Sunday, January 5, 2014

Leatherwood Training Week I

Mon - 2hrs55min/ 6.5m/ 2500' - Buzzard's Roost Bushwhack - The allure of gaining the summit of the highest peak in the South Mountains has captivated me for quite some time.  Currently, there is no trail up to the top, so a bushwhack was in order.  I finally had time to make this happen over Christmas break, so I went for it.  I made it up fairly easy by following an access trail and some old skid roads to the gap below the summit.  Once is hit the ridge though, things got think and I got cut up pretty good.  Not that bad though and I made it to the summit with excellent views from the top.  Glad I finally made it out there.

Buzzards Reflection

Tues - 3hrs/ 14.1m/ 3000' - Yancey Ridge Exploration - Finally made it out to check on a trail that isn't on the map, but I've heard exist in  the Wilson Creek Area.  My energy was really low, so this run became mostly a hike/shuffle on all the climbs, but it was fine.  Yancey Ridge trail was phenomenal.  An excellent flowing ridgeline trail with great views.  Will have to get out on that trail more often.

view along Yancey Ridge trail

Wed - 0hrs - Xtrain - Did a workout Hannah had made for me.  Trying to get in more Xtraining this year to stay healtier.

Thurs - 41min/ 5m/ 300' - Dreadmill - The weather was disgusting and I wasted time and ended up having to settle for the dreadmill.  I had a good run on it, doing a pretty decent workout, but man do I hate the treadmill.  I won't being doing that again anytime soon, despite any weather conditions.

Fri - off

Sat - 4hrs10min/ 16m/ 5000' - Heartbreak/ Newberry Loop - Got up with Matt and Tom to tackle some new trails and a summit that I haven't made it up to before.  We parked at Newberry Creek and headed up this phenomenal trail up to the parkway.  We hit the snow pretty quickly as we climbed, but it never got over 3 inches deep, which is perfect in my opinion.  After the parkway, we headed down S. Toe River Rd for about a mile and then started our next ascent to the parkway up Bald Knob Ridge.  Both our first two trail we so runnable despite all the climb.  Got to get back out on those two soon.  After we hit the parkway for the second time, we started our climb up Blue Ridge Pinnacle, the highest point in McDowell county at 5,665 ft.  There was a nice trail up to the summit and we were awarded with excellent views of the Blacks, Swannanoa Ridge, Smokies, Hickory Nut Gorge, Linville Gorge, and Grandfather Mtn.  It was definitely one of the best views I've seen in this neck of the woods.  After freezing up on the summit, we headed down the excellent Heartbreak Ridge trail to Star Gap and back down to the car.  This is an amazing loop and one I look forward to doing again soon. 

Tom on Pinnacle with the Blacks in the backgroud

Tom, U-dog, & Matt on Pinnacle

Tom cruising down Heartbreak Ridge trail

Sun - 1hr42min/ 11m/ 1200' - Hilton/ Hickory City Park Trail Run - Finally got out and explored the trail in Hilton Park on this one in the cold drizzle.  The trail is pretty nice and is very similar to the city park trails, although a bit more confusing.  Will look forward to getting myself more familiar with this local trail in the future.  Finished off the run by running the trails in City Park in reverse fashion. 

Totals =

Time - 12hrs28min
Miles - 52.6
Vert - 11,900'

Good first week of Leatherwood 50 training.  The thing that will be the biggest challenge going forward with the plan is getting out on Sunday's for 10+ miles and Xtraining.  If I can keep those two things up I should have a great race out there in 11 weeks.

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