|Atop Flagstaff Mountain|
Back home and running in Pennsylvania. Easy 3+ miler with Paul thru Lehighton last evening. Hit some hills. Weather was beautiful, told him compared to my summer in North Carolina this felt like stepping into a runners' paradise. But as fate would have it, hotter weather trailed behind me by just a day.
Long run today (Tuesday) up and through Lehighton via the roads, and then up and over Flagstaff Mountain (see picture). Checked my garmin and the last part of the 6-7 mile climb that encompassed the first part of the run was exactly one mile, on probably a 30 degree incline.
At the base of Flagstaff, got onto the Switchback Trail and ran the steady, slight incline up to Mauch Chunk Lake. Beautiful running through old, dense, damp deciduous forests, along side a large rambling creek for part of the time. Got a drink out of a sink at the bathrooms by the lake, then ran back down the Switchback Trail, and back down on the roads into the town of Jim Thorpe.
Legs held up pretty well but did have some occasional pains on the bottom outside of my right foot (have had on an off for the past 2 years), as well as some slight pain in my lower left leg which eventually worked itself out. Been trying to transition more physically as well as mentally back into the ultra runner's sort of mindset, being that the Iron Mountain race is rapidly approaching. Ran Umstead State Park last weekend with Natasha and Andres. We put in 3 hours time on feet Saturday, followed by 2 on Sunday morning.
Also trying to pick back up with the ancillary work such as pushups, planks, and sit-ups. Have slacked somewhat on the past month or two.
Last 4-5 miles of the run was aside the railroad tracks at the base of another small mountain, then a single track trail back to the old towpath that brought me back to the finish about 2 hours and 50 minutes later. At one point I sort of put myself into a meditative running trance listening to sounds the rushing waters of the Lehigh River were making.
Shooting for another big mileage week coming off the last 2 weeks of 74 and 78 miles respectively. Loving being back home and back communing with a different sort of nature, and back hitting the hills again.
It's all good man.