How many times have you heard me say I hate Massanutten? For several reasons: the rocky climbs, the rocky flats, the rocky downhills, the downhills too steep and technical to run down, all the roads in the MMT course, etc. I am always complaining about them. I spent all last weekend in the Massanutten mountains; I ran and hiked a cumulative 35 miles. And you know what? I enjoyed it! Me!
Elizabeth Furnace 50k
This run started off really well. The rocky climb up Signal Knob wasn't bad since we had to walk it anyway. The trail started thinning out quickly, and the sunrise was incredible. We started early, but getting to see that view made it worth the early wake-up call!
Boots (a WUSer) and I really started running 3 to 4 miles in, and it felt great. My legs felt strong, the trail felt good, and I was concentrating on navigating the rocks with my small feet. Then, we hit a trail bottleneck, but this was fine since we started chatting with a big group. Soon enough, Mike Baily joined us and we all chatted and had a great time taking a fire road at a good pace.
|Look! Dirty Shoes!|
I really enjoyed being on the trails with new friends and soaking up the warm weather. I gave Mike dating advice, we all discussed ultrarunning in general, and about some cool runners. We gossiped and the miles flew by. Soon it was 15 miles, and my IT Band was throbbing. Words cannot describe my frustration. WHY GOD WHY?!?!
|Orange markings on the Massanutten trail|
I told them to run ahead and I walked to the finish. I did some running on flats, and sometimes it felt ok. At 22 miles, I ran into the first aid station, happy to see my boyfriend, more friends, and beer.
It turned into a way fun day. We hung out at the aid station for a few hours having a good old time, and then at the finish I got some chili, finally talked to a few VHTRCers I hadn't met, tried on club shirts, made inappropriate jokes, laughed at Gary's inappropriate jokes, and I got tortured by the Egyptian Magician. He worked my ITB like it's never been worked before, and showed Tyler how to do it. Also, I gained lots of advice from the other runners, including advice to try the strap. I hope it works.
That night, Tyler and I went to Clementine in Harrisonburg, VA and Dave Fraizer was there with his lovely fiance. Our coversation went like this:
"Did you run today?"
"Did you win?"
"Did you get a course record?"
He got more talkative as the evening (and weekend, we ran into them at Breakfast) went by. Overall, it was a beautiful day spent with awesome friends and despite the injury bug, I couldn't frown, or cry, or be angry. I could only smile. (OMG, so corny)
Duncan Knob Hike
After breakfast at the Little Grill (best pancakes in Harrisonburg and maybe all of Virginia) Tyler and I headed back to Massanutten for a 12 mile hike.
|See! Rocks, like I told you about.|