What a Saturday morning run should be - and probably my last trail run of 2015 unless I squeeze one in in California at the end of December.
I woke up pretty early this morning and had a huge bowl of oatmeal with almonds, banana, and maple syrup along with a couple cups of coffee. I looked at the weather up in Park City and saw 15 degrees with a 6 degree wind chill. But it was sunny! I figured since Flying Dog and the other Jeremy Ranch trails are generally south and west facing, I'd at least have sun most of the way and it would warm up quick.
Started around 9:30 when the trail conditions were perfect. I could tell right away though that when the sun melted the trail that it could be a muddy mess on the way back. And treacherous too on the downhills. Decided to worry about that on the way back. I turned off the Flying Dog trail onto the Jeremy Connector trail.
Here I noticed that I was being stalked by a coyote. The thing kept track of me for about 15 minutes. I was a little concerned even though I think I could handle a coyote. Doesn't mean I want to though. Fortunately he disappeared when I got to the leafless aspen grove.
I had to turn around a little over 4 miles up because the snow got too deep. I returned the same way I came except I found a great, rolling stretch of trail about a mile long that I did 4 times to add distance to my run. On the way down it was super muddy as I suspected it would be. Brooks Cascadia's really hold on to a lot of mud so my feet were gunked up and heavy. Lots of slipping but no falling.
So I made it through 14 miles of mud, ice, and snow without incident until I was a couple hundred yards from the finish and could see my car. Here my foot hit a rock and I wiped out pretty hard. I did a nice combat roll though and avoided major damage although I did mess up my Garmin.
Got a big chocolate milk from the Jeremy Ranch Store. Called Andy and told him I would bring him a Pizza Hut pepperoni pizza if he ran 1.5 miles before I got home.
Great morning! I think I'm going to get a pair of snowshoes this winter so I can get into the mountains more.
A big salute to my alma mater, Furman University, for finishing 13th at the NCAA cross country championships!