Saturday, April 24, 2010

I finally got out on Mad Creek trail today and it felt wonderful. It was still pretty cold all morning and even around the house a little snow still lingered from yesterday. The clouds gradually cleared as the day progressed. I waited until around 1 p.m. and hit the trail with Benny. I knew the first couple miles were going to be runnable but didn't know how much snow I would encounter further up the valley. People must've been jonsing to get out on the trail, there were a few cars in the parking lot. I saw a few hikers and two trail runners out getting their cure for spring fever.

The weather was perfect and cool and partly sunny. As I expected, the first two uphill miles to the barn were very runnable with only a couple small sections of snow. The next couple miles after the barn to the Wilderness Area boundary were very runnable too but super, super soggy and muddy. The spring runoff is in full effect and I resigned myself to running with wet feet for a while. From the Wilderness boundry to the junction with Elk Park trail was pretty dicey. The trail was fun enough, technical, rocky and switchbacking, in spots, but also with knee deep snow in many spots. I commited myself to going further than anyone else had gone on this trail this year and kept charging well past the last foot prints I saw. At the Elk Park trail junction, the trail was completely loss to me under the snow. According to the signage on the trail this point is 5 miles from the trail head but the topo map says it's 4.5 miles. I was hoping to make it to the next trail junction, which is Red Dirt, 2 more miles up trail, but I'll have to wait for another time for that to happen. I felt amazing after the run back out, legs slightly tired from earlier in the week but ready for a much longer effort once I finish my taper. I spent 1:56 on the run and with the slow, easy pace I chose, I could have run quite a while longer. Feeling good for next week.

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