Thursday, November 15, 2012

Tiger Mountain Wednesday

Yesterday I ran up (and down and up and down) Tiger Mountain.

And it was amazing!

It was one of those runs where life melts away and you just love running!

I did the same loop that I will be doing twice for my 50k in January. Ultra-marathoner Jess took me out to show me the loop and we just had the greatest time!

I was feeling good as we headed out. My new breakfast left me satisfied and I was feeling so full of energy! I'll certainly have to test it out again, but I think we have a winner!

Grape Nuts and srawberries for the win!
Anyway, I was just excited to head out and redeem myself after Friday's less than stellar running effort. I had been taking it fairly easy most of the week thus far, so I was really hoping I would find my running mojo on Tiger.

And find it, I did!

We started off running along the outside of West Tiger 3. Tiger Mountain has 5 summits: East Tiger, Middle Tiger, and West Tiger 1, 2, and 3. Today we conquered West Tiger 1, 2, AND 3. Because one summit just isn't enough!

I've run a fair share of trails the past few months and have been lucky to experience many different ones! It's pretty exciting to finally be able to compare them and find out what I like and don't like. One of the things I absolutely love about Tiger Mountain is it's variety. Literally every one of the dozen trails we were on yesterday sported differing terrain. Sometimes I was running on rocks, sometimes on leaves. Sometimes the ground was spongy, and other times there were lots of roots.

We went through many patches of sunlight, and spooky, misty and dark sections. I wish I had brought my phone so I could show you pictures! It was truly beautiful and a great day.

Apparently Jess and I were on the same wavelength because we got through the two biggest climbs of the day in no time, just chatting away. I can't believe how fast the time flew. By the time we hit the halfway point, which was about 8 miles in, I was starting to get a little tired since we had been out for almost 2 hours. Yes, trail running is slooooow, but so fun!

We ascended and descended West Tiger 1, then West Tiger 2 and finally West Tiger 3. The final 3 miles were all downhill, which I actually found to be the most challenging part of the 15.5 mile loop. About 1.5 miles down, my quads were fatigued, to say the least.

Why is running downhill so much harder for me?! I think I get more cautious than necessary, which slows me down. My biggest fear is getting injured, and running downhill can be challenging, especially on technical trails, so I tend to watch my step probably more than necessary. Which I think is fine for now!

We finished up 15.5 miles in 3 hours and 14 minutes. Garmin said we ran 13.47 but since Jess knows the trails like the back of her hand and assured me it was 15.5 miles, I will not argue! Satellite watches tend to lose signal in the mountains, especially when there is a lot of tree-covering.

I was riding my running high the rest of the day, and can't wait to get back out there! Great runs are the absolute BEST!

What/when/where was your last amazing run?

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