Now is when I really regret not having cable TV in my life, as the real start of opening season has dawned. I guess it's just something I'll have to get used to, alas.
Went on a long, long trail run today down on the North/South Carolina border (about 40 minutes south of Charlotte) in Kings Mountain National Military Park on their ~16 mile trail loop. The drive down was replete with music to get me pumped up for a run I thought would kill me and a plethora of cop cars in the last 2-3 miles of the drive that got my sufficiently scared to slow down. It was much colder today than it's been this past week and I ended up starting the run with a beanie (overkill), gloves, under armor, long sleeve running technical shirt (overkill), and 2 hand held water bottles (something that was so weird for me, carrying shit in my hands while running). I packed a nutri-grain bar away in between my skin and my under armor, hoping that the packaging wouldn't rub me the wrong way and still be edible in about 2 hours (I had been under the impression that the 16 mile run would take 3+ hours).
There was a group of 7 of us gathered in the Welcome Center parking lot getting ready to go for an epic trail run. We started off and it ended up being me, Todd (a local house-flipper) and Tim (an ultrarunner that organizes events like races and these runs every Sunday) followed about 5-10 minutes back by Ned (works for a non-profit in South Carolina).
We started out a pretty swift sub 7 minute pace for the first hour or so then slowed down at about mile 8-10 to a more pedestrian (and manageable) 8+ minutes per mile. The trails got much hillier in the second half of the run; walking up some of the steeper stuff proved more efficient than trying to waste energy by running up the inclines.
Finishing 16 miles in just over 2 hours (2:12) was somewhat disappointing but then I realized that it was actually pretty fast given that a) it was my longest run ever and 2) it was run on some difficult trails and 3) I never stopped my watch for the 3 breaks we took that lasted a total of about 5-7 minutes I would guess. So I'm pretty happy with that pace.
There's a 22 mile run next week that I am contemplating attending...22 is a long ass way.