Sunday, February 17, 2013
New Upper Yahara River Trail in Deforest/Windsor
I finally had a chance to try out the new Upper Yahara River Trail in Deforest/Windsor (HERE). For Madison-area runners, this is a great escape from residential neighborhood running or your usual trails. I'm a big fan of the Glacial Drumlin State Trail in Cottage Grove, but sometimes feel that by the time I drive twenty minutes in each direction, that I could have gotten in an additional four miles and time with my family.
This was a twelve minute drive from my front door.
With the exception of a few finishing touches, construction on the Upper Yahara River Trail is complete! Trail users will enjoy 2.84 miles (one way) of 10' wide porous asphalt and boardwalk trail. Parking stalls are available at the trail head on Windsor Road.
Please note that there are no restrooms or drinking fountainsn at the trail head on Windsor Road. Though, I was told that they do have portable restrooms available in the warmer months. Plan ahead!
I met my lunchtime running buddy, Michelle, for a non-workday run, planned at 8:15 am on a Friday morning. She brought along a friend and we immediately sparked up conversation about running, kids, work - the usual stuff. The weather was in the upper 20's and the sun was shining. I felt great. The plan was to run one loop of the trail - around five miles.
I was immediately impressed by the boardwalks, paved path and how clear the path was - even in the Wisconsin winter. Some of the other local trails I have ran on were complete ice, mounds of snow and impossible to run on.
This retreat was fairly flat - except for a couple of immense inclines through the woods - that you get to run up in each direction. A great mixture of terrain. I really enjoyed it. The creeks were running and I enjoyed listening to the water run past. There were about a half dozen deer prancing along side us in the distance. It was very very cool to see and I reminded my friends that you don't see that kind of awesomeness sitting on your couch at home.
We turned around in a residential neighborhood, where one of the spokes of the path ended and were at 2.5 miles. We went back the way we came and I continued to enjoy my surroundings.
We got back to the trailhead, in around 50 minutes, ten minute/miles. Not too shabby. We drove down the street to a little bakery and coffee shop. I enjoyed a post-run skim chai. I can't wait to sit outside at that coffee shop this spring and enjoy a coffee outside at one of their tables on the patio. So much to look forward. I love exploring new areas.
Two days later, I got out of bed shortly after my alarm went off at 6am on Sunday morning. If I wasn't planning to meet my friend Dwight, I would've hit snooze. But, I got out of bed in the dark, got on my running gear that I had layed out the night before, had some coffee and breakfast and headed out the door at 6:45. When I pulled out, my car read 13 degrees, then dropped as I backed out of the driveaway. By the time I arrived at the trailhead, it read ZERO degrees. What the heck was I thinking? I pulled up and Dwight was waiting for me, all bundled up.
When we headed out on the trial, within the first few minutes, I could tell that ice was starting to form on my eyeleashes. I could see the sun glistening off of the ice on my eyelashes. It felt weird and was making it hard to see. Dwight reminded me how hard core I was. I guess so. A really good thing I had applied my waterproof mascara this morning. Or, I would've been a mess. And yeah, I'm sure that Dwight cared that I wore my eye makeup this morning. But hey, it's apart of my process.
We saw several more deer a few times out on our adventure this morning. I had doubled up on gloves, because I have been having trouble with my finger tips. I carried my handheld water bottle, but rarely drank from it. I wasn't too thirsty. A few times when I did try taking a sip, I couldn't. The cap was frozen shut, most of the water was frozen and the top wouldn't twist off. No biggie. We ran two loops of the five mile loop - for a total of ten miles. We cut about two minutes off each loop from my pace two days prior.
I would totally recommend that anyone in the Madison or Sun Prairie area take advantage of this trail system. There are several country roads and neighborhoods, that you can connect with to get additional miles in. I can't wait to share it with friends and clients this spring.