Monday: Back in the saddle. 30 minutes around MAF target heart rate, on a beautiful but chilly night. Inspired by Boston and a post I stumbled across about running just to run, I forced myself out the door.
Thursday: I really didn't want to go out again, but I did. Another 30 minutes near MAF target heart rate. I ran from one development into another, and the moment I crossed in to the other development, I started feeling precipitation. Nothing significant, just little wispy drops; we call it "spitting". The moment I left that neighborhood, it stopped. Odd.
Saturday: Went to go for a run around noon at Lincoln Mountain State Forest. Unfortunately, my idiotic decision to purchase a Prius meant that there was no way in Niflheim that I was making it down either of the access roads. (My old Outback did just fine the last time I went there, but it was rutted and rocky enough that I would have worried about scraping up her undercarriage.) I contemplated parking along the road on Lincoln Mountain Road, on state land, but opted to go up to Moreau instead.
I had chosen to wear a long-sleeve shirt and running pants, because it was sunny but chilly, and I chose wisely. The wind coming off of the lake was chilled, and the route I had chosen to run, along the Red Oak Ridge Trail, was exposed to the wind for most of my run. I would have been happier with a hat, but since I had none, I choose to just run quicker instead. I wasn't aiming for a specific heart rate on this run, just aiming to move, though I did start to listen to my watch a little bit more once I got tired, which helped.
I made my way over to the junction with the unnamed white trail, decided against checking it out, continued up the ROR trail. At the second junction with the white trail, I pulled out PDF Maps and had another look. I saw a trail going to nowhere not far off of the white trail, and decided to check it out. It was an old woods road, which eventually led to a hard left turn, near where the trail petered out on the map. I contemplated following it further, but decided I wanted to get back on the ROR trail, which was 30' to my right, over a small rise. I rejoined the ROR trail, just in time for the interesting descent to a small stream before it meets up with junction #1, the convergence of the Turkey Path, the Red Oak Ridge Trail, and the Moreau Overlook Trail.
Turning my gaze upward, I started the real climb. I'm out of shape, and my heart rate was high even from just walking, so I did my best to find a walking pace where I could ascend without stopping. It took a while, but I eventually found it after stopping to take some pictures of flowers growing along the trail. Then I lost it again on the scree pile below the overlook. Just below the top, I came across two hikers, negotiating their way back down the scree pile. We exchanged hellos, then went on our way. I saw no one else out on the trails, aside from a guy with a dog right near the parking lot near the entrance.
I topped out, enjoyed the view, and then headed back down. The scree pile was indeed sketchy coming down, not runable at all, but I made it down with only a few slips and no falls. I was able to do some downhill running on the way down, but my heart rate kept spiking up even on the descent, so I also did some downhill hiking. With that out of the way, I followed the Moreau Overlook trail down to the parking lot, then followed the trail along the lake back to my car.
All in all, it was a fun trip. Looking back over the past several months, I haven't done much running, and this week was about at the limit of what I could ask from my body at this time. I'm looking forward to getting back in shape, and hopefully enjoying some longer races this fall.
Until next time, be excellent to each other!