Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Fells Fail

My plan for last weekend was to continue on my Sea to Summits Tour by doing another long run on the Mid State Trail. A friend was going to join me but he tweeted his back and had to bail which meant I had to change my plans. It would be impossible to do a long point to point run on the MST without a second person to spot a car. If I've learned one thing over the past few years it's that things rarely go as planned and you have to be flexible when life throws you a curve ball.

Instead, I headed to nearby Middlesex Fells Reservation to run a loop or two on the eight mile Skyline Trail. I'm registered to run the TARC Winter Ultra in one week which is a 32 and 40 mile race on this very trail. What better preparation could there be than to get familiar with the terrain before race day?  I haven't run in the Fells since 2009 when I completed three loops of the Skyline Trail with my friends KZ and Michelle. I was looking forward to running someplace other than Lynn Woods where I do most of my training runs. I would soon remember why I have avoided the Fells all these years!

I had a difficult time on the technical terrain and my running time for the loop was 30 to 40 minutes slower than what I ran back in 2009. Sure, I'm older, slower and more cautious now but that's a ridiculous time loss for an eight mile run. Needless to say I didn't go out for a second loop. Now, I'm wondering if I should skip the upcoming race. Given my slow time on the race course and my lack of any real training, it seems pointless to toe the starting line this weekend.

Then again, I could always add to my growing list of DNFs!

View of the Boston skyline from Pine Hill.

A closer look.

Wright Tower on Pine Hill.

A distant view of North Reservoir from Winthrop Hill.

North Reservoir pumping station perhaps?

Great Blue Hill on the horizon about 20 miles to the south.

Standing on the bank of North Reservoir.

Decisions, decisions....

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