Did 20 miles on the Elk River Trail in the Headwaters Forest today. Man, am I beat! After the first 3 miles, you climb for two miles on switchbacks, do a half mile loop at the top through the Old Growth, then back out for an 11 mile round trip. Plan A was to run the switchbacks 3 times, so we stashed extra fluid at the bottom. Once we got to the top, we decided to do the loop 3 times. Karen was in "The Zone," was just cruising, and I eventually lost sight of her. I forgot how many loops I'd done, so I went ahead and did another. I was about halfway through when I realized Karen had gone back down the hill. Oh well. I knew she'd figure out I wasn't behind, and sure enough, about 1/4 mile back down, here she comes back up, worried. Sorry!
At the top of our second climb, I told her there was no way I was doing that again. No frigging way! Luckily, she felt the same way, so we decided to do 6 loops at the top, but only got through 3 when we both said enough's enough and headed back down. It's so steep much of the time going down, that you actually smile at the few inclines - for a second.
It also rained, which felt wonderful when it was hitting you, but once it stopped, the humidity - Ugh! I ran almost the entire 20 miles sans shirt because it was just too humid and warm. Poor Charlie Dog, he practically ran us over when we got near the creek each time. And when we got to the pond area, I wanted to jump in the water with him!
So now here I sit with my feet up 'cause their killing me, thinking about all the cold watermelon I have cut up in the fridge. Yum! Here's a graph that shows what the climbing is like. I don't know if the elevation is right, but it gives a really good picture of the climbing.
Karen is a really good running partner. I think we're pretty equal, but she can run hills like nobody's business, even when she's tired. She's like the damn Energizer Bunny. (Must be a family thing since Kate is, too.) That's what I will be counting on with her as my pacer at AR50.