Thursday, December 13, 2012

Refrozen Ground

A week removed from my last run at Bradbury which featured a wet, soft ground, whereas the week before it was all frozen, and now, well, frozen. I wonder what will happen next week? Maybe some snow. That would be nice. I am looking forward to breaking out the snowshoes. Not to run, but just to enjoy.
Well, I did one loop of the Breaker Course again. I haven't studied my times comparing weeks, but I felt good. Took in the views a little less, although I did try to look more west from the summit, really hoping to see some of the Whites, but instead only got a view of a smokestack probably from a mill in Westbrook. It was about then my stomach started feeling very uncomfortable. After I turned on the Tote Trail, it got much worse and soon I was running off trail. I tried to dig a little hole, but of course the ground was frozen, so I did just what I needed to do. That is something I love about trail running. System all set and back to normal, no need to feel too uncomfortable for too long. It was a further challenging with the ground frozen that all the leaves seemed to be frozen to the ground as well. But I managed to free up just enough, and used some more to cover my remants along with a couple sticks. Chances that someone comes across that same exact spot and soils their shoes is probably greater than winning the Powerball, but with much less reward. Sorry.
After the Tote and up Northern, I decided to head down the Terrace Trail instead of the Switchback as there was some ice and the Switchback has a few known wetspots. It was after coming down the Terrace that I opened it up a little heading back to the parking lot. I always love running almost all out here on the Boundary Trail. And I especially love it when I know there aren't going to be any people around. It felt great to come in to the lot breathing heavy but still having my legs feel nice and fresh. Even as I fired up the minivan I couldn't wait to come back later in the day for a walk with my Quinn and Wild.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Runner's World vs. Trail Runner

Just when I was really missing some good literature that I could bring into the bathroom with me, two periodicals arrived within a day of each other. The first to arrive was Runner's World, and although I immediately flipped through the pages, I really didn't find any great stories that made me want to put on my running shoes right away. I was also planning a zero day anyway so I took it as is and played more with the dog while the kids were at school.
However the next day, Friday, came around and Trail Runner magazine was in the mailbox. Although this wasn't the greatest edition ever, it did get my blood boiling. After I dropped Quinn off at pre-school I drove over to Hedgehog Mountain to run on trails that I hadn't been on in probably well over a month. Mostly that is due to the fact that hunting is allowed there, and well, I don't think I'm tough enough to withstand metal piercing into and tearing my flesh apart.
It was great to be back out on those trails. I had been the past couple of days with Wild, and Quinn but now I could cover much more. Not an awful lot of changes, but it 's fun to notice the small subtle changes. Like the way a bridge is slowly perching to one side, how the trail is getting wider around one large tree, or especially how a tree has fallen across the trail, or even one that has been removed. I was a little bummed that I couldn't see Mt. Washington but I did the day before. I also had to tack on some repeat trails in order to come to a full five mile run. Mostly a steady pace, but a couple places that I always like to pick it up, I did just that.
It was fun to come home and read my new mag while downing some lunch. This issue featured race listings for the whole year throughout the country. And although there wasn't even one that I could say that I really wanted to do, or could at least easily plan into my real world life, the issue got me realizing that I can't go on for much longer just being a recreational runner. Training will have to start again.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Soft Ground

A week ago I ran on frozen ground at Bradbury in shorts. Today was much different. I awoke this morning to read my thermometer over forty degrees. I had laid out my lightest running tights the night before so I still threw them on along with a long and short sleeved shirt. After dropping Maggie off at her school and Quinn at his pre-school that he goes to one day a week that is close to Bradbury, I headed right over there for my run. I decided to do one loop of the Breaker course. I had the park all to myself except for some of the staff. I moved at a moderate pace and of course slowed down for the ups. We never had any real rain the previous days but the air had certainly been damp which softened the ground right up. I did notice a few familiar running shoe tracks in the ground so I assumed some Trail Monsters must have been here at least the day before. I did take a moment to take in the views from a couple of spots on the South Ridge Trail. Even though I hate running up the summit trail I went up, reduced to a walk in some spots but deciding to run, well really jog in a couple of spots not so steep or rocky. Down the Tote and back up the Northern Loop and then back down the switchback trail to my car which was still the only one in the lot. I was amazed just how warm it really was as there wasn't even any wind to reduce the air temperature. My time was less than stellar for the four and a half miles but this wasn't a training run. But at least it was still a run and there was much pleasure in that.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Just a run

Well, still not doing any great miles but still running. I managed to get out for a short run on some trails close to home this afternoon. Only a little over four miles but at least I got out and at least I still felt strong. Quinn asked me while he was eating his lunch why I wasn't eating anything why I wasn't eating. I had to explain to him, a four year old, that I didn't want a heavy stomach before a run. So after I dropped him off at preschool, I stripped off my pants re-tied my shoes and hit the trail. I kind of feel a little like Clark Kent after the drop off, as I keep my running clothes hidden under normal civilian clothes. Unfortunately there are no phone booths close by, or anywhere in the world for that matter, so I just hurry home before shedding the layers in order to save my soul. I also took Wild out again for a light run after I got home. I actually kept my watch on and since it took us under ten minutes to do a short loop I decided to take hime to the local athletic fields where we picked up the pace for a couple semi sprints on the soft grass. I still know he is young and I hope that I am not doing any long term damage to him but he keeps up well and seems to enjoy our little runs together.