I got out to the University of North Florida a little early this morning with the intention of getting a couple or more of my miles in before the JRC group arrived. I only managed to get in one loop on the blue trail or just under 1.4 miles before the group started assembling.
Chris, our group leader, had apparently done a good job of getting the word out this week because the Jacksonville Running Company trail runners grew from 5 last Sunday to 13 this morning. The group left the parking lot for a 3 +/- mile yellow loop and then gathered back at the starting point.
The group size diminished a bit for the 2nd yellow loop but, still, around 10 of the runners got in 6 +/- miles. Since I have the Eagle Creek Trail Half coming up on August 3rd, I felt the need to get a few more miles in so after the 2nd yellow loop I grabbed some water and headed back to the blue loop.
At this point I was feeling some fatigue in my legs. I tried to stretch the distance out by adding a 1 minute walk break every 6 or 7 minutes. When I went through the parking lot after this blue loop I noticed the JRC group had departed. I was just at 8 miles and wanted to get a little more distance in.
When I headed back to the blue loop I told myself that I would have to be careful around the gnarly roots because I knew from past experience that when the legs get tired it is pretty easy to get tripped up and go down. Sure enough, with less than a tenth of a mile to go, my right foot got caught on a root and down I went.
I ended up with a lump below my right elbow and a few scratches on my right shoulder. When I got home I was grateful for the outside shower by the community pool because there is no way I could have gotten into the condo with all that dirt on me.
With 4 more weekends before the Eagle Creek half I hope to increase the distance a mile or so each week for the next 3 weeks and then reduce mileage for the last Sunday run before the event on the 3rd.