Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Long Run

Despite this miserable cold, I decided to give my long run an honest effort today. I got through the 26 mile run in 4:54. Hey, that's only about 2 hours off my marathon personal best! Times are tough.

I ran the Porter and Hiram snow mobile trails. They were nice and hard packed early on with temps in the teens, but the last hour was soft, slushy, and slow as temperatures climbed into the high 30's under the bright sunny sky. I felt pretty good through the whole run. I did a bit of exploring in Hiram, trying a side trail that I hoped would take me back over to Porter rather than over the far Hiram Hills. This way I could repeat the Porter trails I had run earlier and pick up my discarded fleece and mittens. This trail had see some recent ATV use when the snow was soft and slushy. Then the rutted mess had frozen solid. Not ideal for running, but I could still make forward progress and head in the general direction I wanted to go. I ran along the backsides of Trafton Pond and Stanley Pond, so I knew where I was the entire time, I still wasn't sure if I could get to where I wanted to go. The snow is still very deep in the woods around here so I was at the mercy of the ATVer. Luckily he went out of the woods exactly where I had hoped he would, and I only had to run about 1/4 mile on the paved road before getting back on the trails I had run first thing in the morning.

About 1 mile before I came to the paved road, among the frozen rutted ATV tracks, I came upon a Toyota pickup truck sitting sideways across the trail. A man and woman were merrily working away with winches and shovels. They smiled and greeted me when I approached. I told them I was amazed they had made it so far out into the woods and asked if it was a GPS mishap. (I've had my GPS try to send me over roads that haven't been maintained in over fifty years. One nurse I work with was sent down the Hobb Swamp Road, which drops off into the South River a few miles in. The bridge has been out for at least 25 years.) But the man cheerfully replied, "No, not a GPS problem, just stupidity." To which they both laughed and went about their work. I wished them good luck and moved on down the trail. I believe that truck will sit there until the Spring thaw. At least they seem to be in good spirits about the whole thing.

I am aching for dirt to run and ride on! Kevin and I have talked about making a trip to the Cape this weekend for some mountain biking. The other option is to take advantage of these last winter weeks and do some cross country skiing and snowboarding in New Hampshire. Either one of those things would help with my Spring fever!

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