Trail Monday: Baker Park Reserve

I find myself accidentally registered for the William O'Brien 10 Mile Trail Run this September.  I originally registered for June 2014 which was flooded out and then I deferred my September 2014 entry because it was the week before Loony Challenge and I just couldn't make that work.

In support of surviving this race and not injuring myself, I decided that Mondays when I'm off work, I should head out to the trails and run on them instead of on the paved paths much closer to home.   Three Rivers has some great parks.  I've scouted out Crow Hassan Park though never really run there. French Park is one of my favorites, as the Medicine Lake Trail runs through it.  Though I've never gone off road in that park either.  Elm Creek is another absolute gem, but when I looked at the map I found myself unequal to deciphering a route I could take. I wound up at Baker Park Preserve because I knew where to park and following the grass trail looked fairly simple as the grass trail parallels the paved trail basically the entire way.

Thoughts on the run:
Nature: This run was straight up gorgeous.  There were lakes, deer, turtles, all kinds of birds.  Some places, all I could see around me was the park and it was wonderful.  Though Minneapolis has some world class parks, it doesn't have anything of this size really.  It was wonderful to spend time here. 

Hills:  There are some for real big hills, but lots and lots of little speed bumps as well.  I decided to follow what I'll call the Larisa Dannis plan.  I focused on running the downs.  I ran up whenever I felt like it but didn't focus on that so much.

Grass: It's kind of hard to run in long grass.  I'm not talking about prairie grass.  The path I was on is primarily groomed for horses in the summer, so the grass does get mowed from time to time, but it was about a foot tall in some places.  The footing was a bit uneven and the going was slow.  I found myself very glad I started practicing the trails now.

Woods: Running in the woods was an absolute pleasure because the footing was utterly stable and solid.  Later in the run, I found myself walking more on the grass, but any time I got packed dirt under my feet I really enjoyed it and moved pretty well.

Clothes: I ran in my trail shoes and ProCompression Socks.  I found some of the grass dewy as well as a couple legit mud spots.  My feet were soaked but blister free when I got back to my car.  I packed a pair of flip flops but almost wished for a complete change of clothes.  Glad I didn't take a dive in any of the mud!

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