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Sunday, June 22, 2014

Happy Trails

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!


Lisa Isenberger said...

Shaded trails are the best. The path looks easy to run on...all the benefits of a scenic shady trail without the roots and rocks to trip you up. Seems perfect!

nrmrvrk said...

No disrespect meant, I love some trail running, but if you can drive a Prius on it, it's not so much trail running. More like dirt-road running. Sorry. Love the blog, Keep the streak alive!

Carolina John said...

Trail miles are slower, but especially this time of year they are the way to go. NC puts a lot of time and effort into maintaining good trails like that one. and you're absolutely right, it does rock!

Robyn said...

Wake Forest University grad here, though I didn't run trails when I lived there. You've got great access to the NC mountains. I see you found Pilot; be sure to check out Hanging Rock soon too. And Stone Mountain. Here are some trail running resources I found on a quick Google:

One Crazy Penguin said...

I love trail miles, but th etrails by me take forever to get to!

Julie D said...

Gosh, those are some pretty trails. I'm glad you got to experience this change of scenery!