After yesterday’s harder run, I wanted to go easy this morning. At the same time, I know that I am in one of my – I am feeling good phases and knowing myself as well as I do, running slow when I am feeling this good is difficult.
So I needed to find a way to slow myself down.
Actually there is a surefire way to ensure that I run slow – go find a woods trail.
In this area Bond Brook Recreation Area in Augusta meets that definition quite nicely. No, it is not the mountain trails you read about running in magazines or blogs, but for the local area – it will get my attention and slow me down.
Besides if I don’t slow down I will come out leaking red stuff and probably have ingested a bit of the local dirt. 😉
Looking at the splits – I slowed down. Which is exactly what I wanted.
I haven’t run the Bond Brook trails for a couple of years even though it is only 8-9 miles away and I go by the trail head when I do my long runs to Augusta. I always seem to go up to Waterville to run and forget about Bond Brook. I parked before the bridge and ran up Tall Pines Way until I got to the first trail head on the left, one that I have never been on before.
Before they made this trail access point and a few others, you either had to bushwhack, take the old closed 4 wheeler trail (both of which were frowned upon), or run all the way up Tall Pines Way and catch the trails up by the hut, but now that there are new trails open, you can get on the Bond Brook trail system quicker and without getting in trouble. A great thing.
While there are a lot of inclines (freaking hills) – not too many flat spots, the amount of switchbacks make them runnable and add some extra distance to what otherwise would be a much shorter run.
Getting back to running slower…quite honestly I do not have a lot of confidence in my ability to run trails hard anymore, wearing trifocals causes some issues with depth perception, which means that I tend to trip over things (rocks, roots, etc.) on the trails more often than I used to.
So I run slower.
Running on trails also makes me focus on what I am doing, none of that getting lost in thought or wool gathering – if I do that, I give blood or eat dirt pretty quickly. Also I don’t listen to music when I am running trails – I want to hear nature around me.
I think that running trails really teaches me to stay in to stay in the moment, focus on running and nothing else.
Enough blathering about the greatness of trail running and the problems it gives me. How were the trails at Bond Brook?
They were in great shape and you can tell that a lot of mountain and fat bikes are using them by the amount of tracks on the trail and in the muddier areas – yeah I found a little bit of mud, but nothing to write home about. I met four people in different spots on the trail riding their bikes. So the Bond Brook trails get a lot of use from that community and they do have a trail race series on Thursday nights during the summer.
There were a couple of places where the lack of a rock plate in the original Nike Wildhorse trail shoes was very noticeable. One time I came down wrong on a rock with the outside of my right foot and it hurt a bit, but not enough to stop or anything.
However, it was still a little uncomfortable a few hours later, so it is something that I will keep an eye on. I have a feeling that the next time I run at Bond Brook, I will either slide in my fake rock plate under the insole or use a different pair of trail shoes that have one.
The following photos are from 2012, when they were creating Tall Pines Way – it really has come a long ways.
The Bond Brook trails have come a LONG ways since I started running them 6-7 years ago and after today I have a feeling that I will be back more often. The trails are challenging and pretty close to the house, so they are something that I need to do more often – especially that challenging thing.
By the way, I did run pretty slow and that is exactly what I wanted to do.