Tuesday, February 1, 2011

22 Miles on Snow Mobile Trails (without a snow mobile)

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!


  1. That sounds like the perfect winter run. And I like your pain management strategy!

  2. Hi Laurel,
    Snowmobile trails are awesome to run on, esp. after they've been groomed. Nice way to get a long "trail" run in. I got to run on some while at my folks in Vermont the past couple of weeks. :)

  3. I love reading your blog...and now I am motivated to find my own snowmobile trails to run on..I agree that running and the release of those "feel good" chemicals that often results can be a great way to institute a system of pain management. I have experienced those runners high during long slow runs in the woods wehn I had been feeling very under the weather due to procedures and or surgery...when the doctor said "rest Michelle" and I did well I would sit there dbled over with pain and nausea...finally I would just go out for a run and find that after the initial difficulty my body just started to let go of the pain...