Laurel Valley Wilderness run. Finished in just under 9 hours so it was the second longest I've ever been on my feet. The trail was absolutely amazing. Weather was predicted to be mid 40s and rainy but ended up being mid 50s and the sun came out for the last couple hours.
Started just after 730 at Rocky Bottom and just hung out with the other guys in the group. I was planning on taking off at mile 8 and running the section in the time I plan to run it for the full 77 but felt light headed and struggled with energy until about mile 10. After running to the Heart Break bench (mile 12) with the guys from the group I figured I'd just hang out and socialize rather than run hard and be bored for the next 5 hours. I felt like I had my nutrition dialed in by this point and focused on making Bo Millwood eat the whole run to see if he would run any better (this dude didn't eat anything but a sweet potato for the bench marathon a couple weeks ago and bonked super bad).
My Fenix acted up a little and lost satellites a couple times in the first 10 miles and put us about a mile and a half longer than we really were so it's probably making a trip back to REI tomorrow to be exchanged for an Ambit. Makes me sad but I can't have a piece of gear that vital flake out on me like that.
From the Toxaway River bridge on I felt great. Did a lot of running and a good bit of hiking. I was scared of the final climb up Whitewater falls the whole run but I underestimated how rugged and hilly the section from Bear Creek over to Whitewater was. It was a relentless battering of medium size and steepness hills for about 7 miles. The joke was that when we heard water we'd be almost at the end (you can hear water constantly for the last 12 miles of the run). The final climb out was a breeze other than coming up on the two people making out (it was awkward). Way shorter and nowhere near as steep as everyone made it out to be.
In the end I felt like I had plenty left in my legs and got a little bit of a confidence boost from just how much I enjoyed the trail. I think given the same conditions on race day I'd be able to run the section in less than 8 hours (I wasted a lot of time today just playing and soaking up the sights. Spent 10 minutes standing in the lake bed yelling for Lester who was coming down the opposite ridge cause I couldn't understand what he was yelling at us.). Drank 100 oz of water and ate about 2k Cal which I guess would be 2000 kcal which would be 2000x1000 cal which would be 8400000 joules. Laurel Valley took 8.4 million joules over 32100 sec which would put my power output 261 Watts. That's probably the most back of the envelope worst physics I've ever done. Yup I just put science in my blog.