Monthly Archives: May 2015

Trails Day Four


Day Four of Trails

I did it! I made it to four days of trail running, 59 miles over 4 days. I’m a bit tired now, but my body feels so less trashed than doing my 4 day block on a combination of road and trail. Trails and dirt are so much kinder to your body.

I didn’t get my ideal scenario. I wanted to go to Mohican Saturday and Bark Camp State Park on Sunday. This changed to two more days of running at Salt Fork. I knew I needed to “mix up” the trails.

Today I went over the blue bridle trail. I had hopped on a mile or so of it on Thursday and was pleasantly surprised to see how not-muddy it was. We need rain here. But this meant the bridle trail wasn’t a huge mud bath.


I had not run this full loop in several years. It is listed as “12 miles” which horse miles must be different than human miles; Garmin read 8 miles.

I listened to podcasts today, but with just one earbud in. The blue trail starts and finishes at the horse camp and is a very active trail. I just met up with 2 groups of horsepeople, and everyone was courteous.

Almost done with the blue trail, but still needing to get more miles in, I decided to just drive through the park and pick up the orange bridle trail loop. I really wanted to just quit, but the schedule called for fifteen.  I had calculated my mileage yesterday, and I was at 60. Shoot, i can’t stop at 68 miles.

Blue flowers

Off I go to the orange bridle loop. I had ate a Bonk Breakers (PB&J), and refilled my water at the horse camp-nice cold water, but it was about noon and warm out there.

The whinyness in my  head started about mile 2 on the second trail. I really didn’t want to do it.   Once I climb the ridge and descend, it’s kind of the point of no return. I was thinking of just doing an out and back but I needed the whole loop to get my miles in.


I bonked pretty good about mile ten or eleven. The trail does these sharp PUDS-pointless ups and downs-and I was pausing on the climbs. It was hot; I was hot.


But hey, it’s a loop, there’s no way out except forward. It’s not like I could have cut through the woods for a shorter way back to the vehicle.

I found an Ensure-bonus, it was chocolate! in my pack.  I sipped on that, drank my water, moved forward. I crossed a little stream and was able to splash water over my pulse points-my wrists and elbows, and throw a little water over my head and neck. The temperature was only about 75, but it’s our warmest day so far. The tree foliage has not grown enough for shade.


Luckily for me, some cloud cover occurred over my last 2-3 miles, so I was not as hot. My spirits rose as I neared finishing. I was hoping there was that last Dogfish 60 Minute IPA in the frig.

It was; and it was the best beer ever.




Trails Day Three


My third day of trail running. I had gotten 10 (TEN) hours of sleep the night before. I was amazed-and happy-about how good my body felt.

I’ve been doing these 4 day block of training for several months now.  Usually it’s been a mix of trails and road, probably 3 days road running to one day of trails. By day three, I am feeling fatigued and body parts ache a bit.

Today? Nothing. I don’t know whether it was the ten hour sleep-which did not hurt-but because  the runs have been 80% or so on dirt. I felt REALLY GOOD.  No aches, no pains, good energy.

It was also a pleasant surprise when I looked at the training schedule and saw “12” not the “15” that I thought the run would be!


Four miles down the road, I realized I had left the earbuds on the table. And I had used the “emergency” earbuds on a previous run and not replaced in the gym bag. Do I turn around? Or just go podcast-less?


I decided to go podcast-less and you know what? It was fine. I didn’t get bored, the miles didn’t suck because I wasn’t distracted by another voice.

Tree fungi

I did run by this tree fungi yesterday, I believe I was travelling in the opposite direction, and missed it!

Another good day of trail running.  I would like to add I have a serving of Ultragen after finishing up these runs.  I like it far better than Recoverite. Also, when I get home, I eat a small meal of some sort. The last few days it’s been about a half cup of rice and some bulgogi (beef).

Onto Day Four of Trails!

Trails Day Two

Blue Rock State Forest

Is there no better phrase in the English language, than “new trails”?  Well maybe “I love you” wins out, but trail runners love new (to them) trails.

Today I travelled to Blue Rock State Forest, just outside of Zanesville, Ohio. I really didn’t know much about the state forest. The interwebs were not that helpful either.

“The 4,578-acre Blue Rock State Forest, located 12 miles southeast of Zanesville is accessed primarily via State Route 60 and Culter Lake Road.

Most of the marginally productive farmland was originally acquired by the federal government during the 1930s under the Resettlement Administration. Surface ownership was later transferred to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Forestry while the federal government retained three-fourths interest in the oil and gas rights. Subsequent reforestration and the application of forest management and protection practices have transformed low quality farmland into one of Ohio’s most beautiful and productive forests.”

How’s that for not telling you anything?

After running there, my statement would be “Blue Rock State Forest is a nice little woods, with defined bridle trails and a nice fire tower to visit”.

It was easy to find the red bridle trail, it did parallel the road. About a mile, the bridle trail is then the road, with occasional markers to let me know I was on track.


Consulting my rudimentary ODNR map, I then followed the blue bridle trail. Wet and marshy in spots.  The bridle trail is very exposed, so I was glad the temperature was in the 50’s for me. I followed the blue trail to a road intersection, then climbed up the road for a diversion to the fire tower. Ohio has eighteen fire  towers still standing.

picnic shelter

There is a great picnic shelter at the fire tower, and a primitive restroom.

picnic shelter

Blue Rock State Forest Fire Tower

I then returned to the trail, following the blue trail until it ended. Consulting my map, it appeared I could follow the green trail, then hop back on the road and make my way back. I was on a time constraint to meet back up again with my husband, so I had to kind of watch where I was running. I was keeping track of miles, just in case I needed to turn around and just back track, but I don’t really like “out and back” running if I can  help it.


The bridle trail is pretty wide and exposed. This would be a pretty hot trail in the summertime.


bridle2 I crossed the creek twice here on the green trail.



There is a bit of a climb up to a ridge line. There wasn’t much elevation change a few short climbs here and there.


The green trail ended, and just a few steps down the road was where I  had picked up the blue trail

bridle5 I had a decision to make, go right, down the road, to pick up more bridle trail loops, or make my way back and pick up some road miles? I chose the road miles, which made it 9 miles trail, five road.  Some of the bridle ‘trail’ also is the road.



I would give Trails Day Two a score of “A” for new trails. As for the trails themself, a “B” for running.  Would I go back to Blue Rock to run? Probably not, unless a group or friend wanted to meet and go there. It was still good to find “new trails” to spend the morning outside!