Running quote of the week

“I finished Boston last year with my hands over my eyes wiping away the tears. The people lift you up the entire race.”– Sam Ryan

Friday, November 28, 2014

Post-Thanksgiving Stillwell trail run

Taking the "More Difficult" path
Today's run (Stillwell Woods): 3.7 miles

Unless you work in retail, the day after Thanksgiving is like an unofficial holiday. Much of the world went shopping for bargains today but I chose to go out in the freezing cold for a trail run at Stillwell Woods. I'm not sure why runners choose to be uncomfortable, but it's a factor in every run. You know you're going to sweat, feel the burn in your legs and (if you did it right) end up both exhausted and depleted.

I thought about that after the first of many close calls at Stillwell this morning. I was running on a muddy trail in 33° weather when my toe caught a root and I nearly lost my footing. I somehow kept upright through that and promised myself I'd pay closer attention to obstructions on the path. Besides the slippery mud, the trails had long sections covered with leaves that hid potential hazards. My Brooks Cascadias provided great protection and traction - far better than any other trail shoes I've owned.

Stillwell was almost empty. I didn't see any mountain bikers until I was taking my last steps leaving the trail head. There was a young couple running briskly toward the woods when I arrived. We crossed paths twice and they gave me big hellos both times. If there were any other runners today, I didn't see them.

Just for fun, I deviated from my normal route a couple of times and encountered some steep terrain. Due to the grade, I actually did better on the uphills than the downhills. One trail had lots of packed sand and many sharp rocks the size of softballs. Once again I was grateful to have the Cascadias that have both a rock plate and a beefy toe guard.

Today's route
I tried to be careful but my toe would occasionally catch something on the path, forcing me to prepare to hit the ground. I was fortunate that I didn't fall once. It would have been a muddy mess. I wasn't aiming for a long workout today and made my way back after I'd covered about three and a half miles. I finished feeling like I'd worked off some of yesterday's calories and the ever changing (but forgiving) surface of the single-track made my legs feel energized.

I'm probably going back to the road tomorrow, but I haven't decided where. Rob's Run is happening at Stillwell on Sunday. I'm sure that would be fun, but I've had my fill of those trails for now.

4 comments:

  1. Nice picture! I feel like it's not really a true trail run unless there's a hard face plant. Just my opinion. I vote our second next group run in Stillwell! (I vote our first next group run in Sea Cliff) (Neither of those sentences sound right)

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    1. We would have fun at Stillwell. I'll take you on a loop that's good for runners who aren't used to technical terrain. It still has root hazards, but it's mostly hard packed dirt with only a couple of steep rises so you don't need trail shoes.

      Seacliff will be great, although you'll probaby be bored with all the gorgeous views of the water : )

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    2. How are you (or should I say, the world at large) doing without your shorts top layer?

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    3. It's been a continued learning experience for all.

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