My long run today was going to be fairly sluggish just because of my piriformis soreness issues lately. However, I never thought that it would be as dicey or as slow as it was today. Those who know my running habits and philosophy know that I never run outside with music: I never need it outside, and I regard it as a safety issue to not be able to hear what's going on around me. It should be telling that I didn't just plan on taking music with me "just in case" for this run, I ended up listening to Pandora for 2 hours of my nearly 3 hour long run.
The base road around the park [Rundill Road] was 80% clear, and there was plenty of road to run on, where the snow had either melted completely or had been reduced to a thin layer of slush. About half of this road is open to vehicle traffic, and those parts had even mostly dried out.
However, the situation changed when I turned up Uphill Road [see the picture below]. The early part was smoothly packed snow, which was very runnable, but had limited traction. A few spots further up the hill were dry from complete exposure to the sunlight. The remainder, on Tophill Road and Uphill Road, were 95% thawed and refrozen packed snow with heel divots, along with melted ATV tracks.
On the way uphill on the refrozen slush, I tried to work with the divots, but my ankles kept turning in different directions with every step. On the way back, I tried to run in either ATV tracks or the sections of unpacked snow on the road. Consequently, my already slow 9:50-ish pace slowed to 11 minute pace for a couple of miles, and often much slower than that, despite my effort level never really dropping off.
I should have taken more pictures. My run time probably wouldn' t have suffered much.
Even back on Rundill for the reverse loop and back out Southern Parkway for an additional 4 miles, my legs had nothing left. I felt like I was at mile 24 of a rough marathon. Don't get me wrong: I've felt much worse at mile 24 of a marathon, but at least I had the sense of accomplishment of having run 24 miles.
Maybe I should have had trail shoes for this. Maybe this is a sign that trails aren't for me.
My legs hurt now. My quads hurt, but the rest of my legs feel like I've been standing up for an entire day without any support or chance to sit down.