Sunday, February 22, 2015

An impromptu Post Oak Trail preview run

I ran with a few friends at Post Oak today. This was the last official training run before the Post Oak Challenge, which happens in two weeks. I am working an aid station there both days, and another TATUR group is also working another aid station both days. We're not trying to take over, but I HAVE made this Post Oak Challenge part of the Oklahoma Dirt Trail Series. Former RD and friend Johnny Spriggs invited me to run with him, and since this was the last chance before the race, and also because I LOVE trail running in the snow,. I jumped at the opportunity. There were about 10 brave souls who ventured out on this windy snowy 26° day. I had no problem driving there, but did slip my truck into 4-wheel drive coming up the Hill from Hell, which had a fair dusting of snow in places. We wisely divided into two groups, of which I chose the slower one. 

Johnny led the way, following the orange ribbons. I am always confused by the multi-colored ribbons. I know one color is for each distance, but I'm still confused. Goof thing I'll be at an aid station!

For the first half of our run, the ground seemed frozen--no surprise here. We had several creek crossings which were all navigated with dry feet. I took a toe stump fall and converted in into a tuck and roll, ending up on my back, and getting a full coat of snow in the process. It was fun. During the second half of the run, we got into a bit of frozen slush mud, which is the best kind of mud. The snow mixed in makes the mud far less sticky, and I ended my run with shoes cleaner than when I put them on. :-) 

Leaha, who runs with the Tuesday/Sunday trail group joined us. Like myself, she skipped the run this morning. Her reasoning was she was going to run here at Post Oak. My reason was that the covers were so warm and I slept in. Don't hate!

We covered a lot of the trails near the lodge. We missed out on running in the Botanical Gardens, which are heavily fenced and off limits, but they will be accessible during the race. We did not do the Hill from Hell, which is not too hard by road, but is a bitch by trail.

We also skipped Holmes Peak, which I kind of wanted to do, but was advised that the wind chill was probably -17° on the top. So, our group called it a day after 4 miles, and had a PBR in the lodge. It was a pretty good day.

After we left, I decided to go see how well the Botanical Gardens was fenced off, and give Holmes Peak a go. The gates around the entrance were tall with pointy things at the top, and signs warning of surveillance cameras. Sheesh!!

So, I decided to park at the gate like we used to, and run the 1.5 miler back to the pavement and back. This gravel road has been redone, and practically feels like a paved road. I got my quota of hills in though, and finished with 7 miles for the day. Good times.

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