Notice the trail closed sign? At least half the signs I passed said the trail was closed. If its nesting birds they are concerned about I think the time has passed. I was singing the timeless classic song "Sign" while running through the forest - UGG!
OK, now that I have that off my shoulders - I got up early this morning to check out the park for next weekends race. Thanks to Kel for posting the map on her blog - at least I knew where I was supposed to be. The race will be run to the left or clockwise as best as I can tell, according to the directions the first half or so is really hilly - no crap. These are little buggers but they will take the fuel outa your tank fast (except for the elites who run everything like its flat).The ubiquitous self portrait. The hill is representative of one of the many hills out there.
You can see you go from the bottom to the top and back again. Somewhere after the half way point the topography changes some. There are a few longer downhill sections which allow you to recuperate a bit. It was refreshing to hit a few of these sections. The closer you get to the horse trailer parking lot the more horse stuff you'll find - check your shoes before getting into your car! The down hills where the horses have been are the most treacherous as there are a lot of fist size loose rocks. Its no SHT but still stuff to watch for. The beginning of the race will be in the early morning light - or lack thereof - but the trail at beginning is wide and relatively free from obstacles, it would certainly be more challenging to run the other way in the am. Maybe it's best not to see some of the hills on the first lap?
I had a great run, not much discomfort in the glute/hammy or calf - yeha! I went about 10 miles at 10:10 pace as best as I could tell, think I could do that or a bit better for a couple loops. Got me thinking, I wonder what my pace would be like for four loops? Have to give that a little thought.
The park is beautiful, there are numerous lakes and ponds, a few prairie stretches and a bit of single track here and there. I think this will be a good race course. I was cursing myself out all the way down for forgetting my Garmin, now I'm glad I don't have it because I would be tempted to list the elevation here - don't want to spoil the surprise.
Geese getting blown out of the sky
A couple things I have to relearn every fall/winter:
The hand I'm holding my water with gets cold
GU gets hard when cold.