Once again listening to the "schedule" led me to a 10-mile run today. D wasn't so thrilled with the idea. She was even less thrilled with the idea of doing that run at Bradbury. With the slightly warmer temps and sun higher in the sky, the snow has been softening up. I didn't think it would be that bad, so I convinced her to give it a go.
Instead of just heading out and back on the Snowmobile Trail like we did last week, we decided to run a loop on the west side of the park. D had the idea to try the 4.5 mile loop that Ian is planning to use for a new trail race this summer. It will make for a tough race, since today we only managed 12-minute miles through this part of the run. The conditions were tough, though. Any where the sun was hitting the trails things were getting soft. We had our YakTrax on, which helped a lot, but the soft parts were like running in sand. Other places, the trail was straight up ice. Plus, this loop had us going up the steep trail to the summit. It's short, but especially tough in today's conditions. The Terrace Trail hadn't seen much traffic and involved more postholing than we woudl have liked. Good loop, though, and a good first half of the run.
Next we headed across the street to go out and back on the Snowmobile Trail. As we headed up the gradual hill that makes up the bulk of the first part of this trail, D announced that she planned to do her next long run on the roads. "I've had enough of this." She was moderately grumbling for the first part of the run as she struggled with the footing. At one point, she even said she wanted to finish this run on the roads. In other words, she had completely mentally checked out. Conditions were tough, and I wasn't thrilled for the whole run. But I think based on my last run, I had a huge mental advantage. I took the lead from this point on, and few words were spoken for the next 45 minutes or so. The worst part was that the Snowmobile Trail was really soft in places. The sun was doing a job on the condition of the snowpack. It was really tough going in places. But, in other places, it was still firm, and easy to move right along. In my mind I was pretty psyched actually because I knew that these runs are going to be a huge help down the road. If we can run in this stuff, we won't find many harder conditions. Between me feeling good and D being grouchy, I picked it up a bit...well, since she wasn't a lot of fun to hang out with about now. Kinda jerky, yeah, but I didn't want ole grouchy pants to bring down my run. Then again, 9-minute miles isn't exactly flying. I waited for her in a few spots—each time she grumbled that I should keep going. Each time I did because I didn't want her to catch me and beat the crap out of me.
Anyway, we ended up on the trails for 1:48:01 and are still married. Ultimately, I think this is going to be a run we look back on and realize it was good for us to tough it out.
The worst part of the entire run was the final result and the blood stain on my shirt. I ended up with two bloody nipples. It was warmish, we were working pretty hard, I got really sweaty and the rest is history. Not good times. I also ended up with a bloody toe. By the end of the Mid-Winter 10-Mile Classic, the middle toe nail on my right foot was completely black. It stayed that way until this run. When I got home the black had mysteriously disappeared. Since that time the nail has started to fall off. Today it must have been sitting in a weird position as the dead nail cut into the toe next to it. The nail is still pretty solidly attached at the base, so I don't want to just rip it off. Also, not good times.
Bloody nipples, bloody toes and nearly a blood bath. Ah, running is fun.