March 8, 2009
Here is something you don't come across every day, I suspect it was a skidder and why the guy was trying to go up this trail is anyone's guess. The picture doesn't show perception too well. The ruts were over a foot deep and the guy drove up this open area an into the woods for about 300' then the trail became tight and a lot deeper so the guy turned around and went back out the way he came.
I was actually set up to run the Rover 5k today but The three hour training fell on the same day and I felt the this training was more important for the 50K coming up. The 5K surely would have been a lot easier though not as much fun.
I worked quite hard on this run as the conditions were not good at all. Even with snowshoes,I sunk down into the soft melting snow. There were many places (see picture below) that I sunk 4-6 inches even on the snowmobile trail.
I was a bit cold at the start but warmed up well as the temps rose. The snowshoes sliding around was not only tiring but taxing on the ankle joints. I planned on a wet run this morning as the weather report called for rain. You can imagine my surprise when I saw the sun rising.
The first five miles were difficult, spongy like bread dough yet loose like corn meal, an odd mix to say the least. I was quite surprised, I didn't come across any snowmobiles or people on the power lines.
Around the five and a half to six mile mark, I was running on an old railroad bed and the snowmobile trail came to a dead end about 300' from a road and I knew that on the other side of the road, the bed continued after about a quarter mile stretch. I ran on that bed last year quite a bit and felt certain that snowmobilers were using it.
I decided to tredge through the short section of virgin snow rather than turn around at this point. I crossed the road and headed for the old rail bed. I kept going and assuming I would hit some snowmobile track soon. The difficult part was lifting the legs high enough so that the front of the snowshoes didn't get caught in the snow. I felt like I was crawling and it was going to last forever.
It didn't work out as well as I hoped and I ended up getting a much tougher workout than planned. I can only imagine how it must have felt back when this was a normal mode of transportation to get out of the woods and into town for supplies.
My last 1/2 mile I took off the snowshoes and ran home on the road. It felt great to run normal and have solid ground underneath. I felt good about the run as I not only was on my feet for three hours but I still had some energy at the end.
10.5 miles 3:00:06 (17:17 av pace)
Temps @ 36 degrees at the start and appr. 45 degrees when I finished.
Instead of a nice warm shower and coffee when I walked into my yard, I had to jump on the snowmachine and go rescue my son who was stuck up in the woods. Honestly the last thing I felt like doing at this point was to walk throught the deep snow to pick a 700 pound snowmachine up out of the snow.
Surprisingly the ride up to the other machine was quite fun. You sure can go a lot faster through this snow with an engine sitting in front of you! Now the sliding around in the soft snow was much more exciting and I didn't get tired at all.