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.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Beautiful Loop - Week 5

I was going to run the Mid-Winter Classic road race this Sunday, but it was postponed due to mid-winter-like weather the night before. I totally get it, you can't have 800 runners on the road when the town's plow trucks need to be out there clearing snow. I'll just add this to my list of reasons why trail racing is better than road racing. Road races get canceled because of the weather, trail races get better because of it.

I was actually quite relieved that the race got postponed, because that meant that I'd be able to go out and run the Beautiful Loop this weekend. And it turned out to be the most beautiful spring-like day with temperatures pushing 40 degrees, bright sun and no wind. The other nice thing about not doing the race and doing this run instead is that it meant I was able to run with Emma, this would be her first time doing this loop and her longest run in about a year and a half. She picked a good day and a good route to make a return to running long.

Since we had received a few inches of snow the night before we decided to wait until the afternoon to set off for our run to be sure the snowmobiles had a chance to get out and pack the trails for us. We set off at an easy pace, with some uncertainly about whether or not Emma's knee would be up for the distance. Conditions were pretty sloppy in general, pretty awful in some places, but the warm sunny weather seemed to make up for deficiencies of the conditions. Although postholing always sucks and there was plenty of that.

Emma kept wondering of this was the worse conditions I'd seen on these snowmobile trails. Hard to say because the the good weather was such a positive influence on the overall experience, but it was definitely sluggish out there. We just kept the place slow and steady and the miles ticked by.We saw a handful of snowmobilers out there, all seemed intrigued by what we were doing. We tried not to be too obvious in sticking up our noses as the stink of their machines, after all, we are grateful for the trails they create.

We chose to run the loop on the clockwise direction today (opposite from the usual way) meaning we got the roller coaster hills out of the way early, and had a long gradual uphill at the end of the run. That approach seemed to work well for Emma's knee which fairs better on the ups. Not sure if it makes sense to beat the knee up early in the run or after it's tired, but the good news was that it wasn't a problem. If a recovering knee can cope with nearly 3 hours of hilly, slushy, snowmobile trail running then I think it's doing pretty well.

I think we were both a little surprised at how well this run went, especially considering the effort we put into the yesterday's snowshoe race. My only complaint was a tight right calf, which didn't seem to slow me down but never fully loosened up during the run.

time: 2:50:40
distance: 15.24 miles
pace: 11:11

weather: upper 30's, sunny, calm

conditions: super soft, squishy snowmobile trails

gear: Inov-8 Oroc 280, wool socks, capris, singlet, long sleeve shirt, hat, gloves, Nathan HPL #020

1 comment:

Sparkplug said...

So glad that Emma is back out there running and feeling good! Hurray! Beautiful indeed :-)