Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Trail Run - Dec 28 10

 I have discovered the joys of winter trail running so today I opted to go for a much needed run.My route was through the Mainland Common and wooded environs out to the Bicentential Highway. Sadly it is all scheduled for development so it is only a matter of time before urban sprawl will consume the vast majority of it.

 Under overcast skies with -4C temps(-14+ with windchill....46kph gusts) I headed out dealing with icy and crusty snow conditions. It actually was pretty good to run upon - yesterday's rain had melted the snowcover to a couple inches so it provided mostly staple footing with a little give that is easy on the body.The biggest challenge was determing where icy patches may be or semi frozen marshy sections that resulted in wet feet.

  Dressed in running tights and a MEC mid weight jersey, PBK winter gillet and LG shell I was toasty warm even when idle and exposed to the gusting wind. The(new) winter gillet is fast becoming my favorite piece of winter kit.A snug fit the MOA garment made in Italy for Probikekit is excellent and keeps my core toasty warm either on the bike or run.

 Ran my usual trails on the Mainland Commons but then explored the terrain between there and the Bi-Hi via the top of Main Avenue using trails, powerlines and (soon to be) boulevards.The powerlines are definitely challenging with snow cover masking the pools of water/ice and other obstacles. It really becomes more about leaping, hiking and,in some cases, walking.

Looped around to come out by Halifax West High then home via the Powerline Trail.It worked out to be about 7km according to Runningmap.com but was a mixed bag of running, hiking and even rock climbing to investigate an old stone structure I happened upon.
I think my sudden liking to trail running is due to the fact my body responds better towards it. Unlike the repetitive pounding upon pavement/concrete trail surfaces can be more challenging but also forgiving in terms of impact upon my knees and lower back. Speed (sometimes) is sacrificed on more technical sections but then it becomes more of a full body workout seeking good footing, jumping and finding a good line. Running on snow is harder(depending on the depth and consistency) but is also fairly forgiving. That said if I knew we were getting lots of snow this winter I would pick up snowshoes....the trails would be prime the day after a heavy snowfall.

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