The trip was almost a mirror of the first trip but with better luck. I was able to leave from work on time and with lighter traffic than usual from the COVID-19, I was able to get home within an hour.
The clock started ticking once I got home. I decided to cook my own food for this trip instead eating the dehydrated meals, because it was just too expensive to buy and with the CoVID scare, there were not any to buy. It was my first time cooking for a trip but nothing scare me. Just do what I got to do is my mentality. I didn’t have pasta so I went with my go to rice with hotdogs and eggs and honey. I brought some nuts too. I will leave the shopping part later – it was insane in our area. A little healthier than my nornmal hiking meal but not by much!
I still hadn’t pack because I was lazy. really lazy and busy the past several nights. Work situation didn’t help when I had to stay late to make sure everyone could work from home. Couple people less tech inclined people needed more help. Also we had to make sure our company technology infrastructure could handle. Friday was off without a problem. We sent everyone home accept me, my manager and couple of colleagues who wanted to go in.
All in all, I finally got going around 9:00 pm and I had to fill up my car with petrol. It would be a 3 and half hour driving if I I drive fast, but I was sticking to the speed limit. I ate while on the way. After the meal, around 10-10:30 pm I really needed a nap. I had to stop at a McDonalds to get a coffee. Luckily, they still had some. It didn’t taste too fresh but it got me staying awake. I got to camp around 1 am. Set up and closed my eyes by 1:30. I needed a good rest for the next day.
The air was cooler than expected. I did not bring my 10deg (F) bag this time but opted for a 32 (F). I had a long sleeves on but was in shorts. 32F didn’t do justice. I had no cap on. I was bordering uncomfortable cold. I woke up couple times trying to shift my postition. It got warmer when the sun came out and I sleep in till 8. It was nice for a change. Normally with camping, you get up when the sun rises. My friend, the drill master was not with me and I could be a bit lazy.
I woke up and quickly packed and headed out to my car with was about half a mile away. I left my food in the car the night before. It was still cold out and I didn’t warm up my food. Honey over rice and and broiled eggs would be my breakfast and lunch. I wish I brought some avocados but ran out of time.
Any way, I dropped my hiking pack in the car and swapped for my running sling. I didn’t have my hydration pack but opted for 3 8oz bottles. They were enough. I didn’t pack lunch but carried some candy bars. Off I went and the time was around 9-9:30. I hoped to get back around 3.
The trail was nice and dry this time. There were some muddy sections but was not as bad as the first time. It was very runable. This time without a 35-40 lb weight on my back, I indeed was running. I was not really flying down the trail but was cautious and also conserving energy for the next day.
Half way through though, I rolled my ankle – my left again, unlucky I was. So I walked for a few mile. I was thinking now what? I am like 6 miles from the car. Should I head back or press on? I was here to run. What with this limping?
I pressed on and see how my foot would take it. I got to mile marker 9 before heading back. My orginal goal was to try to get to marker 4-5, but having calculated the time it would take, I wouldn’t be back to my car until 5 or later and I might be caught in the evening rain when I headed for the second camp.
So I turned around. I got back to the car by 3:30. The temperature had dropped. The moment I entered my car, it started snowing. I didn’t anticpated that. Car was like 10-15 degrees warmer. Still I felt cold. It was too cold to go back out to hike to the second camp. I took out my lunch and ate hoping the snow would lighten up. I was still cold, actually very cold. I decided, I didn’t want a second night out and I rather wished to be back home. It was an easy decision, and to home I went!
Lessons: gas was cheap in west virginia while pa and md were not. no, lesson #1, was night running was hard. While hiking in I could barely find or see the trail, if not for me having been there before, I would have a hard time. It could be my eye sight was failing. So Laurel #3 and #4 has to be a night run. But day time running was so much better.
On my way home, I was using the scenic route and I could see every turn perfectly. I drove the same route there on the way in (rt 29 and MD51), and several times I thought I was going over the edge. It was quite scary experience. I did not want a dent in my truck. How different it was. My night time eye vision maybe failing me.
Top concern for the race is my ankle might not recover in time if I keep on rolling on it. Also I might roll it during the race. The chance is high.
Have a food bag for the race. When I come into the aid station, I could horde (with moderation) the food into the bag and eat them while on my way.
It is probably ok to be last on the first 20 miles. Real race start after the 20 mile. Just make sure I don’t get DQ.
Hopefully coronavirus would not ground my travel in two weeks for Laurel#3. I might defer Raurel#3 until May.