Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Track Conditions

Here are the latest area track conditions I've seen if anybody cares
- track is snow covered
- path around track is good, check with TNT crew for wheeled distances
- path along Northern Pkwy has snow
Towson University
- track is plowed, clear and runnable
- not sure about hours
JHU - Eastern (across from Memorial Stadium site)
- lanes 1 and 2 are clear
- new, rubber, bouncy, lights, porta-john, plenty of parking
- probably the best surface around
- no warm indoors
- don't know hours, may need to jump the fence, may be asked to leave
JHU - Homewood
- rubber path around field is clear
- not really a track
- open 24-7

also Lake Montebello is clear. Hope this interests some of you. Please comment any other conditions you would like.


Christy said...

JHU Eastern hours are dawn to dusk. Loyola and Hopkins practice there in the afternoons but seem not to mind others working out there at the same time (or don't mind me at least)

Diane said...

Don't forget the sketchy track! (monument st) It is surprisingly clear. It is bouncy, always "open", and provides ample entertainment.

RM said...

Yeah actually we ran around Monument Ave track (which belongs to Dunbar HS I guess) a few weeks back and it's not that bad. I would, however, recommend only running there in daylight, and not bringing anything that could be stolen.

Goucher College has a nice track and I bet that is open. Catonsville HS or CC may have one, and UMBC has one as well. They are also pretty local.

Turtle said...

Catonsville CC (now known as CCBC) has a track, but they paved it with asphalt a few years ago. I have no idea if it is clear. I doubt it.

The trails at Patapsco, as of Tuesday evening, are covered in cushy snow, including the paved areas. You can forget about PRs or running at a "normal pace". There are many trees down, so the trail has been rerouted in several places, and where the trail hasn't been rerouted, it now has new obstacles to climb over or duck under.

On the positive side, the ice at the stream crossings is extensive enough that I rarely get my feet wet. And, of course, running in the snow is just plain fun.

Christy said...

The Gilman trail is also a sheet of ice, so I discover this afternoon. Ouch.

Turtle said...

Careful on the ice! Some kind of spikes are becoming a necessity for outdoor winter running in Maryland. I have Kahtoola Microspikes. They slip on over your shoes. They are pretty good on ice and icy snow, but if you hit a patch of pavement, it doesn't feel too good. Plus they tend to slip a bit. I would never wear them in a race, I spend too much time stopping to adjust them. New Balance makes a trail shoe that has screw-in spikes, Jim sells them at the store. There are special after-market spikes you can screw into your shoes, and some people just get out the screwgun and go to town on their shoes.
I would wear my old track/XC spikes, but, sadly, they fell apart in a poof of dust when I tried them on! (yes, I'm that old) I might have to pick up a new pair.

Tristram Thomas said...

Just in case you care, since our season ends tomorrow for indoors, McD track has no plans to be cleared soon especially since more snow is coming.

However, all main roads are clear and measured for workouts. And right now the snow is packed down enough that trails are runnable.

Meg said...

Druid Hill is in decent condition. The path around the lake is probably 75% clear at this point. I haven't fallen yet which is somewhat miraculous.

Turtle said...

I ran 13 mi on NCR today. I highly disrecommend it. Lots of hard icy post holes in the shade, mixed with slushy post holes filled with icy cold water in the sunny portions. My friend's dog cut her paw on the ice, so I had to carry a 25lb dog for a a couple miles. At the end, we relaxed for a while, people watching, and most people that started running, came back within a few minutes.
Definitely don't attempt it expecting anything close to a decent pace. I was 2-3 minutes per mile slower then normal. Sucks. And I broke my Khatoola Microspikes.
We should consider having a trail/track conditions page we can keep updated. It would be helpful. I really wish I never went to the NCR today.

Dart said...

NCR is good for 1 run a year, on a nice warm sunny late October with fall foilage in crisp.

Otherwise, it's death

RM said...

Yeah, I second what Jarf said.

I always disrecommend NCR. Me and BG tried to run there once in the winter and it was not runnable. We ended up running on the roads, then had to help a trapped vehicle, then a dog ran with us for a few miles through a neighborhood and then wanted to join us on the dangerous main road. No bueno.

So don't run there unless you absolutely have to.

Turtle said...

Ha! I hope you like my new word, disrecommend.
Thanks for the feedback.
I do half of my long runs on the NCR because my ancient knees don't respond well to running long on pavement. And I can't seem to run fast enough over rugged trails to get proper training benefit. Ie, get faster. Maybe i should just not care how fast the long runs are, and do speedwork and tempo on roads to get faster overall? Sorry if this is not the proper place to ask questions...

RM said...

It is my finding that the nature of NCR Trail is just as hard on my body, if not harder, than running on the road. I understand why people elect to do workouts there, but to me, I feel more beat up after a 5 mile run there than after a 12 mile run at Patapsco.

I think if you're going to race on the roads, it's good to do workouts on them as well!

Seth said...

Gilman track is still mostly snow and doubtful for TNT tomorrow (I ran by @ 5:30PM Monday). It must get a decent amount of shade or something during the day. How, I don't know. Anyways, we do have the path otherwise we'ld need to change locations.

fbg said...

I'll definitely agree that NCR in the winter is often a bad idea, but there are very few better places for quality long runs during warm, dry times.

Once I ran 20 miles there and set practice PRs at every distance 10 miles and above and general PRs at every distance at or above a half marathon. I disagree with Elf in that I think that under good conditions, NCR is not hard on your body, and it is conducive to fast running. Winter has too much snow and ice, though, and it never melts.