Showed up at our meeting place to see Nicole had 2 huge trail maps and let me tell you she was pumped to get at them. I must have had an idea this was coming as I went out last night and bought a new headlamp. It was nice to see R and G join us on this fine crisp morning.
Half hour or so later we arrive at the Stables of Birds Hill parking lot and are greeted by the sound of a rooster crowing. We find the trail entrance easily, even in the dark. Spotting the bear sign at beginning of trail, I make a mental note never to run here alone in the summer.
The trail is nice and wide. Nicole, R and G have settled in nicely up ahead and there is lots of conversation at this point. The temperature at this early part of the run is somewhere between 0 to -4 Celcius but there isn't any snow on the ground yet. We start off with a 4 mile loop as R has to get back to her family in the city as she had some event to get to. This was her first trail run and she said she loved it. You always remember your first and I suspect you know right away that you either love or hate it.
After saying goodbye to R, we head out onto another trail to do a 14k loop. The previous trail was dry so it was a surprise to find a bunch of huge puddles on this route. How big does a puddle have to be before it is no longer a puddle anyway? There was no way to keep the feet completely dry with all the water but we did pretty well. We had just a little dampness in our shoes and vibrams. It is a good reminder that we will need a backup plan for the colder weather. We discuss varying options, one of which is wearing mukluks and carrying thick plastic bags in our packs so we can slip them on if we come across surprise wet areas. At this point the temperature has warmed up a bit, but not enough to stay warm if we stopped.
In total we ran almost 13 miles and my energy was good for the first time post pneumonia. It turned out to be a great day for a run!