The first part of the run is a loop Marc would take me on when I was able to start hiking again post accident and it helped build my confidence and footing. We've MTB'd here many times and I've never cleaned the infamous 'wall' but of course he has. Back in the day we used to see runners and thought they were crazy because of all the MTB traffic. I passed a runner many years ago when I was fit and fast on my bike and he said no bikers ever pass him. Ha! I remember barely being able to hike the beginning loop post accident that eventually bisects the most technical part of the trail at the wall and wondering if I'd ever get to bike it again. Eventually I biked it a couple years ago and connected to the super fun Black Bear trail that's also a black diamond route. Since I'm now an FKT junkie I look for routes I think I can be comically competitive at i.e., technical scrambles and/or super steep because running is difficult with a back fusion but this route has none of that. No scrambles, nothing technical by foot and it's not steep but for some reason it all feels uphill perhaps because it was so cold today. How does Strava know the weather? Feels like 11 degrees? Yep.
Also it was very icy in many sections and on all the tricky downhill sections so there was no need for speed. I never fell but slipped many times and I didn't use trekking sticks. Also I ran the loops the same way I would bike them but noticed first and second place ran the Plymouth Mountain trail in the opposite direction. Not that it matters since elevation is the same regardless but I know I can do better and this is my first official run post accident so I'm in terrible running shape. My back felt pretty good but my right hip flexor was very painful and I was having a hard time with leg precision d/t nerve regeneration. PT is an ongoing battle daily. Pain is good and reminds me I'm alive. This oldie but goodie; me and a Reba McEntire song was playing in my earbud...walk on, walk on, don't just stand there in the storm. Walk toward the light til you find the sun and you'll be better off in the long run and walk on. I say run on! This will be a fun project and 3rd place is an honorable place to be. One could argue that it's the happiest place on the podium.