Saturday, January 28, 2012

Dickey Ridge Training Run

Today I did a trail run in order to get some good long hours on my feet on some real terrain. My buddy and fellow VHTRC member David Snipes (aka Sniper) picked out the Dickey Ridge Trail in Shenandoah National Park. The trail runs from Front Royal VA along Skyline Drive for about 10 miles until it dead ends in the Appalachian Trail. I needed some good pre Holiday Lake miles and Sniper had never run this trail in the daylight before so it seemed like a pretty good idea....20 miles no worries!

The more and more I run trails the more I'm convinced that trail running and road running shouldn't even be mentioned in the same train of thought. On flat roads I can run 20 miles in about 2 hours and 40 minutes. This took us a little under five hours ..... ok more like five and a half...but we spent a lot of time talking to people we ran into on the trail so I rounded down.

The run starts of with a climb....then another climb and then some more for about 10 miles. 

There were definitely "some hills"

Most of the trail is "run-able" this means that there aren't a ton of rocks and roots slowing you up. Overall the run was pretty good we made decent time on the hills, took a few breaks to chat with hiker's we ran in to, and met some guy with some a few bears....ok apparently they were dogs. Black Russian Terrier's are apparently some kind of giant Soviet Russia dog that is the size of a bear....luckily they were very nice even keeled dogs and just wanted lots of pats!

Like I said "Bear"
 After the bear sighting we finally made it to the top of the route and to "Indian Run Spring" I used the "" here because it was less of a spring and more of a trickle.....but oh well we were 10 miles in...time to turn around.... So the first half was all up hill, that had to mean we had 10 miles of nice fast descent....well not really....there seemed to be plenty of small short hills left for us to go up....not a lot...but just enough to break things up. Finally around mile 15 we passed a SNP visitors center refilled on some water and started the real down hill section. This part was awesome! Sniper and I bombed our way down the last 5 miles and ended up at the cars. Running was followed by Mexican food.

Oh and side bar, at one of the really great overlooks we saw an American Bald Eagle....Never seen one before....they are awesome
A Bald Eagle....not the one we saw but similar in coolness.

Overall I had a good training run. I want to do Holiday Lake in 5-5.5 hours and I was on my feet for that long today so I would say this was good practice. Luckily Holiday Lake doesn't have all the hills. But hills are good training so I'm going to continue to do them.

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