When Bill and I are in southwestern Virginia, we love to go to Hungry Mother State Park for a trail run.  There’s a beautiful trail around the lake that we enjoy running, but we really love the challenging  run up to Molly’s Knob.  I remember hiking to the top of Molly’s Knob once when I was in high school, and thought I was going to die.  Now I run to the top, and think I’m going to die!

Last Friday Bill and I were in SWVA for the Virginia Tech Thursday night game, and after the abysmal performance by our Hokies the night before, a trail run on Friday morning was exactly what we needed.

I hadn’t run the beautiful trails there since June when I met Meagan for a long run.  Obviously, the leaves had changed a lot and were beautiful, but we missed peak season by about two weeks (two weeks too late).   Bill and I chose a 7.3-mile round-trip loop that included a trip up to Molly’s Knob.

Bill carried his camera backpack with his camera, two lenses, and a tripod; and he still outran me!

MollysKnobRunBillWithBackPack

 

Parts of the trail are heavily covered on both sides with rhododendron…

MollysKnobRunTrail

 

And most of the trails were covered with leaves.

MollysKnobRunMollysVistaTrail

MollysKnobRunBillMollysVistaTrail
 

Along the way, I stopped often to snap a quick picture of the scenery and to rest my lungs.

MollysKnobRunFallLeaves

 

And speaking of lungs, my lungs were about to explode as I summited Molly’s Knob!  Sorry about the heavy breathing in my video!

 

Once at the top, Bill got out his camera and tripod and took lots of pictures of the beautiful views.

MollysKnobRunBillTripod

Bill recently got a remote control, so he can take the ultimate selfies!  He edited this photo with a painted effect that I’m not crazy about, but I still think it’s pretty cool!

MollysKnobBillDebPaint_6054_5_6_7_8_9_tm_fusedx

 

I rested on one of the benches while Bill took a few more pictures…

MollysKnobRunAtSummitDebsShoes
 

And after about 15 minutes on top of the mountain, we turned and headed back down.

MollysKnobRunHeadedBackDown

 

About half way down, we stopped to take pictures of Molly’s Knob, where we had just been standing.

MollysKnobRunMollysKnob

 

As we got back down near the lake, we paused for a selfie, and I realized that I had less than 20% battery left on my iPhone.  Since I was using RunKeeper, I was concerned that I would run out of battery and lose my whole run.  I was particularly interested in seeing the elevation chart of our run, so I decided to take off and complete my run before I lost it!

MollysKnobRunBillDebSelfie

 

I played around with my iPhone camera a little bit as I ran the last half-mile toward our car.  At one point I cringed at the thought of falling while watching my phone go flying through the air and landing in the lake.  With that thought, I quickly put my phone back in my pack, and continued on my way.

LeftFootRunningInLeaves

 

About a minute after putting my phone away, and a quarter mile from the parking lot, I stepped on a rock that I couldn’t see because it was covered in leaves.  I twisted my foot, and landed on the ground.  The pain was intense for a couple of seconds, but went away very quickly, so I stood up, shook it off, and ran the rest of the way to the car.  When Bill caught up to me in the parking lot, he didn’t realize I had fallen.  I was walking around normally, so he had no idea I’d fallen until I told him about it on the car ride home.

It was a gorgeous fall day for a run, and we had a beautiful, challenging trail to run on.  Falling just added to the excitement of trail running, and considering my foot is almost back to normal, I’d consider this run a huge success!

MollysKnobElevationChart

 

  • Questions:
  • Where is your favorite trail to run or hike?
  • What’s the status of the leaves where you live?
  • Random:  Do you plan to dress up for Halloween? ~ I’m not a huge fan of Halloween, and my lack of creativity shows if I try to come up with a costume.

 

Happy Running! ~ Deb