Ice, and more ice

As I mentioned Monday, I hit the trails on Saturday afternoon for a run up Draper Mountain. I wasn’t sure what to expect due to the rain Friday afternoon and the freezing rain we had Friday night. It ended up being one of the prettiest trail runs I’ve ever been on.

mountain trail running

mountain trail running

mountain trail running

There were a lot of areas along the trail where tree branches (and sometimes entire trees) were bent over the trail, due to the weight of the ice. I was careful not to break branches going through these areas so that there weren’t a bunch of broken branches when the ice melts.

DSCN3388

mountain trail running

Poor little tree

Along the way I did encounter a few fallen trees across the trail. I was able to carefully climb through them each time, though.

mountain trail running

mountain trail running

After about a mile and a half I made to ‘The Landing’ which is a false summit of sorts. I caught my breath and stretched my calves briefly before heading up a trail called Draper Drop, which takes you up to the top in a little over a mile. I could tell things were only going to get prettier from there.

mountain trail running

Up until this point the trails had mainly been muddy, with a few slick spots. But as I made my way to the summit, it got icier and icier. It wasn’t a solid ice, though. It was the kind of ice your shoes crush through, so my footing wasn’t too tough. The only really tricky spots were the icy rocky areas.

mountain trail running

mountain trail running

mountain trail running

One thing that really helped me on my run was my new snow trax that I bought around Christmas time (basically the same thing as Yak Trax). I thought they would help on the slick conditions, and they did. What also surprised me was how well they helped in the sloppy mud on the trail. Cool!

mountain trail running

The work to get to the top was worth it. I ended up having a really clear view (which I was hoping for). All of the tree tops were so pretty!

mountain trail running

mountain trail running

With most of the hard work over, it was time to head back down the mountain. Draper Drop is the only trail that connects the summit to the false summit area, but from there I decided to head down a different way than the way I came up.

trail run elevation

Once I made it back to the false summit I headed down Easy Street briefly. Once again it was totally iced over at the top, but I didn’t fall this time.

mountain trail running

A short way down Easy Street, I turned on a new-to-me trail: No Quarter. This was a really pretty trail with lots of mountain laurel and rhododendron. I think it will be absolutely gorgeous in spring when everything blooms.

mountain trail running

As I got towards the bottom of the mountain, it got pretty sloppy. A lot of melting had been going on while I was running, and there was a lot more mud and water.

mountain trail running

In total, the run was a little over 4.5 miles. Honestly, I was expecting it to be an icy, tough, and kind of pointless run. But it just goes to show you some of the runs you have the lowest expectations for can end up being the best.

When was the last time a run/workout that you had low expectations for surprised you?

8 Comments

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  1. Running on the frozen trails seems to have paid huge dividends. The frozen tree branches are great to look at, especially when they aren’t looming over the power lines.

    LUD.

    1. It was definitely a beautiful day to be out in the woods. The branches are much more enjoyable when they’re not hanging over power lines, for sure!

  2. That’s so funny–I just wrote a blog post about how the expectations you have for a run usually don’t match the actual run. That is some serious ice! Those poor trees. Don’t you just want to get out a blow dryer and save them all? They definitely made your summit pics even more beautiful though! We have YakTrax but I’ve never tried them. Did you worry they’d fall off or were they pretty secure?
    jan recently posted…Pre-Run vs. Run FeelingsMy Profile

    1. And I just read that post 🙂 What ironic timing! Barry and I were back on those trails earlier this week and a lot of the smaller trees are still all bent over, even though the ice has melted. I hope they make it! I felt like my knock off Yak Trax were pretty secure. I adjusted them halfway through the run, but I think they had slid a bit from me slipping on rocks in the mud.

  3. Beautiful pictures! It must have been like running through a winter wonderland, minus the snow and only the ice! I feel bad for the trees, though 🙁
    Amy recently posted…Halfway ThereMy Profile

    1. It definitely was! Yea those poor trees. The little ones didn’t fare so well. Barry and I were back on those trails earlier this week and most of the little trees were still bent over, even though the ice has melted.

  4. Sounds and looks beautiful! I’m sure it will be gorgeous in the spring when the mountain laurel and rhododendron are in bloom.
    Debbie @ Deb Runs recently posted…From Football To FeetMy Profile

    1. I think it will! I can’t wait to check out that particular trail when they’re in bloom.

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