A Snowy (Almost) 25K at North Chagrin Reservation

BY STEFANIE V.

DEC. 23, 2016

I had the day off and no errands to run.

The weather was in the upper 30s °F. In addition, there was no snow or rain in the forecast which made the perfect conditions to get my long, 15-mile run in the books before Christmas weekend.

So, I headed to North Chagrin Reservation in Willoughby Hills, Ohio to check out the trail conditions and have some fun.

I began my long run at the Wilson Mills Trail Head on the all purpose path. I wasn’t sure whether it was going to be icy, and, with the first mile or two being uphill, I figured it would be my safest bet.

I switched between the all purpose and the road for the mile or so, then hit the trail. The all purpose path was fine if you ran along the edges, but I didn’t want to risk slipping and falling.

The bridle trails and other scenic loops presented their own challenges. Temperatures in Northeast Ohio have risen and fallen the last couple weeks, and with recent snow storms, it made for the perfect combination of hard-packed ice and narrow paths.

While most of the trails had some type of packed pathway, the ice underneath made it extremely uneven to maintain an even pace. I didn’t want to risk rolling my ankle. So, I slowed down and just enjoyed the time spent outside.

 

The first seven miles were frustrating, as I had to constantly watch where I was stepping. Normally, this wouldn’t be an issue with trail running, but it was just too hard to keep a steady pace.

So, I found my way back to the main road that cuts through the park and finished my last eight miles there. I was able to pick up my pace a little and finish up in a decent time. I stopped and took a few pictures along the way, which contributed to my slower time in the trail portion, but it was just too beautiful to pass up.

I ended the run with 15.4 miles and a smile.

Merry Christmas everyone! What are your plans for running this weekend?

Trail Miles

Second Half on Road

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