Saturday's temperature wasn't terrible - mid 30s and dry. The brothers Hanson wanted me to run 8 miles again and my soul cried a little at the thought of going back to the gym, so I started really thinking where could I run outside? Anywhere around home was out because enough people don't shovel, and some of the streets still haven't been plowed. I was going to see Bill in Ann Arbor, so I could run there downtown, but then I'd be dodging people and I wasn't sure if laps around the Diag would be any better than the gym. I had asked a woman at work about Hines Drive, but she said it had only a narrow shoulder cleared.
Then I thought - MetroParks!!!! If I was driving to Ann Arbor anyway, maybe, just maybe, one of the parks on the way would have a clear place to run. I called and asked about the trail conditions, about the trail length. I must have asked 4 different ways if the walking path had been cleared of all the snow, and hallelujah! it had been!!!
20 minutes and $7 later, I had a place to run outside!!!!!! It started off a little cool, but by the end I was sweating and wishing I had worn something lighter. I don't really know the path and whether or not it loops back, so I did a 4-mile out and back. It felt soooooo good to be outside and actually running! The TM works in a pinch, but it's not the same.
My final time was 1:21:37, which is a 10:12 average. It was 31 seconds slower per mile than on Friday, but I have several very legitimate reasons why:
1. it was unpredictably hilly
2. there was wind
3. I was powering myself, not reacting to the TM
4. it was the second time I had run 8 miles within 18 hours
5. I didn't have a meathead racing me
Well worth the entry fee! Although I know pedestrians can follow the trails into the park and not pay the entry fee. I need to find out where these paths start!!!!