Last night Minnesota decided to turn back to winter and we got 3-4 inches of light fluffy powder. Since today is Saturday and I needed to run, my only choice was to strap on the screw shoes and hit the trail. The temps were beautiful this morning, around 28-30 degrees (F), which made for amazing running weather. Couple layers on top, some pants and head/face protection and I was good to go with no coat.
I hit the Elm Creek singletrack mountain bike trail before anyone else had been on it. This turned out to be cool and beautiful, but also exhausting. Pushing 3 inches of fresh powder on quick up and down hills REALLY wears the legs down. I wore a heart rate strap this morning and was riding around 165 the whole first 2/3 of my run. Keeping in mind I was never able to get faster than a 13 minute mile when I was pushing the snow.
Eventually a fat biker came through and I was able to ride his tread for a while before he turned off onto a different path. When I completed the 8.7 mile loop and went back out for another 3.2 there had been enough fat biker action that I was able to keep my HR down to the mid 150s, but by that point I was so wiped I still wasn’t able to go very fast.
It was an amazing morning for a run, and I really feel like I’m ready for winter running now. I captured a few pics from the morning, my favorite being the one above in the featured image. It captures a spot in the trail that I love, where you’re suddenly surrounded by pine trees that are thick and close. It only lasts for 100-200 feet, but it’s an amazing section of the trail.