I love this place...sweet, only mildly technical trail at times, and fairly long stretches of what you see here.
On today's agenda was 5 minute hill repeats getting into zone 4a to 5a, and making sure to hit 5a by the end. Coffee and my favorite fruit, kale and egg protein smoothie in, I made the hour and a half drive to Hobbs State Park for today's adventure. My new work schedule with rotating shifts offered me 3 weekdays off this week...penance will be paid Thursday, Friday, Saturday! But fortunately, that is still blissfully far away. Kids off to school and me off to trails. Got all nice n warmed up (not easy with 16 degree temp) and got down to the base of the hill. Turned around and up I went. Got into zone 4a really quick, and 4b even quickier...like by 2 minutes. That made for a reaaaaallly long 3 minutes to go! hit 5a by 3 minutes and backed off a tad (It did not feel like I was backing off...just not getting ready to explode). I decided the last minute would be 5a all the way if possible. Holy lungs and heart exploding batman! I was glad I didn't have company on this run. I definitely looked and sounded to be in serious distress the last 2 minutes! Hands on knees at the end and back down the hill for round 2. Round 2 and 3 proved to be equally challenging. Round 4 I was sure was going to be the death of me. And then it was over! It took about a mile of jog/run recovery before I got the spring back in my step (I wasn't sure it was going to return!). The next 4 miles were nice, some faster than others, but feeling pretty spunky all things considered. Never needed any fuel or water for this one...carried it, but just felt well fueled the whole way. 10 mi total today.
Stopped to catch a few pics....spotted this armadillo rooting around. And leaning trees...there is something about leaning trees I love. They inspire me somehow. I can't put it into words how they make me feel, but they just humble me.
And then this bridge is awesome, it is on the drive to Arkansas...