Monday, July 1, 2013

30 Mile Foothills Trail - Chattooga River Night Run

I assembled this run a few weeks ago in conjunction with my training plan for the Jewel 100 in only twelve short weeks.  The purpose of this run was to simulate the tiredness faced after running all day in a hundo, the facing the night which is always full of surprises.  Some good, some not. 

After working all week and all day Friday I headed up to the good Ol' FHT to meet a group of nine others with a night of adventure on their minds.

Never leave me in charge of logistics or driving directions.  It nearly always ends in some type of mass confusion.  The ten of us somehow squeezed into Katie's SUV after dropping aid along the trail and we were off and running around 8:00 PM.

I felt great from the first mile on and that would end up being the story of my night.  After busting my forehead very hard on a tree around the halfway point I was able to settle into a steady pace that felt safe and sustainable for many hours.

We all stayed fairly close together as the night went on and finally begin to separate a little down the longer Chattooga River Section.

The River section has been known to throw a lot of fun at runners.  Wild dogs, wild people and wild weather.  This time it was fairly tame except for several copperheads and spiders that the front runners had the pleasure of dealing with.

The temperature was wild.  At times it felt like we were running in a steam bath, then at other times it was nearly chilly.  I guess it just depended on where the humidity was hanging around.

I was very excited to finish this run feeling 100% ready to continue running.  I didn't say that I wanted to (or did), but I could have!  I've never finished a night run feeling this great and the only change I can attribute it to is the use of real food over gels and running type food.  I stashed turkey bacon, sausage, cheese sandwiches at all four road crossings and that was my mail nutrition.  I did have one gel and a Cliff bar too.  My stomach was a little cranky after eating the "real" food, but it was well worth the end results.

I'm very eager to try this again and see how it works out.  It could have just been a "good night" so we will see.

We spent a lot of time at the road crossings catching our breath & enjoying the cold drinks which was well worth it.  I enjoyed this one so much I may try to do one more before September.

Here is the GPS data if you're interested.  About 3,500 Ft. of elevation gain and some gnarly single track is just what I needed in prep. for the Hundo:

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