Trail Monster Running

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Monday, February 21, 2011

Jungle Run + Highland Lake

After the 21 mile run on Saturday I needed a day off. I usually like to get out for some sort of recovery run the day after a long run, but I was feeling pretty beat up all over. It wasn't just my legs, in fact my legs weren't even the worst part, it was mostly in my back and core muscles that I felt it. But by Monday I was feeling fine and since I had the day off from work I decided to go out for an "easy" run on the local snowmobile trails. Easy means I wasn't pushing the pace, but the terrain was anything but easy.

Emma has been running Jimmy's Jungle Run (9 mile loop from home) a lot lately and I thought I'd see if I could remember the route having only run it once or twice before, and without any snow on the ground. The first 1.7 miles is on road, that was easy, then the route turns onto snowmobile trail along a power line and then onto singletrack in the woods. The snowmobiles had gone one way and I was pretty sure that the correct way to run this loop went the other way so I turned off onto a snowshoe trail. Big mistake. Postholing hell for 1/4 mile until I rejoined the snowmobile tracks on a gas line trail. Once on the gas line it was a good fast downhill for almost a mile before turning into the trails of the Blackstrap Preserve. Then began the incredibly long climb up Blackstrap Hill, about 300' in 1 mile. Midway through the climb I made the mistake of branching off onto a smaller trail and again had at least 1/4 mile of postholing hell.

Once I reached the top of the hill I ran along Blackstrap Rd, then Mast Rd for a short distance until I got back onto snomo trails under the power lines. Conditions were perfect here and it was a nice gradual descent for over a mile. Before heading back up hill I decided to take a quick detour out to Highland Lake. Once again I considered running out onto the middle of the lake, but I already had over 7 miles done at this point and didn't want to make this run too long. So I headed back via Bitch 1 of the 3 Bitches to the top of Leighton Hill, down the Tricycle Trail and back home along about 1.7 miles of road.

I'm quite sure I made a few mistakes that varied from how Emma has been running this route, along with a few deliberate diversions. Still a great run despite a few nasty sections and I was really pleased that there were no significant lingering effects from Saturdays long run.

time: 1:52:49
distance: 11.4 miles
pace: 9:54

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