I've been upping my running miles for the last few weeks/months, capping off my build up this past weekend with a 23 miler on the Potomac Heritage Trail. I wasn't breaking any land speed records (my total run time was right around 5 hours), but considering the terrain, my limited knowledge of the trail system and the self supported nature of the run I consider my progress on this one to be pretty good. Most of the trial was pretty rooty and rocky with some sections downright treacherous including some pretty serious rock scrambling up a water fall (Cass actually swam one portion of the scramble while I went up and over some boulders in the way).
In the end I basically covered the entire PHT from Roosevelt Island out to 495 and back with a few somewhat lengthy off-shoots mixed in for good measure. In some trail running advice forums I've been following lately I've seen an abundance of the attitude, "there are 2 types of trail runners; those who have (and continue to) fallen on occasion and those that will." Being as how I'd yet to take a trail running spill I kept my mouth shut so as not to jinx myself.
Saturday's run, turned out to be the one. Ironically enough, it wasn't any of the steep or technical tough spots in the trail that got me. Instead it was simply a damp log with a slightly downhill angle to it that took me by surprise as I planted my full weight on my left foot on top of it. The resulting slam down on my knee was worrisome for a minute but once the initial shock pain went away I was left with what amounted essentially to a skinned knee and maybe a little bruise.
15 miles later I was still going strong with no ill effects aside from the occasional strange look after finishing while stopping in a gas station for a drink and some ice for the bath tub at home.
Sunday an easy ride at Wakefield with Vinny and Chris (Leland) showed me just how tired my dogs really were and Monday's cloudy day saw me stuck in a rut with no motivation to leave the couch aside from a very small bit of bike work in the morning with Brian.
Some semi related tid bits:
-the thompson seatpost on the Jamis is perfect, w/ just the right amount of layback.
-I'm feeling good with wider and lighter FSA XC-190 bars on the Jamis and felt good slipping between tight trees at Wakefield on Sunday's ride.
-The WTB Weirwolf tires are feeling pretty supple, connecting well and definitely feel better on the front end in comparison to the stock ignitor's I've been riding.
-My Hardrock's held up nicely to their longest test yet and while the roots and rocks of the run really put them to the test, they seem to be able to handle the load with minimal forefoot discomfort for me.
-The redline is being built back up, now with my EA-30 riser bar off the Jamis, some flat bar brake levers I had lying around, my spare single speed crank set from the fixed gear I also had lying around, the matching ea30 seat post and wtb saddle from the Jamis (both lighter then the other stuff I had on the bike), new cheapo brake cables and housing and a Forte single speed conversion kit I picked up at Performance. I know I'd never be able to win a cross race on my converted SS with flat bar like Jonathon but at least now I can look somewhat like him (minus the tight skeleton skinsuit and podium candy of course). (Halloween is coming though and facial hair options are being considered).
-The fixed gear is finally mostly back together after nearly a year of languishing in the bike room and shed. Once I get a new spoke installed in the rear wheel (replacing the spoke that has been busted probably for well over 2 years) I will once again have a fully operational 'fixie' though now with much less friendly terrain to ride it on (considering it lived at Aimee's place on Capital Hill up until September).
And that's about it.
This coming weekend I'll be in Florida celebrating my high school buddy's demise... I mean wedding. He mentioned going sky diving the day before the wedding. Said something about making sure God gets the opportunity to correct his mistake if necessary... Not really sure what he means there.