Saturday, February 28, 2015

Beautiful, if Soft and Slow

OK, so I did actually get out of bed at 4:30 am this morning thinking I was going to run. But it was -7 and you know, I'm kind of over running in those temps, so I just fed the cats and climbed back into bed instead :) Dedicated, right?! Ryan headed off for the Brad to mark the course while Sam and I headed to the Y for swimming, and to Frosty's afterward of course :) Then it was home to bake cookies and cupcakes for tomorrow's race.

By the time Ryan got home around 1:00 pm, the sun was high in the bright blue sky and temps were in the mid 20s. Perfect. Since I was going to have a chance to run in daylight again, I thought I'd head over to the Cathance for a snowshoe run. The snowmobile trails could wait until tomorrow morning, when they would likely be a better choice, with much firmer surface and less crowded than on a warm and sunny Saturday afternoon anyway.

I ended up having to park at the hiker parking lot along the back dirt (mud) road instead of at the Ecology center lot, and so started up the hill and connected to the Heath trail. I ran into a group of older women snowshoeing, who said, "My, you're athletic!" and then a small group of skiers, one of who looked at me incredulously and said, "You are actually running on those snowshoes?" Ha. I honestly haven't been doing a lot of running where I have had the chance to run into anyone on the trails so I got a big kick out of these comments. I think of myself as normal, but maybe not so much? :)

Then it was across the street and down along the river. The trails have all seen a lot of use, but things were still amazingly soft and I slipped off the thin ribbon of packed stuff more than a few times into the fluff and did some good sliding around. Overall, it was fairly slow going but I wasn't actively pushing the pace either, more just trying to enjoy the woods and get in some miles. Many deer tracks out there and some pileated woodpecker signs too. I stopped at the little rock outcropping before turning up from the river in the hopes of seeing the mink prints again, but no luck.

Heading up from the river to the field, I ran into a pair snowshoeing. Again, it was another, "You're running? In showshoes?!" ;)

I wanted to get in an hour/5 miles of running, so I turned left to run the Ravine Loop and then crossed the bridge to the trail out of Head of Tides. Not quite as much traffic this way and definitely some good slipping going on on the sidehill, but it really was just so pretty out there. I turned around at the Blueberry Trail junction and headed back to the car, ending up with 5 miles on the nose. What a beautiful afternoon to be out!

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