My wife and I have the occasional conversation where we both agree that I am not that smart. I proved that again yesterday afternoon when I attempted a loop (8 miles) of the Greenland Trail.
It was about 47 degrees, nice and warm - the sun was shining when I started out about 4:15pm. That was probably the highlight of my experience.
Actually it really wasn't too bad - but I still should have probably not tried it.
There was just a skiff of snow in the parking lot, a little muddy to park. The first 3 1/3 miles are a gradual upgrade - nothing steep - just constant. I wasn't in a hurry to do a lap, was expecting to run into a bit of snow, probably some muddy spots also.
I wandered over onto the trail where they start the race by the gate - almost losing a shoe on the way in the mud. That should have been a clue. I didn't take the hint. The first 3 1/3 miles are a gradual upgrade - nothing steep - just steady. That first mile was all mud. It is an old service road with noticeable vehicle tracks on either side - yesterday those tracks were running water, mud in between.
One understands water falls out of the sky in the form of rain. One didn't stop to think that it falls sometimes in the form of snow and collects on the ground - only to melt when sunlight is applied - so thinking ahead of the first mile to the possibility of a lot of melting snow on the ground - thought didn't happen, can't say I was thinking at all during the first mile.
After about a mile, surprise, surprise - slushy, wet, melting snow covered the trail - and did so for about 80% of the next 6 + miles. What wasn't snow covered was swamp mud. At least the sun was still shining. Did I mention the wind blowing? Oh yeah, there was that too.
I was able to maintain a blistering 10:00 average pace for the next few miles, including the climb up the saddle - then for the 3/4 mile traverse across the saddle was faced with much deeper snow - over a foot deep in places, a little crusty on the top - but soft enough to result in postholing - which was great for the exposed shins - of course I was wearing shorts.
At 5 miles in, 55 minutes had passed, but I was at the top of the saddle - it was a net downhill of about 300' for the last 3 miles, a couple of uphill sections thrown in for good measure. Much less snow from here on - aside from a few areas where the scrub oak had caused some decent drifts. Still a lot of mud for the rest of the way.
The legs, ankles, feet were quite achy, 2 days earlier on Spruce Mountain had an impact also I'm sure. But I picked up the pace and did the last 3 miles in 25 minutes. So, a round trip of 80 minutes. My slowest lap ever. I don't expect it to be like that on race day (May 5th) - can't imagine having up to 1000 people trying to make there way around there - some 1 lap, others 2 laps, a bunch of people will do 4 laps.
Lesson of the day - that's easy - should have run it earlier in the day - to avoid the postholing.