Whose Woods These Are, I Think I Know


Sometimes its easy to forget how much I like trail running, mainly because its not always the easiest thing to do because it involves actually driving to get to the run (or I suppose I could run there depending on how long I want to go for the day).  With the sun shining today and the promise of high temperatures I decided it was time I actually try to find one of the many trail networks we have in our town, including Harold Parker State Park, which was the target for today.  Figuring it might be at least a little cooler on the trails, I decided to go with shorts and my Boston Marathon long-sleeved tech tee along with my Brooks cap and Tifosi sunglasses.  Walking to my car I felt completely comfortable temperature-wise, indicating I was likely overdressed for running.

Amazingly, I made it to the park without getting lost at all, a rare feat.  I decided not to bring my BlackBerry on the run even though I wanted to share some pictures because I didn’t want any distractions, ditto for the iPod.  I quickly decided to ditch the long-sleeve and was happy to have thought-ahead and brought a short-sleeve UnderArmour t-shirt, which I changed into.  A short run on pavement brought me to the first trailhead, which wound up being a combination of gravel trail and dirt.  It felt so good to run on the soft ground and I even liked having to think about every step I was taking, lest I twist an ankle.  There were some stretches of ice left to remind me it was still winter, but nothing so bad as to make the trail unpassable.  This particular trail ended up at a frozen lake, one of a couple I would encounter during the day.  I retraced my steps and then crossed the paved path to another trail, this one with a lot more rocks and uphill than the first.  It even involved a couple of hops over fallen branches.  This time I had a couple slight slips that made me think trail shoes might not be a bad idea, but nothing too bad.  I really tried to concentrate on driving my arms up the short hills and then continuing to power through the summits (along with maintaining my footing).  This second trail lead back to the road, which I took a short way before finding the last trail, which was easily the most technical, with some parts of singletrack skirting sketchy footing along a frozen lake, which I had no interest in swimming in.  My favorite part was crossing underneath two fallen trees, at which point I remembered that I had no ID on me and might be in trouble if the trees decided to fall just as I was passing beneath them.  Luckily though, that didn’t happen.

After a couple more loops of these three trails I decided to head back to the car, shooting for a 40 minute total run.  My left foot was beginning to feel somewhat numb, which I took as not a great sign, so I didn’t want to push anything.  I found a nice dry spot on the leaves, twigs and such to stretch and then spent about 10 minutes just enjoying being outside before heading back home.

This was a great run that I wish I had planned a little better on taking longer, but coming off a hard interval workout yesterday and starting the run relatively quickly (plus a lack of water with me) all dictated a shorter run.  Still, I look forward to exploring more of the park in the future.

Here are some pictures I took of trails after the run!  Enjoy!

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One Response to “Whose Woods These Are, I Think I Know”

  1. Chris Barber Says:

    It’s great to get out there and run that first trail run of the spring! Pretty cool that there was still ice out there. I like the soft surface of the trail on my joints too. If you want to find more trails to run in your area check out http://www.seriousrunning.com/trail-running.php. They have over 1000 trails all over the nation!

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