Wildlife on UNF Trails - 11.40 miles - 7-14-2013 - Details
I got out to the UNF shortly after 7 AM this morning, long before the arrival of JRC's trail run group. Since I had a long run planned I wanted to take advantage of the temperatures in the low 70's and get my run done fairly early in the day. I also wanted to use the Jeff Galloway method of regular walk breaks to help me increase my distance.
I ran 4 laps of the yellow to brown to green loop which took me from the parking area to the western edge of the trail system where there is a lake that I was told is called Surprise lake. When I ran this loop after work on Thursday I saw a couple turtles munching on grass at the side of the trail near this lake.
On the 2nd lap this morning, at the north side of Lake Oneida I heard a large plop into the water as I ran by near the edge of the lake. This was either a very big turtle or quite possibly a good sized gator. I was happy to be traveling in the opposite direction of whatever decided to jump in the lake.
After 2 laps I took a long enough break to towel off, go to the bathroom and refill both of my water bottles. Then off to the south end of the parking lot and back to the trails. I ran the yellow section of trail, made the left turn onto the brown section and after a short distance came across two deer munching on greens at the trail's edge. They both moved a few feet into the woods and I ran right by. I finished the 3rd lap and saw that Chris and the group from JRC was assembling in the parking lot as I ran through headed for my 4th and final lap.
I felt pretty strong on the 4th lap even though I knew I was fatigued. This lap was pretty uneventful until I got back to the area where I had heard the large plop earlier. This time, I heard something scurry back into the woods when my left foot landed near the vegetation line at the side of the trail.
At this point I feel pretty ready for the Eagle Creek Trail Half Marathon on August 3rd. I have been planning another long run next Sunday and then something shorter the last Sunday in July. I will wait and see how I feel next weekend before deciding what distance to run.