Great mountain run today. Well, we ran what we could. But given the elevation, steepness and technicality of the route, it was a good, buttkicking time.
Jim, Yana and I headed up to the Bigelow area the night before and woke up to sub-freezing temperatures. This made it easy to take our time sipping coffee and eating breakfast before heading over to the trailhead.
We got underway, with the first two miles consisting of rolling, wide trails which we ran at an easy pace. This was my first time running with the Mountain Hardware Bebop pack. It ruled. I hardly knew it was there. Lightweight, fit like a glove, super comfortable. Really, really impressed.
After two miles, the trail began to climb. We powerwalked on up, enjoying some jovial banter and relishing in the weather, which was perfect. As we got higher, the views became quite apparent. No clouds, and visibility went forever. We could even see Mt. Katahdin.
We summited Avery (4090') and then trekked the ridge over to West Peak (4145') and then to the South and North Horn, and then began the descent down, stopping at the AT campsite, where Jim helped out the caretaker to remove an alleged Nalgene in the middle of a large pond. This water was damn cold, but Jim braved it and swam out and got the object, which was not a Nalgene bottle at all. Turns out it was some sort of water temp recording device placed there by the Univ. of Maine at Farmington.
We continued the run back, and I ended feeling pretty darn good. The shin splints are gone. Like a few years ago when I ran the Mt. Washington Road Race and had a good case of the splints, the uphill trek today has pretty much cured them. Sweet! I'm guessing going up long, steep uphills really stretches everything out and puts it away.
I felt pretty good throughout, but I'm still quite rusty and have a ways to go. That being said, I still did better today then I thought I would. Conditioning is coming along pretty nicely.
Only nuisance today, which was pretty minor, was the posterior tibial tendon (inside ankle) felt a bit sore at times. Not a big deal, but shaking it off is proving to be pretty slow going. However, it never really bothered me much today, I was just aware of it being there. Will continue to monitor it, but I'm not overly concerned about it at this point.
Big thanks to Jim and Yana for an awesome time! It was obvious we had a blast. Great company on a great day.
Ran 12.8 miles @ 23:28/mile place (includes all stops)
AHR/MHR - 137/170
Rugged mountain trails.
Lower 40s to upper 50s, sunny.
Brooks Cascadia 3 (unaltered), shorts, short sleeved shirt, jacket (shed after two miles)