High and low points of the week:
DEM gave final approval on trail run for Run for the Pumpkins!
US Fish & Wildlife turned down my request to run some of the trails near Kettle Pond as part of YMCA's Back Road Ramble.
Boston Marathon NRA bus was cancelled, leaving an even more logistically challenged race, including packed school bus with no bathroom, sitting outside on towels at the Athlete's Village, and having to throw away warm-up clothes since they longer transport them back to Boston after the bombing. My heart wasn't in this one to begin with, so after running 6 Bostons already, I'm out. Will use the April vacation time to take Mark to see colleges; probably a more important endeavor. Now to find more challenges to keep me motivated...
6 miles. Windy run out towards Watch Hill and back on the beach.
6 miles. Tried the Blue Heron trails in Dedham, MA for the first time in months. It is April afterall, right? Trails here actually still 90% covered in snow! In April! Being a minority snow-lover, I got my YakTrax on and had a lot of fun:
|Still lots of deep snow on|
the Blue Heron Trail!
|Starting to melt on the sides of|
this raised bed, but it was fun
with YakTrax ripping on this section.
Last YakTrax run til next winter?
5 mile Wahaneeta / Woody Hill trail run with Crutch. Inverse to yesterday's trail run, these trails are 90% snow-free. Really had fun revisiting trails in one of my favorite local places.
12. Big River. In what was shaping up to be an epic fun trail race, it turned into getting lost and turning it into a fun run with Seth and Chris Fox.
Showed up an hour early for this one, ran a solo 2-mile warmup and got a feel for the course:
|One of the few snowy sections|
on the course (yes, still some
snow left in April!)
|Not to fret; even with the snow|
gone, there were several of these
really fun water crossings
|And for those less adventurous souls|
just looking for a good trail run,
the trails were mostly dry-pack
During the warm-up, I saw SurferDude and jokingly texted Tom to ask if this was an omen, as the three of us got lost two years ago at Big River. Little did I know ...
The race: The lead pack went out conservatively at first, except for OrangeGuy who flew ahead of everyone. After the short snowy section, I entered the single-track about 10th place. We stayed in tight single-file for a while, with Chris Fox ahead of me and Seth just behind. About a half-mile in, I see OrangeGuy as Chris passes him. I guess he way overestimated either the course of his abilities. Chris followed just behind Justin for about 1.5 miles, then I was glad when he backed off as the initial pace was a little too spicy for me. Chris and I ran close together for a while, and it seemed Seth had dropped just a little back. However, when we caught up to BlackGuy (color of his shirt, not skin, although it wouldn't matter), the pace slowed a bit more and Seth and SurferDude caught up to us for a pack of 5. The pace was actually feeling slow to me here, so in puddles where others slowed down I forged straight through the mud and water to pass Chris and then BlackGuy. I thought the leaders would be far ahead of us, then was surprised to see Muddy at about Mile 4 when we were climbing the hill where the flags were stolen last year. Seth took the bait, and the two of us were off together with others dropping behind. Seth and I exchanged the lead and ran together until ...
The hooligans: We got to a 3-way intersection that was completely unmarked, courtesy of hooligans taking off with flags and signs. Pard was at the intersection also unclear on which way to go. Seth and I went passed him, but when it became clear we were just circling around the pond, we turned around and then ran back into Chris Fox and SurferDude. We dallied about trying different directions to guess the trail, but in the end just turned it into a fun run to run back to the start of the race. We had about 7.5 miles in when we got back to the start, so a few of us tacked on a few more miles. I have only finished Big River 1 out of 3 years, and last year was only due to Seth getting me on course when again there were missing flags. Made the best of a warm day in the woods, and lots of fun in all the puddles.
8 mile 'round the pond Easter run with Matthew. Legs felt really heavy at first given yesterday's trail race, but felt progressively better. Average 6:59 pace, even with the wind on return run. Playing "I spy ..." during the run made the time go by quickly.
Weekly Mileage Log: