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, March 6, 2011

Bloody Late Winter Running

I had an idea for a modification of the Jungle Run that I wanted to try out today, hoping to find more consistent snowmobile trails that would avoid the long unpacked uphill through Blackstrap Preserve and replace it with a section of power line trail (with a hill just as good). I found the route I was looking for but it certainly wasn't easy.

The first 1.5+ miles of the loop are on road, but as soon as I hit trail things were in rough shape. Too much warm weather and rain recently meant the not well traveled trail was deep slush. This went on for half a mile, slow going but tolerable because I knew there was snowmobile trail ahead. But when I hit the snowmobile trail things took a turn for the worse. The section of trail along the gas line is wide enough that snowmobiles don't have to ride single-file so the trail doesn't get well packed, and the recent weather left the trails with 2" of slush over 1/2" of crispy-ice-snow over 12" of slush. My pace was slowed to just under a 16 minute mile as I post-holed along for a mile, and every time I broke through my forward momentum pushed my shin into the rough broken edge of the crispy-ice-snow layer. Why can't snowmobiles just ride in a single-file line?

Once I finally got off the gas line and into the woods the trails were in great shape. Actually they were pretty shitty, but compared to the horror show of the previous mile they felt great. At least I was moving at a sub 12 minute mile pace now. Instead of turning left and climbing up through the Blackstrap Preserve I turned right and continued down hill to the snowmobile picnic area (complete with fire pits and empty beer cans). I then began an excellent climb up the "Expert" snowmobile trail that gains 250 feet in half a mile. This climb is part of Jeff's Hell course and was just as much fun today as it was during the race.

The rest of the run was pretty much the regular Jungle Run route. Conditions were slow but I was happy just to be getting a decent workout in and it was nice to run in shorts again, at least as long as I wasn't post-holing.

time: 1:52:13
distance: 10.32 miles
pace: 10:52

gear: Inov-8 X-Talon 190, wools socks, shorts, long sleeve top, t-shirt, gloves, cap

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