With the heat and humidity kicking runner's buts across Charlotte including mine, taking my long run back to the White Water Center trails made perfect sense this morning. About 7:30 AM, I loaded up and headed out.
This week, I needed to change up my usual plans. Instead of going out for one long run before returning to the parking lot, I made loops. Rather I made the 15k loops which composed the course for the White Water Center race coming up in a few weeks.
Getting the terrain laid out in my head means I will likely run little faster on race day. However, today I found other motivation to be a little quicker.
Shortly after turning on the North Main trail, I was cruising along enjoy the morning when my eyes identified something that brought me to a halt.
Setting on edge of trail was nice fat copper head snake warming himself in the morning sunshine. Definitely, snakes are never part of my plans for a trail but occasionally, we do cross paths.
Once I could see he wasn't stressed i.e. looking for a nice lean runner's leg to bite, I gave him a wide berth and continued down the trail. Unfortunately, seeing one snake means that every odd shaped root which catches sun just right looks like a snake. Several miles passed under my feet before my brain stopped this ludicrous behavior.
Nine miles later, I made a quick stop at my car to load up on water and headed off again. I treaded lightly through the snake section but he most have moved on. Having a few Mt. Bikers flash by, he likely decided to find a better spot to work on his tan. He will get no objections from me.
After finishing up a my second loop, I headed over to the gravel path around the white water. With only a couple miles left in my long run, watching rafters seemed like a nice idea. At least this was better than staring at trees.
Looking at the Whiter Water Center now and 5 years ago, they seem like totally different places. They continue to grow and expand. Given the fitness craze that my people are on these days, the White Water Center makes for a ideal place to spend a lazy day for a fitness nut: flat water rafting in the morning, white water rafting in the afternoon, zip lining in the evening. If the mood hits, there also are plenty of trails and obstacles course to enjoy.
Definitely, they have a great place to get in a full day of fun and cool workout to boot. So check it out.
The Cool Down Runner