At one point Sunday afternoon, as Chrissy and I ran over snow and sand and through mud and ice, I had to laugh at how lucky it is that we both find the challenge of trail running to be fun. Yes, fun. It’s like being a kid again, running through the woods to either get somewhere, or maybe away from someone, not really knowing exactly where we’re going, but having the luxury of enough time to simply run.
On Saturday we did the Parker 5k, a seriously challenging lope through the woods which Chrissy blazed through. We were down a lunar b*tch, unexpectedly, but we both rallied for respectable finishes on a morning which was far more benign than expected. There was no rain and the mud provided an obstacle or added an element of excitement, all in the eye of the beholder.
A couple of remarks I heard post-race were validating, the race was “humbling,” and the trail “grueling.” No one was complaining. This event is pleasingly small with only about 100 finishers and everyone who participated appeared remarkably healthy and fit. As Chrissy said, it felt much more like a friendly group run through the woods than a race. Next year, hopefully we’ll be our usual running threesome. Missed you, Karen!
Sunday was a gorgeous day – the first day of the year for me to run wearing only a single layer and sleeveless, at that. We met at the Pine Bush’s trailhead #7, where we consulted a posted map and quickly determined we had no idea how to read it properly. It was mid afternoon and we had time and an app on our side so we headed in, bearing right at most forks in the trail as we sought a longish run. The scenery was absolutely beautiful and the day was an ambiguous one, early spring which easily could have been mistaken for mid fall.
We skirted a deep ravine and ran on the narrowest of paths up steeper than expected hills. There was mud, but no real standing water and we both were glad we had worn our mudders from the previous day again. We encountered fewer than a handful of other intrepid fun seekers and I have a new desire to familiarize myself with this large nature area. Saratoga State Park’s trails have nothing on this place in terms of challenge and beauty and I can’t wait to go back for another, even longer, loop.
We wrapped up our running adventures with a first of the season soak in Chrissy’s hot tub. It was a good weekend.