I woke up Saturday morning fully prepared for a good trail run in the pouring rain. I was actually looking forward to it! I was a bit disapointed when I didn't hear rain on the roof as I rolled out of bed but figured it was only a matter of time.
A warm blanket of fresh damp air gently brushed against me as I stepped out of the door. Though it wasn't raining yet, it sure felt like it would at any moment. The air was so warm and fresh smelling....almost spring like, I shuddered with anticipation of the planned run at Cathance preserve.
I ran there once last year and though it was severely cold that day, I enjoyed the terrain a lot. It seemed smart to bring a compass as I remember getting lost in the first mile last year (even though I was following a group at the time) That's what happens when you are the "slow" guy. Anyway, the plan failed as I somehow could not find my compass.
I was hoping to meet Scott there anyway and he knew the trails very well. As plans are made to be broken (Murphy's Law) I got sidetracked longer than I figured loading my truck with my friend Mike's stuff. He had recently moved out of Brunswick and there were a few things left. Sure seemed like a perfect time to run in that area.
We arrived at 8:30 and saw Scott's truck sitting there and empty. OK, so no trail guide and no compass.....I would have to use memory and landmarks to navigate :)
As we headed in the trail I studied the tower at the top of the hill. This would take the place of my compass.
I was prepared for at least 8 miles and Mike thought he was too. In the end it was a bit more of a struggle for him and I suspect he would have rather stopped at 6 miles. Problem is at mile six we were lost and debating what direction we should go.
It happened because after running the Heath trail, beaver trail and rappid trail Mike was getting fatigued. We saw a gravel truck heading down a dirt road and decided to follow it as it appeared to be the Evergreen loop. Well it wasn't and we ended up in a housing developement. I scanned the horizon and pointed to a tower on a hill that looked to be about a mile away. "That is were we need to head" I repeated until he finally listened to me.
This part was actually a lot of fun (for me) as we bushwacked a bit until we came across a powerline trail which was a very nice run. One thing that kept nagging at me was the fact that we were in open woods and there could be hunters there. I had to convince myself that my bright floresent yellow vest and Mike's bright green sweatshirt would probably stand out enough to keep us from being shot.
The powerlines lead us toward the tower so I knew we would be able to find our way back eventually. I guess this was the point that I realized it was probably good that it didn't start raining as that would make the bushwacking a bit more difficult.
We got to experience some pretty cool terrain and did finally come across the cross- country trails around the tower. I loved this run today, it was different and exciting. I was glad to realize that I could navigate with out the compass.
Though it didn't start raining until later in the day, this run was near perfect. There were a couple moments that my mind drifted to visions of a phone booth (yeah in the woods...??) though I don't who I would have called. Instead I followed my instincts and was happy with the results. I would have liked to have climbed the observation deck next to the tower just get a view of where we ran but it was locked behind a fence.
Total run 8.75 miles @1:48:41
Heart Rate 138 average ....159 max
I decided to do a tempo run today on tired legs from yesterday. I wasn't sure how I would feel but actually it was fine and though I could "feel" the trail run from yesterday, I enjoyed the faster pace.
4.54 miles @39:03 (8:35 pace)
heart rate average 150 max 162
7:58 (6:17 kick)