Saturday, January 8, 2011

My Recent Umstead Runs

First off, running isn't easy but I get out there every other day and run/walk 2 to 5 miles, sometimes more. One of my preferred places to run is William B Umstead Park. Its close by, challenging for me and its scenic. I run many loops, Sycamore Loop (3/4 miles based on where I start), a Graylyn to Reedy Creek to Turkey Creek back to Graylyn (8mi), Sals Branch (2.7mi) and a few others. All fun and all present different challenges.

A map:

My runs the last 3 weekends were quite fun. First was my post Christmas run in the snow. I have only been running a year and have not had many chances for snow running. Anyway, I got to try out my YakTrax, they worked great.

Here are a few pix:

Back to the run its self, it was great, the snow was blowing off the trees, there were 2 others on the trail, and the YakTrax kept my feet planted well. My running buddy liked it too, here is a pic of him while waiting on me to get ready. This run ended up being short and fun, 2mi.

On to the New Year, I went on a run around the Sycamore Loop. This loop is pretty easy but does have many roots and rocks to watch out for in a few sections. Being that my normal parking location was blocked off due to weather I parked at the Church on Ebeneezer Rd. Not supposed to, but I did anyway. This run started very flat on Graylyn, but soon I took a right onto the Sycamore Loop. Down a hill I go and my dog (Rocco) picking his own path in front of me. This presents challenges when Rocco takes the other side of the tree...brakes!!! A few switchbacks and a little hill and I'm down by the creek (1mi). Along the creek it is quite flat for the most part and its about a mile until you cross Graylyn (2mi). Time for another pic, taken from a ridge above the creek.

Once across Graylyn it continues for another mile along the creek, crossing it several times. The bridges still had ice from the previous weeks snow. As I come around toward a cut out to N. Turkey Creek I see some runners flying by. I decide to stay on my loop which at this point is all uphill for about 3/4 of a mile till back on Graylyn. Feeling Pretty good and back on a flat open muddy dirt road I pick the pace up and cross the 4mi on my GPS (Nike + GPS App). The run ended up being 4.29mi and I finished with my fastest pace of 9'02". I went slower too as I get tired and walk, also, my dog had a few nature calls and a play time in the creek.

Run number 3 at Umstead was today 1-8-11. It was 39 degrees, shorts weather for sure. I didn't feel that good but still managed 3 miles on an abbreviated Sycamore Loop run. The run started at the Sycamore Loop parking area and then followed the same downhill and run next to the creek and to Graylyn. This time I didn't cross Graylyn, I took a left and went up the Graylyn hill. Being I didn't feel all that hot I walked half of this. Once to the top I brought it home, running the last 3/4 mile back to the truck, done!!! This was the first time this winter I saw more than a runner or 2 on the trail. You would of thought 39 degrees was a beautiful spring day as I saw 10 runners, 8 or 9 walkers and a few cyclist.

Well thats it for this post, I hope to post several times a month this year and actually gain a few followers lol.

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