I had to be in Portland this morning for an appointment, so I figured I might as well take advantage of the fact that I had to practically drive right by the Brad on my way home :) and get my run in there! I hit the trails around 10:30 under blue skies. Temps were quickly climbing, and amazingly, a lot of the snow, which had seemed so overwhelming on Sunday during the race, was rapidly melting and compacting. I had both my screwshoes and my snowshoes in the car, but the honest fact was that I really just wanted to run, so I was very happy to see that a few snowmobiles had been out on the east side. Now there was no question. I donned my screwshoes and headed out.
The woods were quiet, and I meandered along, just running and being. I was a bit surprised to see bare ground here and there, and to note that some of the typical wet spots and iffy spots were already showing through again, despite 2 feet of fresh snow this past weekend. The running wasn't completely smooth but it was decent. The snow was pretty well compacted, although with the warm temperatures, it certainly wasn't rock solid. But, on the other hand, the snow was tacky and I had great traction! My legs were feeling tired from yesterday (and from Sunday's race effort, slow as it was :) ), so I just set out to run the miles and not worry about time.
Once I hit the opening to the big expanse of fields, I headed back. My Garmin was reading 3.5+, and I reasoned that 7 was almost as good as 8 (the number on the plan). In the end, as I ran down the big Snowmobile Trail hill before the Link, I realized there was no reason not to run the extra mile. I mean, what's another 10 minutes? I followed the Snowmobile Trail out and around instead of heading back to the parking lot and then going out onto the west side (so as not to be tempted to stop :) ), and doing so meant I popped out on Rt. 9, downhill from the park. The short 1/4 mile hill up to the park was a bit rough, but once I looped back into the park, through the field and back on the short stretch of trail to the parking lot, my Garmin beeped 8 miles and I was done. I managed to keep things right at 10:00 pace, which isn't so bad, and man, was it a nice day to be out in the woods! Can't complain for sure.