I just completed my first ever trail run in the snow! I’m very excited that it didn’t kill me, as once presumed.
Here’s the stats:
- Number of miles planned: 4.5 to 6
- Number of miles completed: 5.2
- Number of 1.5 mile out and backs: 3 and change
- Average pace: ~13:00 (I was being cautious, don’t judge)
- Number of people I shared the trail with: 0
- Number of ominously creaking trees on the side of the trail: 2
- Number of times my feet slid on the ice beneath the snow: 3
- Number of times I fell on my ass: 0
- Number of times I twisted my ankle: 0
- Number of whole dead branches Oscar unearthed and dragged with him: 6
- Number of branches Oscar hit me with: 3
- Number of times Oscar peed on the side of the trail: 5
- Number of times I peed on the side of the trail: 1
- Number of natural toilet paper options on snowy New England trails: 0
- Number of new muscles that introduced themselves today: 3
- Number of times I wished I was in San Diego: 0
This was a lot of fun! Last winter I was sure there would be no way to survive running on the snow, but it is possible with the right shoes. I had to find a place to try out my new VivoBarefoot Neo Trails (full review coming), so for the first time in my adult life, I was glad to see snow.
One thing I didn’t realize before about running winter trails is that the snow coats everything and evens out the ground, for the most part. I felt very few rocks and sticks underfoot, and the ground was actually more predictable than regular trails. Either that or I was being so cautious not to slide on the ice that the uneven ground didn’t affect me much. It’s definitely a great workout for my ankles and legs, and it’s pretty much impossible to let your form slip if you don’t want to end up ass-first on the ground.
I was definitely VERY slow, though. This was the first time I’d run this trail since the day I sprained my ankle on it in October, so it felt a bit like playing with fire. I was barely out of breath for most of the run, but I didn’t care because it was so enjoyable. I didn’t take my music with me, and I wasn’t bored because of it. I learned that the trail was only .75 miles long, exactly, so I could complete 3 out-and-backs for 4.5 miles, or 4 for 6 miles. I wanted to hit 6 because I was feeling great, but as I started the 4th lap I noticed my dog’s tail was low and he was slowing down. I inspected his paws and he had 3 cuts on his front ones from sliding on the ice. Poor guy. So we turned around and went back a little early. I wonder if he would agree that “barefoot is best.”