Yesterday's long run was done on some of the nicest single track in the area. The meandering, hilly mountain bike trails in the Moat area are fantastic for riding and running. The lay out of the trails is smooth and flowing, a little challenging here and there, and quite scenic in places. The White Mountain chapter of NEMBA is responsible for these trails and they do great work there. For late Fall, the trail conditions were remarkable. I only had to climb over two blow downs and these were both on service roads, the single track was clean and clear.
I left the car at the gate and ran up the road a bit before getting on the High School Trail which took me the long way to the Mineral Site Trail. From there I ran what we call the "High Trail." This is a long trail with some rough sections and a ton of climbing. It is very difficult for me on the bike, and nice challenging running! I forgot about the water crossing until I came to it. By then I was a long way in and didn't want to back track. The rocks and edge of the stream were very icy but I found a place I could just wade across without having to climb out onto ice. It really wasn't bad.
Next I ran some service roads, hiking trails, and then did the four nice single track loops. I threw in my two miles at marathon pace effort in the Hundred Acre Woods after setting up my camera on timer to check out my form. I have been trying to open up my stride more and lose that hundred miler's shuffle. I have some shorter faster distances planned for Spring! The photo shows me as a blur, but my form is looking better. Then I repeated the loop to retrieve my camera.
With one loop and the climb back out to the car remaining, I realized it was going to get dark before I finished. I hadn't been able to start my run until about one o'clock due to having work to finish up from the weekend. Not to worry, I had thought to bring my headlamp. But when I checked my pack, I realized that although I had thought to bring it, I hadn't actually brought it. It was still sitting on the kitchen counter. Oh well, I was very familiar with these last trails and there was an option to return on service roads instead of single track. The roads would be just as far in distance, but would be more open and easier to follow. But when I finished the loop I decided to throw caution to the wind and return on the Mineral Site Switchback. I love that trail!
I made it out to the last mile of service road running just as total darkness fell. The service road was easy to run on in the dark and i made it back without incident. I ran somewher between 19 and 20 miles in just over three and a half hours. I felt like I had another two or three hours left in me!