Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Winter Trail Running

So far, this has been an uncharacteristically cold, snowy, and icy winter. We've had a warmer week so I thought I'd try a short run on the trails at Pandapas Pond in the Jefferson National Forest, about a 15 minute drive from the house. I put on the old trail shoes, iPod, carried my pepper spray (bears, whatever, you never know!) and set out. The trail switched between areas of thick mud and ice with stretches of perfect, soft, leaf-covered surfaces. The iced forced frequent slow-downs, but then I took full advantage of the areas where I could open up. About half-way through my planned loop, I came to a swollen Poverty Creek. I walked upstream to find there was no way to cross and stay dry, so despite the 40 degree temps, I forded the creek up past my knees.

Well, that unleashed something in me, and from then on, I bounded through every creek, puddle, and flooded stretch of trail and was amazed to discover that wet feet and legs at that temp were not a problem at all.

Trail running is something I'd like to do more of in the coming season.