For years, I've wanted a taste of trail running, but South Florida is sadly lacking in trails. Over the years, though, I've had brief chances to trail run while on vacation in MN or CO, and since moving to NC, I've been anticipating trail opportunities.
There are many trail options here, but not all of them convenient, or some that are a little rough for my limited experience. But, since moving here, I've read and heard about running at Salem Lake where a well-groomed trail circles the lake for a 7 mile loop and connects with a nearby greenway for an additional 5 miles.
So, today was the day I finally got out there, and it did not disappoint.
The trail is nice and wide and groomed (or, with the constant foot and bike traffic, just well-worn); it's also shady and cool with lots of trees and the breeze off the lake, which is a welcome relief as it's been hot here lately.
It's also quite scenic with views of the lake throughout the trail.
The terrain, while "easy" for a trail, was a little more challenging for me (since I'm accustomed to flat asphalt), but I enjoyed the various grades, turns, and slightly "rough" ground to run. The variation was a welcome difference to the running I'm used to.
That did mean my miles were at a slower than average pace, but I didn't care. I just hope to get back out there as much as possible to enjoy the trail and to get more competent on it.
This is the face of a happy runner:
In the end, I did a little extra beyond the 7 mile loop and ended up with 7.7, but it felt great, and I know I'm gonna be thinking about that trail until I get to return to it!