I started my long run on tired legs today. I ran the Ossipee River trails last evening on ice and on unbroken snow. It was very tiring and I felt it in my legs this morning. The temperature was up to 45 degrees when I set out today. I knew the trails were going to be slushy and difficult, but I couldn't bring myself to run the roads. It was tough going right from the start, but I was still happy to be out in the woods.
I ran the snowmobile trails and single track along the Ossipee, ran around the fairgrounds a bit, and crossed over into the Durgintown Woods. A local logging company has been logging these woods since last Winter and I was curious to survey the damage. I am happy to report that they are selectively cutting, not clear cutting. There are a lot of new rutted logging roads going here and there. There are deep ruts and debris on the original roads. The loggers are cleaning up their slash as they go, so the forest floor is not a big mess. The snow mobile trail through there is definitely salvageable. It reminds me of what Kevin said when he heard that Bear Brook's Hemlock Trail was "gone" due to logging. He had put a lot of time and hard work into building that trail several years back, but he wasn't overly concerned about the news. He said to me "the trail can't be gone, it just needs to be re-built." I understand what he means. The same dirt is still there under the mess, it just has to be re-worked. The same holds true for the Durgintown Woods.
Coming back, I felt like I was running the last few miles of a fifty miler. My legs ached, I could hardly lift my feet from the ground, I was floundering in the slushy snow, and my pace was slowing to a snail's crawl. I stopped to take my YackTrax off in the elementary school parking lot after deciding run the last mile and a half on the road instead of the trail. But instead of running when I started up again, I found myself walking. "Enough is enough," I told myself, "I'm walking it in today."
There were three teen aged girls hanging out near the skating rink. One said, "That lady has been running a long time. I saw her this morning." To which her know-it-all friend replied, "Well she's walking now." I would have gone over there and done some serious ass kicking but I wasn't sure my tired legs had it in them. So I started running again instead. I dragged myself down the last stretch of road to the house hoping no one I knew would see me. It wasn't pretty, but I got it done. This was my first real long run for Vermont 100 training but I'm not discouraged. It can only get better from here!