My wife Amy and I spent the weekend in Killington, VT to do a little on-site training. We had a sense that we would each be on our own endurance experience for this run, but this weekend we got a real taste for it. I will have to endure the trail, Amy will have to endure me. Quote of the weekend, “How are we gonna keep the RV from smelling like running and farts?”
We got up to The Inn at Long Trail on Thursday night, and had a little dinner at McGrath’s Irish Pub. We later learned that McGath’s was the first pub in VT to have Guinness on tap, and the first bar in VT with Bailey’s. The Bailey’s is now kept in a safe, and the Beefeater is never to face front. The Inn was a great home base and served us well.
Friday morning, the plan was to eat breakfast around 6:00. I always eat oatmeal which requires hot water. It seems hot water is not available in Killington at 6:00, or 6:30. I was nervous, driving up and down the road looking for a gas station, anything, but nothing was open. The Inn doesn’t open for breakfast till 7:30. Undeterred, I resorted to bathtub oatmeal. It was as bad as it sounds, but the carbs were in and I was ready to go. I wanted to start from route 4 around 7:30 am. At 7:20, it started pouring. It didn’t last long, but now the trail would be wet, muddy, and slippery. “Well at least it will be realistic” I thought. I headed out and started the climb to Pico Peak. It was a steep enough climb, but I kept up a good pace with some strides here and there. After the Pico Lodge there is a nice section of trail where you can run and jump from rock to rock. After a quick climb to Killington Peak, you can rip downhill until you come to some treacherous shoots on the south side of the mountain. From there you head into the Gov. Clement shelter area that is mostly rocks but still very runnable. There is a detour for Upper Cold River Rd. due to last year’s hurricane Irene, and this is where we first realized that the logistics might not be so easy.
I didn’t know where I was, but as I made my way to the new road crossing, I saw the truck come into view. I could tell Amy was also struggling with the detour, but as she was making a U-Turn, she saw me and we both laughed. We had luck on our side. I had a sandwich, reloaded and headed out for the last 6 miles. I finished up day 1 just under 5 hours, about 18 miles total. I felt good.
After a good dinner and some cable TV, the plan for day 2 was to do it in reverse. I had legit oatmeal and was headed up the mountain by 6:45. I was listening to Laura Hillenbrand’s, Unbroken, which is a great reminder that as bad as you think it is, it ain’t that bad. I made a pit stop to patch up some impending blisters with Moleskin, and I didn’t have any trouble after that. I had a great pace going and made it to the road crossing in about an hour. This is where we ran into problems. I came off the trail, looked left, looked right, and did not see the truck. There weren’t many places to hide a truck, but I did not see it. I started walking up the detour road, I tried to signal with the SPOT messanger and call, but Amy didn’t have service. I admit, the plan was to meet where I came out, but I didn’t see the truck, and I didn’t want to wait. I figured I had about a 30 minute walk, so I moved on. I made it all the way to the re-entry point, and then I got yelled at. I deserved it. Rule 1, Don’t leave the meeting point. I cruised the rest of the run and finished in just under 5 hours again.
Day 3 started with more bathtub oatmeal, and I was out by 6:45. The day was pretty uneventful. I was moving at a good pace, we nailed the road crossing, and I finished in about 4:25. I was surprised that I was so much faster than the 1st day, but I had a good rhythm going and it was easier to just keep moving. Overall, the weekend was great. I hit 54 miles and felt like I was getting stronger as the miles clicked by. I’m heading into my rest/taper period feeling very well trained, confident, and healthy. All that’s left to do now is to do it.
Any ideas on the RV smell issue?