Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Itching for a piece of gnarly trail

I mentioned a couple of days ago that with the Summer heat approaching, I'm getting excited about starting my North Face Endurance Challenge training.

While I love training and training cycles, I especially love this time of year and what it means to me. Really, it only means one thing in particular; Time to get out on Pine Mountain Trail again. That puts a smile on my face every time I think about it:)

The funny thing is, the trail kicks my butt every single time I put serious mileage into it. I've had some epic tales of crash and burn, dehydration, overexposure, etc., but I keep on going back for more.

How DOES one explain that? Well, for me, I just love training out in that ultra gnarly, rooted and rocky wilderness of single track goodness.

Take a look at some of these pics..

How about running through some of this technical glory when your legs are full of lead and you can barely pick up your feet? Face plant waiting to happen...

One of the great things about the PMT is that it has some pretty decent downhill stretches, but they're extremely technical, full of rocks, boulders and sharp switchbacks. It's a constant challenge to be able to really get some leg turnover, while trying to maintain balance and speed to keep you from peeling off a ridge line. Like I said, it's addictive.

For the North Face Endurance Challenge in September, I can't think of a better trail system to be running on. It separates the strong from everyone else. If you finish the race here, you have demonstrated some very tough character and iron-clad determination. You just can't "fake it" in this terrain.

Trust me, I know!

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