|View of Little Hump from South|
So I headed out to Roan Mountain, TN and on the way picked up a couple of AT thru-hikers walking down US 19E to get some grub and a rest at the local hostile. Just a word of advise, pick up thru-hikers if they need a lift into town, they are generally very nice people. Anyway, after dropping them off at the barbeque place in town, I headed over to the start of the OVT.
Soon after heading up the OVT I remembered how hard this run actually was. My heart rate had to be maxed out and I was doing my best to stay in running mode, but that soon faltered after about 1.6 miles and 1000 ft of gain later. I broke into a walk for about tenth of a mile and started taking little walks breaks through the next 2 miles up to Yellow Mtn Gap (YMG). As usual, the first quarter of mile up the AT out of YMG forced me into a walk, but I was able to run the rest of the AT up to the summit of Little Hump (1:08:40).
Once I reached the top I took a quick break to enjoy the views and down a Hammer Gel. I ran into a few thru-hikers up at the top as well and chatted a little with them before I headed on down. I knew this would be the opportunity to really take some time of my previous time and hammered back down the trail. My knee felt good all the way down which is good sign considered the ramp up in training for the next 10 weeks. I got back to my car in 46:50 in a total time of 1:55:30!!! A new PR and almost 6 minutes of my previous time! It was a great day for this run! Check out the garmin data here: Little Hump Fitness Challenge
Ok, on to even more exciting news. I will be crewing/pacing Mike Mason out at Hardrock 100 this July!!! Since the race coincides around the time when I was planning my OUT WEST Road Trip, I will be able to help out a friend and a phenomenal runner. Mike ran the fastest time out at Linville a few weeks back and even ran a bit extra to squeeze in a couple of extra miles after everyone else was done. It will be an honor to pace/crew Mike, especially at the most revered (and hardest) ultra in North America.
|just a sampling of the course|