Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Long Time on the Trails yesterday for Not So Long Mileage

I wasn't very excited about doing my long run this week, so Kevin suggested running at Bradbury Mountain State Park for a change of scenery. We mountain biked there a lot over the Summer and Fall, but for running I usually head West or North into the mountains if I don't want to run locally. I thought Bradbury was a great idea and I was rearing to go! What I didn't count on was snowy slippery trails. We didn't get a single flake at my house.

I pulled into the parking lot and made the first set of tracks in the snow. There was one other vehicle there, a pickup truck that looked like it had been there over night. Yay, it looked like I'd have the whole place to myself! I got out of the car and walked over to the pit toilet. I slipped and fell on my ass half way there. Hmmm, running might be interesting this day. I hadn't brought any traction device with me.

My plan was to run all the single track on the East side, using the double track as needed to get from place to place. Then I'd stop at the car to refuel before heading over to the West side trails. I wanted about 17 miles total. It was a great theory. What I didn't realize setting out was how looooooong this would take me on slippery trails. It was treacherous! The light coating of snow was over ice, which was over leaves, which were over mud and water. I was careful and only slipped a few times, usually while running onto thin ice without realizing it was there. Bradbury is a very wet area and there is often standing water in the trails. The mountain bikers do an awesome job building bridges and board walks over the worse areas, and keeping other areas drained of water. But, as Kevin points out, they are pretty much done for the season.

Almost two hours into my run, Kevin called to check on me. I was having a good time and was kind of lost in my thoughts at that point. I had finally come across a single set of mountain bike tire tracks and was following them, curious as to who else was out there on these slippery trails on a Tuesday morning. When Kevin called, it brought me back to the moment and I glanced at my Garmen for the first time. I don't remember the mileage I saw, but I remember thinking, "I've been running for almost two hours and have only gone this far!" I also realized for the first time that I was soaked to my knees and it was COLD out! I only stopped running for a few seconds to check in with Kevin then I had to get running again to stay warm!

Back at the car I found that I had run 12 miles in well over two hours. My leg muscles and back muscles were aching from the effort of staying on my feet, but over all I was feeling fine. The length of time this run was taking was a bit discouraging so I turned the Garmen off and set back out for what I guessed was another five miles. I was supposed to do some threshold paced running in the middle of my run but hadn't found any place that I could do it. So I did that on the road before heading back into the woods to finish up. I believe this was the longest amount of time I've spent running since Vermont 100! And I didn't run very far! But that's Okay, I got it done and had fun.

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