Running 46:44  9.07 km (5:09 / km) +112m 4:51 / km
shoes: Adidas Pureboost DPR
Just awful, really. I called up Willow River to check on conditions, and sure enough, the skiers have left the park because the trails are disappearing rapidly in the 50 degree weather. Starting off, the snow covered the trail enough so that I wasn't even on it for a bit, I was guessing my way through some of the woods to pick up the trail. The sun has been melting everything, but now what's left is a slushy, slidy, unforgiving mess that turned what I wanted to be a fast run into a strength workout. Every once in a while I would hit a 5 meter section of pure, gravel-laden bliss and my pace would shoot up, but then it was back to the drudgery. I thought about turning around at the waterfall, but it didn't seem like an inviting option. Besides, the section after that was a hilly, forested area that makes up some of the best running in the park. Here's the thing about hills. They have angles. The sun shines at angles and should shine on the hills long enough and directly enough, without much interference from trees, to melt the snow enough to give me a grip. All the hills are east/west oriented so the placement of the sun shouldn't really be a problem. If someone could educate me on the optimal conditions for melting snow on a hill, that would be great. Does the snow melt better from the west because it's later in the day and the temperatures are higher then? I ask because pretty much every downhill faced west while uphills faced east. The downhills were great, but I couldn't give a flying fishstick if it was slippery or not on the downhill. The uphills, apparently, havent seen a lick of sunshine in the last few weeks. Every single one of them. Doesn't matter which way they were facing, they had magically avoided the sun's rays. You know those math problems in grade school where the slug is climbing out of a well and it crawls up four inches but slides back one and you need to find how long it takes to leave the well? Too relatable. But eventually, I left the forest near the top of the uphill section to cross the plains. Everybody loves plains; the snow is the first to melt there, it's nice and open, you can see the grass...it was a great time.
Just kidding. The snow has melted all right, but it turns out the water doesn't really have anywhere to go, it's too cold to evaporate. So it just sits there, in the dips of the trail, apparently trying to start it's own ecosystem. These things were three or four inches deep with no way around other than through. At least all the mud from last week is off my shoes. I'm approaching the final stretch at this point, and it's just a bloody battle to get back. I'm sliding right and left every few steps and the snow is completely unstable, and all I want here is to get a grip. Eventually I stumble into the parking lot and it's done. I'm gonna just stay away from Willow River for a while.
Oh I saw a black bear cub and a dog attacked it I got the crap out of there don't know how it ended. No worries I wasn't too close to it.