Friday, March 20, 2015

Friday Morning 20

The car was in for service this morning, nothing major, just the regular stuff, so I figured I'd ask Ryan to drop Sam off and get in my long run this morning on the trails around here. I briefly toyed with running a hilly 20 mile road loop that Ryan had devised, but nah.... I'm so much happier on the trails. It was 15 degrees when I headed out at 8:00 am but with no wind, it practically felt balmy. I knew that to get in 20 miles on the snowmobile trails I was going to have to do some creative looping and wandering so I set out to do the biggest loop first, running out on the extended dump loop.

Pretty sky... out by the dump ponds

From there, I did that loop again, plus a number of different out and backs on side trails. I was too chicken to take trail #4, loop A out onto Murder Road - just had a bad feeling about the whole thing - but I did take one side trail out across Foreside Road down through a big field to the edge of the Androscoggin. Hadn't been expecting to get down to the river so that was kind of fun. I can hardly believe that the snowmobilers cross that big river though - crazy!

Yup, I'm turning around here...

I was pleasantly surprised to find the trails in really good shape - solid and pretty fast - although, as one might expect for this time of year, getting a bit icy in spots, covered with a whole lot of debris from the wind the past few days and with your typical springtime postholing here and there. I was even able to take a few singletrack trails packed only by snowshoes and stay on the surface. As it warms up not sure that will last, but it was nice to have the option today.

I only ran into two people out there, both of whom were, interestingly enough, walking chocolate labs. Otherwise the trails were quiet. The woods were alive though, with plenty of bird song. Saw and heard a hairy woodpecker, saw plenty of pileated woodpecker evidence and caught a glimpse of one flying across the trail out past the dump pond.

Pileated Woodpecker was here...

An unidentified hawk soared high above the powerlines, and I saw a pair of cardinals and a little chimpmunk out in the brush, not to mention four alpacas seen down at the end of the powerlines. Wish I had been able to get closer to them - they were so cute - but they were in an inner enclosure so I had to content myself with a more distance viewing.

Alpacas! Love their curious faces.

I felt pretty strong throughout, although I'll admit the legs were feeling it along the way. Still, was able to keep up a solid pace, and am really happy to have been able to get in a good 20 miler today!

Happy runner out in the woods :)

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