Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Delightful Downeast Running

While there are no fields quite covered with wildflowers yet, the unfrozen ground, bright sunshine, and flowing brooks and streams does the heart good. Since Sunday I have had some very pleasant workouts that have lifted my mood and reminded me why I like to run so much. While I am the fan of the occasional blizzard run, I can't motivate myself to successfully run through the drab ice box of a Downeast February. That is why this recent bloom of mercury with its melts and muds soothes my running soul.

Sunday afternoon I went out for a 3 mile shake out run. Not having run in a week and then doing a 19 mile group run really had my legs sore. So out I went to clear some of that lactate acid. Monday morning proved recovery was still necessary as one lap was all that was in me and I finished the day with 5.2 miles. But the weather continued to warm and Tuesday brought 48 degrees to Calais and I knew I was going to have a good run at lunch.

Here's an excerpt of a morning email I sent to Marc before my noontime run:

"The weather is so nice, do you know what I am going to do? I am going to run at the Moosehorn at lunch. Yes, a frolic up and down the gravel roads, through meadow and woods, streams and marsh, enjoying the cool breeze as the crunch beneath my feet sound out the letters S-P-R-I-N-G."

Later I went out to the Moosehorn and it was as good as I thought it was going to be as I wrote again to Marc:

"Drat! All this moose poop tracked into the bank! Just kidding. Didn't see any moose or any of their leavings. But what a rush of a run! Beautiful weather (it must be near 40F with clear blue skies) and the roads and trails were ready to be run on. A little soft here and there but nothing to cause concern. My pants were spackled with mud dots just as they should be after a brisk run of 1:06:11. I am guessing 8 miles or so. I did the normal 3.8 mile loop opposite the HQ side. The hills on that thing are pretty steep! Ran briskly but in the low aerobic zone in general. When I crossed the road on the HQ side, my pace increased and I veered off course immediately for some fun unstructured running! I turned at the first right which took me up to the HQ building but in a curved manner, then through the main gate and turned right again onto Barn Meadow road (we usually go straight and do our loop if you remember). What a nice road! I strode down that road for about 10 minutes before I had to turn around. And "down" is the operative word. Down, down, down the road twisted and turned through woods, meadows, and flowages. Even after 10 minutes of steady running I still hadn't come to the end. I came to an intersection where both roads looked promising . I guess straight went to Route 1 and right to the Charlotte Road but I won't know for sure until next time. I turned around and started climbing! I didn't realize what a hill the Moosehorn is on. Then on the way back, I noticed the Raven Trail which I had also noticed a sign for at the HQ building. Therefore, I went trail running and took the trail back to the HQ area. That was a blast too! I am definitely going to do these new roads again. A guy could get a 3 hour long run in at the Moosehorn easily!"

Yesterday's run truly lifted my spirits and I was glad to be back out to the Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge is rather large and has wonderful gravel roads and trails to run on. Closed to traffic, it is the perfect running park. My first email to Marc was for the purpose of teasing him. He loves the Moosehorn as much as I do and loves it when I twist the knife a little.

So, this morning I went out for an hour recovery run in Eastport out to Shackford Head State Park. A little park in Eastport, it has a main trail that goes to the top of the Head with incredible views of Cobscook Bay. So I jogged out there this morning (takes about 20 minutes from the house running slowly) and took a 2 minute "stretch break" while I gazed out onto the bay as I stretched the tight legs. Then I ambled back down the trail but took a side trail to the beach at Broad Cove. There I did 6 x strides on the beach. Not easy and not hard, the beach has quite the tilt to it as it plunges into the deep bay and the surface is all loose shale. But the purpose was some fun unstructured striding to bring the heart rate up ever so briefly with a full recovery as I jogged back to the beginning. My eyes watered from the sun's reflection as light dispersed in the silent cove from the still water's surface. Salt air, cool air, silent air. A pleasant morning run!

Total so far this week: 40 something. Planning an afternoon run later on.


Blogger Robb said...

Great blog Andrew! I often stop by to read up on your great adventures! Spring certainly does lift our spirits.

3/08/2006 9:04 PM  

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