Well my spring break is off to an amazing start. Had a great time at home seeing my family over the weekend, and got some awesome longboarding in with my friend Brendan....which btw, I have a new record of 41 mph on my board :D good times.
So I arrived in Hendersonville last night on the 10th to visit my friend George before head out on our Spring Break trip to Pensacola. Its beautiful up here, right in the middle of the blue ridge mountains. Sometimes I wish I lived somewhere like this, you feel more in tune with nature. Its soothing.
Anyways, today while George and I were coming home I asked him to show me the route up the mountain from his house so I could see the view. Right as we started ascending the mountain along the narrow serpentine roads I immediately thought to myself "Ahh man, I've got to run up the mountain today". When we made it to the top at "Jump Off Rock" we got out of the car and looked at the view. It was breathtaking! Even with the clouds and the mist... if anything it made the view even more beautiful. We drove back down to his house, had some lunch, and then decided that I should stay and run while he picked his car up from the shop. Once my food digested, the adventure began!
Right when I left his drive way I was nervous and excited. I had to climb a little over 1000 feet in 3 and a half mile and it would be my hilliest run yet. The hardest part is the first mile because thats when the most change in elevation happens. I was going at a controlled hard effort and only managed to run a 9:36 mile, so I think my slow pace speaks for itself. It hurt, my legs were burning and my calves were tight. I was literally up on my toes the entire way...not heel striking, or mid foot striking...my toes! Somehow though, it felt great. It was nice and cool, with a steady breeze, and I had an amazing view the whole way up. After the first mile, the steep incline turned into hills the size of those at home so I was able to lower my pace to 7:40-8:00 the rest of the way up. Theres something psychological that happens when you run somewhere like that. It feels so natural. I almost felt like a Native American out on the hunt in the mountains.
When I made it to the top I began to pick up the pace until I reached the end. I was welcomed by the breathtaking view, I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs because I made it to the top, but there was a family there and I didn't want to freak out the locals :P But man it was awesome, it was the most accomplished I have felt in a long time! It was definitely one of my hardest runs I have had, and it was only 3.7 miles. I saw the neighboring mountains, including Cold Mountain which peaks a little over 6000 feet, so if I am ever back in town, I am definitely going to try that one.
After a few minutes of taking in the view I headed back down, nice and easy, 7:30 pace the way back because I didn't want to kill my knees. Best of all, when I made it back, I took and Ice bath in a cold mountain creek in my friends backyard.
Today was awesome!