This past weekend, I gathered up a couple friends to accompany me to the mountains for a couple of reasons.
- to hopefully see how amazing the NC mountains look when fall is here and the leaves are completely changed
- get in a solid run up a mountain with perfect weather as a break from the norm in Charlotte.
20 miles at a sub 6 pace and I know that none of us were really up for that but I was thinking if I could make it 13 miles I would be pleased, but Ryan had family come to town and had to back out. Billy was pumped to join us, but his decision to stay up till 2am for the Braves playoff game did not end up well and he had to back out the morning of also.
As we approached blowing rock, we all were getting pumped to hit the trails. Kent had never been to Moses Cone and was anxious to check it out and it had been a year since I was last there from what I remember. After we jumped from the car, we realized, wow, we are all a bit tight from the ride up and had to take a few extra minutes to loosen up our muscles and joints. I decided to go with the old school bandanna look with my 2XU Compressioon Race Socks which seem to keep saving the day for me lately. We headed on our journey from Bass Lake up to the Manor for a few minutes before heading up to the fire tower. Upon arriving to the fire tower we encountered an older man who appeared to be just slightly in another world (possibly from some form of plant smoking) and he seemed to keep chatting/checking us out(awkward), so I just jumped on the steps of the fire tower and said nice to meet you buddy we got to roll.
Once to the top it was a great view of the mountain range and we were trying to figure out what certain areas were from far away. Kent said it reminded him of back home in Lynchburg, Va when he used to train in the mountains during high school in the 1970's. Brian made a magnificent effort to at least climb to the top of the tower to have a brief look out. on the way down our pace didn't seem to drop by very much, we just kept it consistent. Kent wanted about 10 miles so he went straight back to Bass Lake while Brian and I took the path to Trout lake and back up to the manor before finishing up at Bass lake as well. After arriving at the lake my Garmin appeared to finally kick in the right pacing as we were going about 6:45's the last mile.
After finishing, I really felt like I had to do more and just asked if they wanted to knock out an extra mile. In my head, I thought, let's push it Chris, but I was also thinking, lets not mess up that calf that has been giving me fits. Kent, brian and I hit the path around the lake for one more loop and I commented that i planned to push it a bit as a heads up. We eased into the mile loop(or so i thought) and I saw the garmin at 5:42 around 1/4m in and I hit the 1/2m at 2:48 as I began to really pick it up. At that point, I basically said, let's see if you any wheels Chris, don't be a pussy, MAN UP and get it done. I took off in search for the possibility of running my 15th mile in sub 5 realizing I needed a freaking 2:11 last 800m! As I finished and my back was getting tight, I passed our starting point for the mile and had to run another 85-90 yards before my garmin hit 5:06. If I had a Timex, it would have been well below 5 but luckily the garmin saved me from false info. All in all I ran a 2:18 back 1/2m which I was VERY satisfied with.
To add to just a great day to be out running, we bumped into a couple other runners hitting the trails for about 13-14 like us and one of them was former D1 NCAA XC champ Josh McDougal running with his dog.
Woodlands BBQ where we had a very nice young lady as our waitress. The food was plenty and we even went high dollar and got a pitcher of Coors Light. Making our way into town, it was good people watching as about 85% of the people were over 60 years old but friendly of course. It was beautiful day, so we all set on a bench overlooking the town with dozens of other people, sipping apple cider and eating ice cream (Brian). It was a great day away from the norm but by the time we found our way back to Charlotte we were pretty much exhausted. I had a 40th B-day to go to for Scott Helms in 2 hours time and needed to figure out dinner, shower and some sort of a nap. Long blog short, we had a blast and I am fairly certain that Bmac played enough Ska music to last me at least until I get to Australia on the car ride.
Special thanks to the Mizuno Inspire, 2XU race socks and Garmin for making my run fun and successful!
- To end my Blog Entry, I only have one question for anyone who may read this, WHY DO WE NOT ATTEMPT TO MAKE MORE TRIPS TO THE MOUNTAINS? I never hear anyone say, why don't we take a fairly short drive to see some amazing scenery and to also get in some great running? Let's break free of this Concrete city!