Trail Thursday - A Surprise Winter Run

Trail: French Park/Medicine Lake Loop.  I have run here before but never done a 'trail review' because normally the thing is properly paved and not an off road trail. Today, however, felt like a true off road adventure, so I'm doing a proper trail report.

Hills: The hills here are hard.  I run this loop counter clockwise because it gets most of the hills out of the way right off the bat.  That last hill absolutely owned me today.  I let myself walk up most of it because I knew my heart rate was already way too high.  Whatever, I was cold.

Ease of Running: This trail was varying degrees of plowed.  Not sure what happened on the west side of the lake but it was not great.
  • Inside French Park - totally plowed down to the black top.
  • Path along Northwest Blvd - well plowed, packed snow, very runnable
  • Path along Medicine Lake Blvd - has seen a plow at least once this year. Opposite of fun.
  • Path near Medicine Lake Park -completely not plowed.  Absolutely off roading.
  • Luce Line, the path around the east side of the lake, and 36th Ave - well plowed, packed snow, very runnable

How cold is cold: My face froze during this run.  Literally.  I wore shorts under my sweat pants, wool socks, and two shirts under my running sweat shirt.  I had a band over my ears and gloves on my hands.  It wasn't that it was soooo cold, it was that I was out in it for a long time.  I wished I'd worn tights under my sweat pants instead. Everything else was fine.

Animals: I saw other runners and walkers and maybe a dog.  Also, lots and lots of ice fishers.

Will I come back: I like this route very much.  It's a challenging distance and the hills are legit.  Bonus is that it has a place for me to park and change my clothes after work, so I've always liked it.  But I may wait until the snow melts off and I can see the pavement again. 

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