Saturday, January 5, 2013

Stillwell trail run, frozen paths and a near collision

Today's run (Stillwell Woods): 3.9 miles

I was hoping to get a trail run in over my last vacation but the timing never worked out. I did manage to cover a lot of miles during my time off, but the only time I traveled to run was the Hangover Fun Run on New Year's Day. I was determined to get back to Stillwell this morning, where I did my first trail run of 2013.

It has been cold all week and today was no different. I dressed for freezing temperatures, including a base layer under my running pants. I was glad to have layers top and bottom when I stepped out of the car at Stillwell Woods to start my run.

The trail head and the main trail leading from it were covered with ice. I needed to step carefully as I made my way to an interior trail. There were a number of mountain bikers getting ready in the parking lot and I wondered how they'd fare on the slick and frozen surface. I never did see a biker on the path today. Perhaps they rethought their workouts after seeing the condition of the trails.

I wore my Helly Hansen Trail Lizards that eat up rough terrain. Their only shortcoming is the lack of a rock plate, which is normally a non-issue. Today it would have been provided great benefits, as the interior trails consisted of mud that was grooved by bike tires and refrozen as hard as rock. I needed to watch the trail closely to avoid slipping on the uneven surface.

About half a mile into the woods, I detected movement behind me. Thinking it might be bikers I moved to my right and soon saw two runners passing me on my left. There was no courtesy "Thank you", which is fine, but I would have liked to know there was a third runner trailing behind them. I had just started to move back to the center when the third runner came along, and we almost collided. People generally say, "On your left!" in those situations but these guys were jerks.

I did my usual loop a couple of times and noticed that, in the short time I'd been running, the sun had started to melt the ice. What had been frozen earth became soft and slippery mud and I needed to adjust for that. I saw a few people out walking with their dogs but no other runners today. I completed my second loop feeling like I'd worked fairly hard, even for a run that didn't quite go four miles.

Overall, it was a decent trail run. My last trail run went poorly (at Caleb Smith) and I appreciated the difference. I'm not sure where I'll run tomorrow, but today I'm happy to have had another great experience in the woods.

2 comments:

  1. It that where they hold Rob's Run around Thanksgiving? I am looking for trails to run on.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes, that's where they do Rob's Run. It's usually the weekend following Thanksgiving. Stillwell is a great place to run, with both easy and technically challenging trails. Lots of parking, no entrance fee and easy access to the trail head.

    ReplyDelete

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