What a difference a day makes. Yesterday I ran for about 3 hours on snowmobile trails and could barely lift my feet off the ground. Today I ran for two hours on snowmobile trails and felt fantastic! I started out on pavement and entered the woods in Cornish across from the Pike's fields. This cut me across to South Hiram Road and into the Durgintown Woods Trails. The surface was hard packed and great for running. I crossed back over the South Hiram Rd and into the Osippee River Woods, crossing through the fairgrounds. Snowmobile trails in this area are narrow and winding, not the wide super highways we have up in Northern Maine and over the border in New Hampshire. These narrow winding trails don't see a lot of traffic. I didn't meet any snowmobilers today. When I do see snowmobilers on these trails, they are moving slowly. A rider couldn't go 100 miles per hour on these trails like they do on the wider straighter trails. If one were to try, he wouldn't stay on the trail for long! So the trails around here are very pedestrian friendly.
Once I got to the area behind the schools, I left the snowmobile trails and ran on single track. Some of this was well packed and some was pretty slow and loose. It makes me feel good to see that the trails Kevin and I built last summer for mountain biking are being well used by hikers and snowshoers. It makes me feel even better to see that they are not being used by snowmobilers and ATVers. It's funny to see that people out on the trail tend to want to take the shortest most direct route, so where they are unsure of where the trail goes they just cut straight across and rejoin the trail at the closest point available, taking hundreds of yards off the route by the time they are done hiking. The River Run Trails are winding and meandering on purpose. It's how we can fit a long trail into a short area. Also it makes the trail interesting and fun, especially for biking.
I saw the footprints of another runner on the more well used trails behind the schools. This is a first for me! The tracks appear to belong to a female, the feet were quite small and narrow. She was wearing Yak Trax (unnecessary as the surface is not icy or slippery) and had on road running shoes (New Balance I think.) I know of one other serious runner in the area, my former training partner who teaches phys ed at the elementary school. But she is a through and through serious road racer. She only runs fast and she only runs on roads. (Can you see why I don't train with her anymore? I only run slow and I almost always run on trails now!) I can't imagine my former training partner would be out enjoying a run on the snowy trails, but people change. Whoever it is, I hope I meet up with her some time. I haven't had a local training partner since I gave up road racing.
It was nice to feel the joy of running today. Believe me there was no joy in yesterday's slog. I only did one thing different today. Because yesterday's run sucked so bad, as I headed out of the driveway today I said out loud, "get your head right" which is a direct quote from one of Tony Horton's P90X videos. As soon as I said it and remembered where I got it from I realized that I am becoming a complete dork. Oh well, I "got my head right" before I started and the run went great!