Yesterday was my final trail run before my trail race next weekend. My running partner, Denise, has been battling a nasty cold and a sore knee since our last trail outing a week ago but felt up for hitting the trails.
Not expecting to see other runners, we brought Merle, our trusty Trail Master and headed out on a 9k loop. It was a crisp, but sunny 3C. The snow from last week has melted, but unfortunately a lot of the gorgeous leaves from last week were now off the trees and the landscape was a little more barren and brown. The first 2.5 k were tough going - the legs were oh so heavy, my feet were wet from the first water crossing and my inner klutz was in full form, already tripping on a root and landing on one of my poles which fortunately didn't break - this isn't boding well for next week's 12.5k event 😩. At this point we had to make a decision; carry on for the full 9k or turn around and go back the way we came and cut it short at 5k. Denise's breathing was ok and her knee was holding up, so we carried on.
The legs started to lighten up, my breathing became more consistent, and I got a rhythm with running with my poles. This was the feeling I was seeking and desperately needing 😊. My worries about next week were quickly fading. We were running on a game trail on the side of a hill making our way down into a coulee when I noticed we were following some very large cloven hoof prints - moose. It was tough to tell how fresh the prints were so we kept our eyes peeled as much as you can when you have to watch your footing so you don't end up @$$ over tea kettle 😆. All of a sudden, Denise stops and tells me to grab my camera. I'm scanning the coulee and there they are - a bull moose and his lovely cow- running away from us up the other side of the coulee! Majestic beautiful beasts! Too cool. I'm so glad we decided to carry on!
Another water crossing (this time managing to not get any wetter), another steep climb with switch backs, another klutzy event (tripping over my poles on a narrow stretch but managing to stay upright) and coming across a hiker using some sort of bird caller, we finished the loop. The map said 9k, but my watch and Runkeeper said 10k. Sweet! It was slow going since Denise's knee was bothering her by the end but I feel a little better about next week's event. We won't call it a race since our goal is to just get around it in one piece and hopefully Denise's knee will hold up.