miles or so went very easily. I cruised down the trail and my only concern was that I was going to turn around at Smith Roach Gap and run back up the same downhill I just enjoyed. It turned out to not be that bad and I walked even less on the way back.

I really enjoyed all the signs of spring. The trail was lined with fresh green grass and many different wildflowers. I stopped a couple times on the way back to snap a few photos.

All in all, I think I'm as ready for the race as I'm going to be. The climbs were not that bad and I was able to get back up to speed on the downhills. I'm really looking forward to the challenge.

1 comment:

Ace said...

That looks like a fun trail! Now they just need fire and barbedwire to complete the Tough Mudder cross training. :)