=PR= Trail Series Run at Algonkian Park

Potomac River Running and Sport and Spine Rehab are sponsoring the =PR= Spring 2015 Trail Fun Run Series.  The trail runs, for runners of all speeds, are free though one does need to register in advance so that =PR= can get an accurate count of runners.  Runners can choose 30, 60 or 90 minute guided runs.  The runs start at 7:30 am.  Groups form according to planned running time, instructions are given and everyone heads out on the trail.

This weekend was an easy, recovery weekend on my training calendar.  That said, my running has been hit or miss recently so a friend and I decided to head over to Burke Lake Park and do a couple loops around the lake.  The goal?  9 miles.  Late Friday night, however, we decided to change plans and head this morning to the first run of the 2015 trail series.  I’ve run at Algonkian Park before (in fact, it was a previous =PR= trail run that was sponsored by Saucony).

I arrived early at the park and hung out in my car until 7:20.  It was so very windy and I was reminded constantly of the winds at Ironman Cozumel.  Determining what to wear proved to be a challenge.  Temperatures were in the mid-50s and the wind was a similar temperature.  However, it was a very strong wind – sustained speeds in the low 20 MPH range with gusts being higher.

In the end, I decided to run in a Lucy running skirt, Zensah calf sleeves, a long sleeve tech shirt and a Saucony winter hat to protect my ears.  I was also wearing my new Brooks Cascadia trail shoes (I believe this was my second run in them) so that I could continue breaking them in before the North Face Endurance Challenge.

The trail was muddy and parts of the single track were pits. We actually spent some time running on the road parallel to the trail.  When the wind was as calm as it could be today, I overheated.  Sleeves were yanked up to my elbows to help cool me down, but when the wind picked up, I chilled and my ears ached.  Tough conditions, no doubt, but it was a beautifully sunny day and a wonderful way to welcome in spring given the long, cold winter.

The =PR= trail races are just as well organized as their road races.  There are three more races in the spring series – you should check them out!

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