** Photographs accredited to Allen**
I didn't bring my camera this morning; today was strictly a workout. A planned 10.5 mile hike (5 miles hiking up and the rest running down).
If you live in downtown Asheville, it's about a 16 minute pop off I-40. There's a parking lot after the Arboretum turn. It's right next to the river and you're able to leave your car there for free. It's one of the take off spots for canoes and kayaks (at least from what I have seen). There's a small tunnel adjacent to the water. That's your start! Keep your eyes open for your white circles and arrows, they will be your friends. There are two big pulls at the beginning and there are many long recovery strides on the trail (at least for the 10 miles we endured). I decided to wear my running shoes thinking that 1) it would help the previous blisters and 2) seeing as I'm running part of the trail, I could use lighter shoes. Now, the shoes did relieve some tension on the back of my heels but I felt every rock and root punch the soles of my feet. I also had too much room in the front of my sneakers and my toes were pounding the front. I guess I'm going back to hiking shoes.
My favorite part of the trail were the rhododendron awnings. The flowers are starting to fall. Light pink puffs floated as I brushed passed. It really was a lovely break of scenery. The air was a lot cooler and the contrast in lighting was refreshing.
"I succeed on my own personal motivation, dedication, and commitment. My mindset is: If I'm not out there training, someone else is."
American long-distance runner