Late yesterday afternoon I ran on the local snowmobile trails. I have been running most of my long runs on the roads lately, so I was excited to be back in the woods. My big convoluted loop took me over a bunch of small mountains in Porter and Hiram for over 7000 feet of elevation gain. I found two mountains I had never been on before, Notch Mountain and Maple Hill. I've looked for Maple Hill before and not found it. I never knew the name of Notch Mountain, but Kevin had seen it from Rte 160 and pointed it out as something we should climb. This run was awesome because I wasn't just out there putting in the miles (which I have been doing a lot of lately). Instead I was doing what I love... exploring, looking at tracks, stopping for the nice views, and enjoying the woods.
I have been having severe and constant jaw pain for the past week due to an unfortunate malplacement of a novacaine injection while having some dental work last week. While I ran yesterday, I was completely without pain. I puzzled about this. Was it endorphins, or the slack and relaxed way I hold my mouth while I run? Maybe I was just being distracted from the pain because I was doing what I love to do. Each time I stopped running for more than a minute or two, the pain came back in full force. I find this fascinating.
The trails had all been groomed either early that morning or the night before, and none of them except for the last 5 miles had seen any snowmobile traffic on them since. This was a wonderful surface to run on. I hardly even left footprints because it was so firm. I made myself run up all the hills even when walking would have been faster and more efficient, just for an exercise in self discipline. Some of those climbs were ridiculously steep! I'm surprised snow mobiles can get up them. I stopped to enjoy the views on every summit. The entire run was 22 1/2 miles according to my Garmen. It took me 4:32.
The last 5 miles were slower going because sleds had been through and loosened the trail up a little. Plus it was dark by then. But I didn't mind because I finished up on the familiar trails beside the Ossipee River. They were the only miles of the entire loop that were flat!