Off with the skis and back into the running shoes today. I headed back to the same snowmobile trails off Rt. 2 that I ran a couple weeks ago. The conditions were dramatically different. I wasn't surprised by this, but theory and practice are two very different things. The trail had been groomed, and it had seen a fair amount of snowmobile traffic. (Surprisingly, no other footprints.) And that snowmobile traffic had turned the hard packed surface into sugary, soft powderiness in the center of the trail. The far edges of the trail, which hadn't quite been hit by the sleds, was firmer. Nothing was firm, just firmer. Hence, the going was slow. Plus, I had forgotten how damn hilly it was on the way out. Really hilly. I turned around at what I guessed was 2.5 miles, and I was 3:30 faster on the way back. The soft snow was a blast on the way back because I could really let it rip on the hills. Good times, and a great run.
Of course, I had to have a little drama because the run almost didn't happen. I almost got the car stuck trying to park. The side road where I parked is very narrow, and today there was a a little bit of loose snow on some solid ice. It was basically this:
Before I hopped in the car, I changed my wet, sweaty shirt. Just as I was standing there in tights, no shirt and a beanie, three snowmobiles went ripping by on the trail just a few yards from my parking space. I'm sure I made it into their post-ride stories.