The day was chilly first thing, but partly sunny and ended up being awesome running weather. Here's a pic of T's dog Argos, ready to haul:
He was very focused and "on the job", and seemingly had enough energy to run ahead and lap us.
When I run with others, I tend to concentrate more on the details of the run itself, rather than photography, so it was a light day for the camera. The sky was also hazy, which I've never really been good at using effectively.
These shots are also mostly on the first part of the run, which is uphill. That's because although I may have had the advantage on the uphills, T. has a wicked downhill and I was just keeping up.
We did "the" 8-mile loop counter-clockwise, i.e. Belcher Hill > Shorthorn > Longhorn to the upper lot, Sawmill > Belcher.
Below, T. and Argos run ahead on the front side, after the trail levels off a bit from the initial climb:
The front is currently the only part that had snow, and it's only on the shady stretches on the northeast, most of which are pretty level. There was some mud, but it was limited to a few areas. No spikes were necessary.
The meadow just below the (lower) upper parking lot:
I don't think I'd ever run this park in the morning; I typically run it after work, when the traffic is mostly mountain bikers, some of whom still don't understand "yield" and "pass at the speed of foot traffic". Starting the run at 9:30 AM was better, since the traffic was very light after the first mile, with maybe two bikes, and then basically nothing until we encountered some horses and family groups on the lower trails at the end. A totally different mix than I'm used to. That's something about morning running I didn't appreciate until this winter.
Here are T. and Argos heading down the final stretch:
Total distance for the run was 7.87 miles, time 1:37, and gain/loss 1,526 feet. T. had different totals with another Garmin watch: basically 8 miles. Go figure.
This run is always a good workout, with about 4.5 miles being either rolling or climbing trail, and the rest being all downhill. Zigzagging in and out of the ravines on the front is my favorite part, with good variety and views.
So, the cookies.
Later that day I broke open one of the 3 packs and tried half of one cookie. My diet is predominantly low-carb + microbrew, about 1/2 protein and 1/2 veggies (and a bit of fruit), and if I have sweets I break them into small portions. Anyway, the cookie was great, and I can see why T. calls them "crack cookies". This is the type of thing I have to keep around in moderation (if at all), or I will just eat them all at once. The base is a soft shortbread that is not very sweet, which I actually like a lot. The icing supplies the sweetness. Great stuff. Thanks!