Running quote of the week

“I love track running. There’s something about that red 400-meter circle that lets my brain switch off—no roads to cross, no bikes to watch out for.” – Kate Carter

Friday, November 27, 2015

Stillwell Woods: good running and bad parking

Standing in the Field of Dreams
Today's run (Stillwell Woods): 3.3 miles

I had a tight morning schedule but I really wanted to run the trails this morning. As soon as I was able to break free, I headed over to Stillwell Woods hoping that everyone was out Black Friday shopping and I'd have the place all to myself. When I arrived I saw that some cars were parked near the trail head. It wasn't crowded, but there were two SUVs whose owners had randomly parked sideways, taking up seven spaces between them. Obnoxious.

Nice parking buddy
 I'd dressed for cool weather and wore my Zensah calf sleeves although it turned out to be mild. Still, I appreciated the compression on some of the steeper sections. I said hello to a few mountain bikers who were getting their bikes ready for their rides and then slipped into the woods.

The temperature was in the low 50's but the single track was relatively firm except for a few places that had direct sunlight. In those places, the dirt was rutted with tire tracks and I carefully ran along the edges to prevent a slip in the mud. I followed the path along my regular loop and crossed paths a few times with groups of runners from the local high school.

I kept it relatively short and enjoyed the change of pace from running on hard pavement. I finished with a loop around the "Field of Dreams", a large open area that sits west of the woods. Although I didn't cover much distance, I still felt pounded by the terrain. Stillwell's trails can be tough on the legs.

Shortly after I returned to my car, the owner of one of the carelessly parked SUVs rode up after finishing his ride. I stared at him, watching him struggle to get out of his now-tight spot between me and another car that was parked closely on the other side of him. I'm sure he wished I'd back out to make it easier for him, but I wanted to teach him a lesson.

Once I got ready to leave, I noticed this sign was posted in front of me. SIOR and TPP will be at Stillwell on Sunday for Rob's Run, a 5K cross country race that is staged there every year. 700 participants battling along the same narrow path is a bit too tight for me. I raced the Xterra Run at Stillwell about five years ago. With only about 90 runners, that seemed like Stillwell Woodstock.

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