I would decide to do a 1/4 mile warm up without the Garmin and walk at a snails pace, to get the joints moving and also to see if any migrant birds decided to stop by for a pit stop before venturing south. Seriously, you have to have admiration for these birds if only for their endurance as these special little creatures fly from far north all the way to South America (or far south in the US) to escape the brutal cold that will soon be headed our way. Talk about an ultra!
Robins would be everywhere as well as Song Sparrows. The White-throated Sparrows are back from the north which was a treat to see as they were mixed in with the other northern counterparts with Dark-eyed Juncos. The picure above is of a White-throated (hence the white throat). If you are ever running in the winter and hear a beautiful bird song that goes something like "poor Sam Peabody, Peobody, Peabody, chances are it's one of these. One of my favorite songs in the winter and better than an Ipod any day.
The fall colors are even more drastic than when I was here last so it gave me the chance to practice my macro photography which is something I never tire of.
Red berries are all over the place and robins and waxwings were flocking to them.
Loved this leaf too.
But soon enough it was time to strap on the Garmin and try a run. I will be honest and say the ankle ached a little more than the day before so I started off my first mile in a light jog. I would have my Vibram Treks on which are nice when you are trying to pace yourself on trails as you can still feel most rocks and roots so you have no choice to go slow and that's exactly what I did.
After about a mile or so I would increase the pace and head from the powerlines to the woods. The wooded paths were nice and soft vs. the rocky powerline trails and my feet were happy just feeling the soft earth below as I ran through the woods as chipmunks cried out in protest and the woodland birds kept me company by chirping away as they ate their breakfast.
I would start getting to some of the rockier parts of the trail which are the parts I enjoy most and start thinking about trying to tackle a few as I have my 1st trail race on Sunday so figured it would make for good practice until I remembered a conversation I had w/ Tom the day before as I got into my car after the trail run in Groton. I was happy that I could run that trail with no ankle problems so told him I would definitely see him at the race on Sunday and he replied with something like "yup, as long as you don't do anything stupid you should be all set". Who me, do anything stupid????? HA!!!! Hmmmmmm.....I thought, running up this hill with my treks and a bum ankle may be stupid right about now, so the bravado I had for the one moment went quickly away as I took little bunny foot hops from rock to rock and making sure my ankles were sturdy the entire time.
I would finally get to a place where I was at about 3 miles or so and take more pictures.
This is the reward one gets from running the trails this time of the year in New England. There is nothing quite like it.
On another note, I did my first road run this morning in over a week. I was cautiously optimistic and did my first .75 of a mile really slow but then decided I wanted to pick up the pace some as this week was originally supposed to be nothing but speed work, but with the ankle speed work would be Russian Roulette right about now so made sure I stepped up the pace, but not so much that the hammies would get too tight which seemed to work. I didn't bring my Garmin and measured my pace by keeping my heart rate up to just a little above where having a conversation would be easy. I still felt good after doing three miles so hoping to get in one more run before the race on Sunday. Thursday will be running, Friday will be elliptical and Saturday will be a rest day.
Take care all.