Monday, June 08, 2009

Alligators and other hazzards

As soon as I pull up to my new favorite dirt road near the blackhawk heliport, a car pulls up behind me. A gray, unmarked car. At first, I think that I may have running company on the road and I'm disappointed. Well, I became even more disappointed because they were actually military police. Damn.

There were two of them and they were really nice. They asked me if I was okay (probably assuming I might be having car problems). I answered that I was going out for a run on this dirt road.

They let me know that it was unauthorized and I would need to run in a designated area. *sigh* He broke it down for me that this road is a bow hunting ground and for my safety, I couldn't do it. *true*

We talked for a little bit about where the designated areas on base are located. One being the Beaver Lake Trail that is nice, but so short and paved. The other as Parcours Lake trail. I exclaim, "The one with alligators?!" "Yeap."
See, now to me, being an accidental bow hunting target seems less likely than running around alligator territory. But what does a civilian know?
He also noted that I could run along any road, but that I'd need to remove my headphones. *ugh!*

After they took off I decided to drive around a bit and think about it. Running along any road is going to be bad idea because it's already really sunny and really hot.

I decided to go to Parcours Lake. I ran this one time last year and just remember it being really short and really technical. Technical where it goes to single track and even then, half of the path has fallen down a ravine 35 feet. Or the path is broken up and caved due to tree roots that are actually probably still holding the other half of the path in place. The path winds so much its difficult to know which way to go. Even though it's used as an ARMY obstacle course, and signs are everywhere, unless you find the start they are useless. You'll run past Obstacle 3A to just run into Obstacle 16A seconds later. The other challenge is the rolling hills which wind down to the lake area and raise my blood pressure thinking about alligators.

After starting off with the blocked staircase that pretty much takes you to the top of the "hill" you then go into the forest area. This section which I think might be called "B Trail" is really short but winds quite a bit. I have no idea how long it is but guessing I would say a mile. It's a mile that kicks your glutes into high gear as you use your stabilizing muscles and push off uneven ground and climb tons of short hills.

Coming out of the forest I ran into another runner across the street coming out of the woods. I found out from him that the trail actually continues on another mile or more. SWEET! I had no idea when I ran it last time that there was so much more trail. This section which I think is "A Trail" was much flatter and the dirt path compacted and easier to traverse. I really flew this part of the trail.

Something interesting about this trail are the 1950s physical fitness signs. "Exercises" like the "toe touch" just seem so silly now. But there were harder ones like the swinging rings and the pull up bar. I tried to do a pull up and ... yeah,.... nope.

Anyway, it turned out to be a really fun run. Really different and technical - kept my mind busy. It was also fun getting a little lost and not really knowing how far it would be or where it would end. I just really had to go on how I felt and turn around when I started to feel tired.
I got back to my car and saw that I'd been gone almost an hour. So, based on my running I would guess I ran 4 miles of very technical trail. I felt tired, but mostly due to the heat as it was about noon. My legs were shot though. After 8 miles on Saturday, they weren't completely recovered. I went out on tired legs and had only planned on an easy jog on the dirt road when I came out today. So, doing 4 hard miles was unexpected but really great.

1 comment:

  1. I love this post! So glad you had a nice run! I am jealous of all your nice pics!!!