After a long week - any type of running sounds great: a training run for the 1/2 earth day marathon in Greer, meeting at Fleet Feet early, or [insert]. But, after a long week, one of my other favorite activities is to sleep late (very late to some). On Saturday, this type of behavior prevented me from joining fellow greenvillians. Instead, I slept, and I slept past 10:00am, which may sound late (or not), but it prevented an early rise and finish for my run. So, as another alternative, I drove north to another favorite stomping ground: any area outside of Asheville. There, I met a friend at Bent Creek Experimental Forest.
This forest is ideal for long climbs and not too-technical trials. On Saturday, under blue skies and in still chilled air, we completed a mellow loop of 10 miles (or so). - Brief aside: as I have alluded to before, since the marathon, my long distance runs have felt easier and less demanding. Most runs in the double digits provide for an enjoyable balance to sitting most of the week. Hills are also welcome. - this pattern proved true on Saturday. A hill that I had hated on a training run before the marathon had become a welcome warm up, and my breathing was slow and relaxed; during the climb, I even tried to initiate conversation with my unwilling companion. The loop continued on the ridge and then rolled down and around to the dirt road, which finally met up with our parking lot.
To conclude: the weekends are becoming predictable with their trail binges (Sunday we squeezed in 5+ - ran out of time)