Sunday, November 20, 2011

New Trails

Woke up at 4:40 a.m. on Saturday, let Sammy out and noticed that it was raining, but fortunately it stopped the by the next time I was outside.

Met Keith and Greg at Longleaf and we headed up Starkey Blvd, then we ran to Diane's house for a quick stop before continuing into Starkey Park.  We planned to keep a pace around 8:45, but it ended up being 9:10.  At one point I asked if it was too slow for them, but they said no.  It was fine with me since I was planning on trying for 22-24 miles today.

We got into the park and ran on the paved bike trail for a bit.  Not long before we split up, Keith had turned back and said, "hey, look a rainbow!" (looked much nicer, but it's the best I could do with an iPhone)

Just before the power lines I stopped to top off my water, then was on my own. Turned left at the power lines and headed north.

It was a beautiful run, nice weather,  peaceful, new scenery and lots of wildlife (but nothing dangerous).
I soon found a nice shaded dirt road which I was pretty sure headed to the park I was trying to get to

 Got to SR 52 and the official park entrance.

Also, across the road, there was a Publix which could come in handy if I'm ever low on gatorade or something:

ran through the park up, stopping briefly to look at a map

there before heading back.  The trail signs I had seen on the way up now made sense to me.  It's funny how things are like that, how the details don't make as much sense until you've seen the big picture

The run back was just as good as the run up.  Better in some ways since I knew exactly where I was going so I could better take in the scenery around me.  I saw more birds, and more deer and was also grateful that it was a north/south route, so the trees to the left of me made a nice block to the rising morning sun.

So, I ended up with a little extra, beyond the 22-24 miles that I had hoped for, but with the slower paced 9 miles at the start figured I should be ok.  But, it was all worth it since I was able to see some place new.  It was almost like being in another world for the 12 miles on the trail north and then back to the usual and familiar paved bike path.

After the run, stopped by the Striders area where Karen and David offered me a muscle milk (thanks!) and was able to get a ride back to Longleaf (thanks Denise!). Also, thanks go to Jenny 's parents for taking Thomas to bowling so I could go a little extra this morning. I'll find out tomorrow if I ran this too fast or too far, hopefully not!
(I'm going to cut back a bit on miles next week)

Oh, and here is a very shaky video I took while running on the way back:


  1. I agree with you, Mark, in many things, the details don't make as much sense until you've seen the big picture.
    Sounds like you had a really enjoyable run!

  2. I'm sure that Starkey Park is a beautiful place to run! It's easy to see that you had a pleasant run through that wild environment, although the weather was rainy ... but how can you wake up early on Saturday? :) At 04:40 a.m.!!! :)
    I sometimes try to run through natural reserves. I love those kind of running path because you can enjoy the lanscape while you're running.

    Thanks for comment my blog, Mark!
    Have nice runs!

  3. @Amy - thanks, it was quite an experience and worked out very well.

    @Giorgio - thanks for coming by to visit! For some reason it was easy to wake up that morning - many times it is not so easy. I am trying to spend as much time as I can on the trails but necessity usually keeps me on the roads.

  4. Loved all the pictures. I generally don't take the time to stop. I need to stop focusing on time.

  5. I don't always have my phone with me but if I do I try to get a picture here and there especially on a big long run. I don't like to stop a lot but some here and there doesn't hurt.