Barefoot Monologues

A Journey of the Sole


Fear Conquering: My First Winter Trail Run

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

The trail I run is so flat because it used to be a railroad route. See? That's one of the railcars that got stuck here. Just kidding, it's there for show..

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.

This is the paved trail I usually run. Today I decided to skip it.

This is the unpaved trail, to the left of the paved one. It just looked more inviting today.

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.

My feet didn't slip in the Neo Trails. Please ignore the ankle brace on my right foot. Again, being cautious.

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.”

Oscar taking a nap in the computer room when we got back home. Run: 1 Dog: 0