Today, D and I hit the trails at Bradbury Mountain State Park in sunny and beautiful Pownal. We are both itching to get off the roads/bike path as many chance as we get, since trail running is so much better in every way. After a lazy start to the day, we donned our YakTraks for a long run on the snow covered trails.
We started out on the Northern Loop Trail, then to the Boundary Trail. Both of these trails were well used and well packed down making for a nice running surface. A few minutes before we hit the summit, we saw a pileated woodpecker. (Looked tasty.) We eventually reached the summit and had great views on this stunning day in southern Maine. The skies were crystal clear and the temps were nearing 40. In fact, neither of us were wearing our winter hats, and each had just a light long sleeve t under our shells. Great weather. We left the summit and headed down the Tote Road, which was not quite as well traveled. The surface was still good for running, but we had a few more slips and would sink in more than we wanted every now and then. Eventually, we reached the Northern Loop Trail which led us back to the parking lot. This portion of the run took us about 42:00.
We had planned to run longer, so we crossed the street and ran an out and back on the snowmobile trail. While the trail was well packed from all the sled traffic, it was still somewhat loose. Really hard to describe, but it was a decent surface for running even if it didn't always feel like you were getting the best footing or return. When our watches hit an hour, we decided to turn around and head back to the car. We ended up with 1:16:00ish, which we think is somewhere in the neighborhood of 7.5 miles. It was a really, really great run. Bradbury is one of my favorite places to run, and I hoping to log a lot more miles there this year.
On this run I was testing a new toy: Fuel Belt Helium.
I was in need of something to carry fluids on my long runs, and D has one, which she purchased when she was training for the Maine Marathon in '06. She loves hers, so I thought I would give it a try. I have to say, I really liked it. I only used the two rear bottles as I didn't think I needed more than 16 ounces for this run. You barely notice that it's there, and you have easy access to the bottles. I had a little trouble getting the bottles back into the holsters, but I'm sure I'll get better with practice. Also, it was nice to have a little extra boost along the way: I filled one of the bottles with half water and half Raspberry Hammer Gel. So, thumbs up for the Fuel Belt.
We also made a stop at Maine Running Company this afternoon to pick up new shoes: Inov-8 Roclite 315's. I'm stoked. Lots more on these later.