I was desperate for a trail run. Too much pavement lately, and my legs and head needed a return to the woods. The problem is, as everyone around here knows, the snow has been melting at a rapid pace meaning all the trails were likely either posthole-hell or icy. Well, I didn't care. I was determined to find some good trail to run on, or maybe even some dirt! I do so love my schedule, as it meant I had this afternoon free. And what better thing to do on a sunny and warm Friday afternoon than hit the trails? ;)
I headed out on the powerlines. Wow, there was some serious bare dirt and rocks, not to mention some sloppy wet sand. In the shadows, the snow was relatively packed, with some icy sections, of course. Still, there was a fair amount of slipping and sliding, although nothing that I didn't expect. I decided to turn off the trails at Tedford Road and run up to the Highland Green back road, as I really wanted to check out the Cathance trails. The backroad was clear of snow and very muddy. I was lured off the road onto the cart paths at hole #8. There were some big stretches of clear gravel and grass, but lots of soft snow too. But no matter, I was only on the cart paths for two holes before heading down the old woods road to the field and out to the river. There had obviously been some serious traffic on the trails, as there was a good, if thin, line of packed snow from snowshoers. But if you slipped off just a bit, wham! Right through. It was a bit iffy, but hey, I really hadn't been expecting anything better. I could hear the river roaring from a good distance, and man, it was really flowing! Very cool. I stopped a few times to check it out.
The trail along the river was pretty nice, with some good runnable stretches...
..but I had pretty much had it with the variable conditions by the time I got back to the road so instead of going around the Heath, I banged a left, took the back road back to Tedford and returned home along the snowmobile trail the way I went out. I think I pretty much had a bit of everything on this run - packed snow, soft snow, ice, soggy boggy sections, a few flooded bridges, bare ground, mud, sand, bare rocks, lots of water, slipping, sliding, postholing, deer tracks and just me and the woods. All in all, it was an effortful run, but relaxed at the same time, if that makes any sense. My legs felt a bit heavy from the effort of Wednesday's run, but dissipated as I went along. I ended up with 8.3 miles in 1:32 and a smile on my face. All in all, it was a fine way to spend a Friday afternoon!