I had a few random thoughts that I wanted to post.
First and foremost: I wanted to thank the crew over at Saratoga Spa State Park. They do an excellent job keeping the park open and accessible, even in the middle of winter. A large portion of the walking paths, including the stretch along Avenue of the Pines and a good portion of the Putnam Road section are also kept relatively snow free. It's wonderful, and it's very appreciated.
I went for a run today at lunch time, and found that even the back section, where Putnam Road is closed to traffic, had been partially cleared. This section is always a bit snowy, presumably because cross-country skiers also use it to cross between the golf courses. As I cruised up it today, I passed by two XC skiers doing just that. When I got close, one of them asked, "Are we the only crazy people out today?" to which I replied, "Looks like it!" I smiled and kept on running.
Part of my smile was due to the fact that I had put on my street running shoes for the first time in months. I realized that I had been running and walking with 8mm+ drops for far too long, and that I'd have to re-adjust back down to lower drops if I was going to avoid another Achilles injury. So, today, I went for a run in my 4mm drop shoes (Brooks PureFlow 2), with YakTrax on, because otherwise I would have been skating across the snow. These shoes do not bite at all on snow. They do give me +2 speed and +1 stamina, so I'm not complaining.
I got side tracked there.
Second on my list of thoughts: I also want to thank the crew at Wilton Wildlife Preserve and Park, for maintaining some excellent trails over at Camp Saratoga and Opdahl Farm. I went for a snowshoe run there this weekend, and was amazed at how great the trails are. I kept to the side as much as possible, to avoid damaging the XC ski tracks, but in many sections, there wasn't a single set of tracks, but rather a jumble of them. It looked like two or three people had been ski-skating through, too, which didn't help with the confusion. Anyway, I stayed to the side, and deferred to any skiers that I happened to encounter.
That reminds me: the lot was busy when I pulled up! There were at least 8 other cars there, and as I ran, I saw so many people out on skis. There were at least 2 snowshoers out, based on the tracks and, well, the two people that I saw walking down Scout Road to their car. It was great to see so many people out and enjoying the winter.
I had two interesting observations: one, with my jacket tied around my waist and my lumbar pack on, I didn't get a deluge of snow every time I took a running step. It might have been due to the the trail state, or it might have been due to the stuff around my waist. I'll have to experiment some more. Two, the few times that I was trailing a skier, I found that my snowshoe running pace (14:00-15:00) roughly matched their skiing pace. I guess in my mind I had expected them to go faster than that.
Well, that's about it. Oh, and I'm also trying out an alternate lacing strategy (skipping the first crossover) for my boots, to see if that helps at all with the pinched toe.
Until next time, be excellent to each other.