This is one of the trail head signs along the Blue Ridge Parkway
that marks the Shut-In-Trail. Most folks call it the Mountain to Sea
Trail. I try to run this trail as often as my feet will allow.
A small mushroom on the 479m Fire Road about 1500 feet
above the 491 parking area in Bent Creek Forest
Some leaves after a summer rain near
the 479m fire road in Bent Creek Forest
Shut In Trail sign taken in the Sleepy Gap Parking lot of
the Blue Ridge National Parkway
Mountain to Sea Trail.
Where I Train:
The pictures above shows the beauty of the shut-in-trail/Mountain to Sea trail. I reach this trail from the 491 parking area and sometimes directly from the Blue Ridge Parkway road. The biggest challenge I face on this trail is my ankles. The trail is covered with rocks and tree roots. I find half of my body at least 4 inches higher then the other half making wear and tear on the feet a big issue.
Most of my runs are on the fire roads around the trail because of the reduced impact on my feet. However, the beauty of the trail including the chance to run into wild life makes is very tempting.
Training in the future:
Today I returned to the UNCA track. The idea is to help me get rid of some fat and run in the super wet heat. I did 7 miles today with the goal of reaching 10 miles by mid week. The left foot is still not perfect but moving along. The run was amazing because I lost so much water and then drank so much water. I managed to drink an entire gallon of fluids during the 7 miles of running. Ok, i am not a doctor but that is rather cool and just shows how the body can work when all is right.
I hope to run at least 10 to 15 miles per day on the track and head to the mountains twice a week for a break. The track should help with my speed and over all running style. The track helps me stay focused on the quality of my running while working on my splits. The trail is great for the mind and long distances but given the very limited water supply these days the trail can cause injury and prevent the body from pushing to the full limit of its ability.
After the last race in June (first week of June) I managed to hurt my left foot by getting Plantar Fasciitis. It took an entire month of no running before i was able to run again. However, I spent a ton of time in the gym riding bikes. I am now over 1,000 miles on the bike for the year. The bike however does nothing for weight or overall fitness. Running seems to be the only thing that kills fat and helps the body reach its peak.. at least for me.
Since the 15th of July I have logged about 110 miles of running and should see some very strong numbers for August. My left ankle is not perfect which is the reason I am running the track. The left ankle and Plantar issues all come down to one thing.. poor running style.. which I hope the track running will correct.
Today in hot sun running on track i did 7 miles with an average of 9:45 min miles. Not too good but great given the left foot is about 60 percent whole.