After three days of rest, I was raring to go today. I took the time off in part because I wanted a light week this week, however, I also had to skip a scheduled run because grad school commitments took longer than expected. But still, good things can come out of these rest periods. My legs felt very fresh at the onset of this run, which was nice.
Fortunately, trail conditions near my house were better than I expected. While the vast majority of the trails are still coated with snow, they were packed down pretty well and runnable.
I had several goals for today: Explore some new trails, test out my brand new trail shoes (Asics Attack 4) and also test out my new waist pack (Nathan Elite 2V Plus).
A few notes on the Asics... they fit perfectly when I tried them out at the Maine Running Company. I knew they'd be winners. I was right. Great fit, very comfortable, light weight (10.8 ounces), and great grip. Even despite getting totally submersed in water several times today, not even a hint of a blister.
And a few notes on the Nathan Elite 2V Plus. I was worried this pack would be too big and bulky. I was wrong. It was less noticeable than my single water bottle carrier. No bouncing around and very easy access to the bottles. I couldn't be happier with it. I've heard some folks say their arms hit the tops of the V-slanted water bottles when they run, but I didn't experience that at all, perhaps due to my build.
The run itself: buttkicker, but a lot of fun. I began on some trails across the street that meandered up to the ridge and to the powerlines after a few miles. The powerlines were nice for a short while, and then I encountered the bog from hell. It took forever to negotiate through it, and several times I had to wade through icy cold, thigh deep water. I was never really upset about it though. All part of the adventure.
After getting through that bog, a few miles later I encountered another one. Going around it was futile, as several times I post-holed through snow up past my knees, and the icy snow did a great job at scratching up my calves. Once again, just thought it was best to plow through it.
Fortunately, that was the last of those areas. I enjoyed a run that left the powerlines and spent a few miles on the snowmobile trails towards the next big obstacle, climbing Little Ossipee Hill. It's slightly above 1000', and from the firetower at the top you are afforded great views of the White Mountains and also the ocean. Got to the top, climbed the firetower and enjoyed the views for a bit before climbing down and running down the mountain.
I decided to take a shortcut back to avoid that second swampy section by running along the dirt shoulder of Rt. 202 back to the powerlines. Climbed back up the ridge the way I had came, but just before that other swampy section, I found another snowmobile trail that looked to avoid that area and would join back up with the original trail. My guess was right, and I was happy to keep my feet dry. Soon after, I was home. Damn good run.
Ran 16.5 miles @ 12:00/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 137/162
Trails with packed snow, swampy sections.
Lower to upper 40s, overcast.
Shorts, fleece jacket, short sleeved shirt.