Trail Monster Running

Visit the official TRAIL MONSTER RUNNING website for information on upcoming group runs, local trails, trail races and more, including the Pineland Farms Trail Running Festival and the Bradbury Mountain trail Running Series.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Black Toe of Honor

Or is that the black toe of poorly fitting shoes? I’ll go with the former. Last weeks run at Bradbury left me with a black toenail which luckily didn’t bother me during the run but was pretty painful afterwards, and today was no different.

Once again we had snow during the week, and then rain followed by a predicted drop in temperature that had me concerned about the conditions for another long run at Bradbury. Emma planned to join us for this run and convinced me to tough it out no matter how bad it sounded. As it turned out the snowmobiles had once again groomed the trails for us, the average temperature was 14 degrees, wind speed of 11.6 mph which made it feel like 0 Fahrenheit. Not too bad.

Emma and I started the run with James, Jamie, Erik, Blaine and Josh and we found the trails to be in great condition for running. I set off in the lead and before long Josh caught up to me and I found myself increasing the pace a little too much. I was relieved when Blaine joined the front of the group and I let the two of them speed off ahead while I settled back into an appropriate pace for the targeted 18 miles (Note: speed means anything faster than 9 minute miles). It was great to find that we were able to run 9-9:30 miles without feeling like we were killing ourselves in the process. Thankfully the first 5 miles of the run were in pretty thick forest which kept out the wind. When we got to the power line trail at 5 miles Blaine, Josh, Jamie and Erik turned back, Emma, James and I headed off under the power lines into the wind.

The rain and warmer temps from the few days before had left a few streams flowing unfrozen which added another challenging element to the run. At the first crossing James discovered a single plank bridge by breaking through the ice immediately next to it resulting in a wet foot. Despite significantly sub-freezing temps James never complained about being cold. Yeah wool! At 9 miles we turned around and made our way back the way we came. About 11 miles into the run we had to re-cross another stream, but this time it was a more difficult uphill jump and both James and Emma ended up soaking their feet. But not once in the 7 miles remaining did either one complain about cold feet. Yeah bad-ass Trail Monsters!

time: 2:49:58
distance: 18.0 miles
pace: 9:25
heart rate: 161/182

After the run Emma and I stopped by Chuck’s house to pick up a pair of Vibram Five Finger “shoes” that he’s letting my try out. I experimented with barefoot running last summer, the wrong way, so I’m anxious to take these things out for a run to see how smart people run barefoot. I think I’ll let it warm up to just above freezing before I try that out though.

Next stop was LL Bean. James had informed us about a sale they are having on winter gear, seems a bit early to get rid of all that stuff since I’m sure there are plenty of cold days ahead, but whatever. Emma picked up a new CamelBak which will no doubt come in handy as she ups her mileage in preparation for the Pineland Farms Trail Challenge 50 Miler. The Fuel Belt she currently uses really only carries enough water and nutrition for about 2.5-3 hours of running, less if it’s warm out. There’s something great about heading out for a run with 50 ounces of water and few thousand calories strapped to your back. We also picked up a few pairs of running tights that were on sale.

Our final stop on the way home was at Bruce’s Burritos in Yarmouth. What better way to refuel after a long run than a freshly made burrito the size of my foot?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a good run despite the water holes. If you ever want a way to carry water in really cold temps, North Face has a couple of hydration packs with built in heaters. We had quite a few at the outlet in Freeport last spring.