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, January 23, 2010

Second Time Slower

Today I returned to Bradbury with my fellow Trail Monster for a repeat of the 15 mile loop we ran last week. Although the weather forecast called for a rather high temperature today, at 8 this morning it was particularly cold, and it turns out that Bradbury is in a freakishly cold spot. I think my thermometer at home said 17 when I left, but the one in my car said -1 when I got to Bradbury, and Sara's said -2 (thanks for letting me steal your photo).

I was a little worried about being underdressed with just two long sleeve shirts, but figured I'd just run a little faster to keep warm. That actually worked pretty well, especially when combined with the loose snow that was harder work to get through this week. Despite a lot of traffic during the week the snow we have on the ground right now doesn't compress well and we were sinking and slipping a lot more.

Jim, Alan and Blaine joined me on the way out to the power lines, with Erik and Shauna right behind, and Erin, Sara and Christine a little further back. Alan and Blaine were the only ones to continue on with me to do the full 15 mile loop.

When we hit the power lines at 5 miles I decided to take a drink from my hydration pack, but not surprisingly the exposed hose was frozen solid. I usually blow a little air back into the hose after taking a drink but the cold temperature caught me off guard and the hose froze before I ever took a drink. I decided to reposition my pack between my two layers of clothing in hopes that the trapped body heat would thaw the hose but this ended up taking another 5 miles to take effect. Despite the frigid temperature and occasional windy stretch of trail it was a gorgeous day to be outside and we had all warmed up enough to be comfortable.

One interesting feature of today's run was the large number of snowmobiles that we encountered. Over the years I've learned to think of snowmobilers as late sleepers since we rarely see any before noon, but today we must have seen at least 15 of them between 9:30 and 11:00. There was a stretch of about 5 miles that we ran today which had actually been properly groomed by the snowmobilers and looked good enough for skate skiing which made for great running.

But there were also sections that were less-well-traveled and much more difficult to run through, like the last 4 miles. Still fun running, but more work and my hip flexors were a little unhappy. The worst of today's running was still easier than any of the Fat Ass a few weeks ago and my hips didn't feel nearly as bad as they did after that run.

Despite being slower than last weeks time I feel like today's run was a better workout because of the conditions. Although I would like to run this loop faster at some point I'm really not that concerned about speed right now, the long slow runs are good for base building.

time: 2:27:10
distance: 15.08 miles
pace: 9:46

weather: cold, sunny, breezy

conditions: varying degrees of packed snowmobile trails, loose to firm

gear: Inov-8 Roclite 315 with screws, Wright Socks, tights, 2x long sleeve shirts, gloves, mittens, buff, Nathan HPL #20

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