AM- Today was an absolutely splendid run. Runs like today really make me enjoy living in SC, at least this time of year. I headed out to Dupont State Forest in NC, the site of 100 miles of trail bliss, with streams and waterfalls interspersed throughout (250 waterfalls in the county). The International Mountain Biking Assoc. has awarded 52 areas its Epic Ride designation, meaning a trail/area is, basically, awesome. Utah's only Epic is Mid Mountain trail. Well, all of Dupont is an Epic area.
After my hour drive (I've decided all the good trails are 60-90 min from Greenville), I got a late start at 8:30. Temps were 35 at the start and 65 at the finish. I was worried the trails wouldn't be very technical, but the very first 2 miles allayed my fears- there was plenty here to keep my happy. One of my first trails was even Moab-ish, with long stretches over solid rock, the trail marked with cairns. I worked my way to Burnt Mountain, with a steep climb and then a glorious, buffed singletrack descent. In fact, the entire next 8 miles was all buffed singletrack- amazing, and every step of the entire run was runnable. The views were great, too, since the leaves are not yet out. The most exciting part was the river I had to cross twice- mid-thigh deep in a strong current over solid, moss-covered rock- very tenuous, that almost resulted in me going down more than a few times. Probably not the smartest thing to do alone. And during the entire run, I only saw 5 bikers, plus some people in/near the parking lot.
I felt great the whole run and thoroughly enjoyed the entire morning. I hardly ever traversed the same trail twice and still saw only a small portion of the forest and trails. My pace was strong, too- last week I averaged 11:38 miles and my fastest mile was 9:45, while today I averaged 8:22 and had NO miles slower than 9:41. Finished with 20 miles on the dot in 2:47:14 and 3800 ft climb/loss. I will definitely be back.
Highest mileage week of the year so far. Other than some PF in my right foot, I feel great. And I am loving being able to run trails in the winter/spring. Next week is a 5k race, then I may make my first excursion onto the 77 miles FHT, my next long distance adventure.
Not much flat stuff today.