There are no frogs or toads in this photo but it reminds me of the frogs I saw last weekend. I was on a 10-mile trail run at Lebanon Hills Regional Park, one of my favorite places to run, in spite of the confusing trails and trail markers. It’s nearby (well, at least I can justify the 20 minute drive by stopping by Byerly’s afterward for a treat -and the weekly groceries- afterwards). It’s got a bathroom, water fountain, and covered picnic/stretching area. It has rolling but not monstrous hills, and uneven terrain that keeps my attention enough that I don’t want or need an iPod to pass the time.
Now, the 10-mile part gets interesting. I’m still getting a handle on my pace for trail-running, so using my easy road pace (a 9- or 10-minute mile) to gauge how far I’ve run, just won’t cut it: I’m preparing for a half-marathon trail race and I need to be sure I’m ready for the distance. This park easily has 10+ miles worth of trails, but trying to plan a route that specifically covers a mileage can be a challenge, for a variety of reasons. 1) The park recently re-did its maps and removed all the mileage that used to be included for each leg of every path (Poo on them). 2) The park seems to be constantly taking trail portions in- and out of circulation. A runner never really knows if the next expected turn can be taken.
So! Luckily I remember that a certain loop is just over 2 miles. So I did it 5 times. Which, very conveniently, brought me past the bathroom and water fountain several times. All in 1 hour and 49 minutes: about an 11 minute per mile pace. This isn’t bad, considering I walked most of the hills (they are short).
The run was enough work that I took a short nap later in the day. That hasn’t happened in years. Aside from that, though, my recovery was pretty painless. Onward! I’ve just got a 6-miler, next weekend. Woo!