I had heard recently that the nearby University of North Florida had a good trail system for running and finally got around to printing out a campus map on Friday that I could take to JRC to find the location of the trail head and parking. When I stopped into Jacksonville Running Company on my way home from work I found out that in addition to the road running group runs at 7:30 on Sunday mornings, a trail running group hits the UNF trails at 8:00 AM. With the Eagle Creek Half coming up on August 3rd I really need to spend some time on the trails the next 4 weeks so this gathering was perfect for me.
When I got to parking lot #100 I found that the group consisted of Chris, the leader, three young ladies from the university and me. I will refrain from calling any of the others inexperienced but lets just say I have decades more life experience than any others in the group. Still, with all this experience, I had to "borrow" some bug spray from one of the young ladies. What was I thinking? I'm going to run in a swamp and I forget the bug spray.
I really enjoyed the UNF trails. Mostly single track with some gnarly roots and a few stream crossings. There are rest rooms and a water fountain in the parking lot and a pretty fair number of trail users. The bugs were pretty thick. Every time I rubbed my hand down the back of my head I knocked off 2 or 3 flies or horse flies. When I was driving home I looked down and saw a little white wormy thing crawling on my shorts. Note to self. Don't forget bug spray.
I actually ran a 5 miler and was going to call it quits for the day so I said that if I had another gel I would keep going but I had only brought one and had used it already. Chris, ever helpful, reached in his bag and said, here, I have an extra gel. He handed me a Huma Chia Energy Gel and explained they are made in the US and are only available at Jacksonville Running Company. Just when I was going to say, I don't want to take your last one, he pulled out another for one of the ladies.
After I consumed the energy gel, I walked to the water fountain and filled my bottles. I wished the group well and headed back to the swamp. I will try to insert links to the Garmin Details page for the 2 runs next.The first run was the 5 mile loop and then after a short break and a Chia energy gel I ran the 1.3 mile loop around the lake.
You might notice that I have added an event to the future events list on the right sidebar. Yesterday I signed up for the 26.2 with Donna - National Marathon to End Breast Cancer on February 23rd, 2014. I plan to train with a local Jeff Galloway training group which starts on July 13th. I am almost finished reading Jeff's Running until you are 100 and am very intrigued by his Run - Walk - Run method. At this stage of life, I am interested in staying in the game as long as possible and I think Jeff's system may be just the ticket.
OK, that is enough out of me.