We went to sleep last night thinking we'd wake up to snow, but alas, the storm seems to have veered off to sea. So much for that! While I was looking forward to some fresh snow, it certainly made my run today a bit easier to not have to contend with the snow. However, it was only 12 degrees out when I headed out around 10:00 am. Brrr. I was well dressed though, and once I got moving, I did warm up. I wasn't quite sure what route to take, and wanted to stay out of the wind if I could, so I decided to head over to the Cathance and wander around there for as long as I could. I knew I could always tack on some miles along the powerlines from there, although I suspected those miles would be a bit windier!
There was a very light dusting of snow on the ground, and the sky was overcast when I started, but the sun began to poke through the clouds and slowly, more and more blue sky appeared. It was actually a pretty nice morning to be out, and although I had gone out slightly dreading the cold and the miles, I ended up enjoying a good 10 mile tromp through the woods. Footing was hit or miss, but I was pleased to see that the trails along the river had been well packed out by snowshoers, skiers and walkers since last week's snow. I ended up running the 9-mile route, and on the less-traveled paths, it was slow going and slightly ankle-wrenching, but all told, I was pleasantly surprised by the conditions. The river was gorgeous, deep and dark and roaring through the ravines and over the rocks, creating ice sculptures along the river banks. Quite a sight. I saw lots of animal tracks, but didn't hear or see much. It may have been because I had my hat and hood up, and all I could hear was the crunch of the snow and/or ice beneath my feet, though :-)
Once I got back to the road after circling the Heath, I took the sidewalk for a ways and then jumped onto the back dirt road, then down to Tedford, with the final 1 1/2 miles along the snowmobile trails on the powerlines. That stretch was good running, but the wind was fierce. It confirmed my decision to stick to the woods for most of the run.
I got in a bit over 10 miles, and although the "plan" called for a few more miles, I was more than happy to finish up and come in for some lunch! Nothing like pancakes after a cold morning run :-) Now to get some work done!
Blue Ridge Marathon Training (week 17)
11 hours ago