Sunday, August 6, 2017

Trail Long Run #4

So late Friday night the storms rolled across the Charlotte area. When this happens, they often close the Whitewater Center trails. However, come Saturday morning, they were showing all trails open. It must be my lucky day or so I thought.

Long Run number four had a few surprises in store for me. There tumble on the trail. There was a snake out and about. A new section was added to the Thread trail.

Where should I start.

Ok, let's tackle these in the order that they occurred.

First, the new trail section, I am headed out on the Thread trail. I was about to cross the service road when the path a head was blocked. No, I don't mean blocked like a trail fell across the trail. Although, after last night's storms, several trees had fallen cross the trail in different sections. No, in this case, someone had made a big “X” with two trees blocking the path a head. Veering left, they had created a new entrance to a whole new section of the Thread Trail. This was no small addition. I felt like I ran forever before connecting back up with the old trail. A couple of weeks ago, I ran this same course, and didn't hit 16 miles until I was back side on the figure 8 trail. With this new addition, I was well over 16 miles before I even reached the figure 8 trail.

I love the fact that the Whitewater Center crew is always adding new trails. This keeps things interesting. We all know runners love interesting things.

Moving on to my tumble, well with rain last night, there were a few slippery sections. About 17 miles into my run, I was getting tired and probably wasn't paying close enough attention to my footing. Well, I started down this steep slope when my right foot just went right out from under me. I rolled down the hill and on to my side. I immediately popped right up and looked around to see if anyone had seen me. I was more embarrassed than hurt. Brushed off some of the dirt. Did a quick head to toe sanity check and headed off running again. Luckily nothing was hurt. I kind of bounced down the slope and on to soft sandy pile of dirt.

So last item was my snake encounter. I am heading back to the trail head along the Parkway trail, and this guy passes me. He is just head of me when we round this bend and suddenly out of the corner of my eye, I see the huge black snake crossing the trail and heading up the embankment. I don't know. May be he never saw it. If he did, would have been nice to give a fellow running buddy a little heads up. Nothing like being totally surprised by a black streak crossing the path in front of me.

Otherwise, this was just another boring uneventful time in the woods. I will say the fatigue was really starting to set in over those final miles. For the first 9 to 10 miles, I felt pretty good and probably ran a little harder than I should have. I, then, paid for it over the later miles. Most of the time, I always save the easier trails for the end because I know that I am tired. I don't pick up my feet as well so on the easier trails I am less likely to fall. Although, may I proved this wrong by falling on the Thread trail.

With week number 4 for trails in the books, I need to switch up my trails again. Run them in some different combination. Like I said earlier, runners like to keep things interesting.

See you on the trails,

The Cool Down Runner.

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