I biked Skyline Drive for 40 miles yesterday. The first 20 were more or less uphill, but the steady not-so-steep kind of pitch that I enjoy. Ask anyone who has ridden with me on the Casco Bay Bike Club's "notch rides," there is a certain pitch (think the Kanc) where this lean runner's build works well on the bike and I can put some distance on everyone else. Then as soon as the road gets steeper (think Bear Notch), everyone goes right past me with their big bicycling muscles. Yesterday's ride was like The Kanc, and I loved it.
After the ride I took a run/hike on a trail loop in the park. I ran down the Buck Ridge Trail then fast hiked back up the Buck Hollow Trail. My legs feel good. I am still amazed by that. The right hip only hurts if I jar it (tripping over a rock or jumping over something in the trail), otherwise it just feels like a bruise. I have 2 loose toe nails on the left foot and a blister on my right foot. Otherwise I'd never know I had just attempted a hundred miler.
On this hike I saw no bear, just a bare...butt. I was looking down at the trail deep in thought, and glanced up just in time to come face to face with a naked white shining ass. I cleared my throat loudly. The guy had his pants up and clutched around his waist quick as a flash (no pun intended). He stammered out, "I was trying to take a tick off my willy" and I said, "well, carry on" without even breaking stride. When I got back to the car I checked and sure enough I had a bunch of very tiny ticks clustered around the leg openings of my shorts. I still had on my bike shorts and the ticks seemed to stop climbing when they reached the elasticised leg bands. This is something I wish the bare assed guy knew about.
Today I head back to Maine. I would love to stay for more biking and hiking, but I miss Bart and I have to get my garden in. I have made peace with my DNF. If I had pushed on I might have finished in 30 hours or so. It would have still been a disappointment and my hip might have sustained more serious damage. I'm still well trained and no real harm was done at MMT. Next up is Nipmuck Trail Marathon and then Vermont 100. Also on the agenda, many long fun trail runs in the Whites. I enjoyed most of my run at MMT, even more than last year because I was pacing myself better and feeling less strain and stress during the run so I could enjoy the scenary. After the race, I had 2 wonderful days in Shenandoah National Park doing the things I love to do. I have no complaints about this trip, or life in general.