14 January 2013

Lagoon Running

Trail: Lagoon Greenway
Distance: 3.14 miles, including the mini "adventure trail"
Difficulty: Moderate

I didn't feel like getting up at 5am to hit the sidewalks today, so I made the decision to sleep in, then go out and try a new trail around 9:00 this morning.

Big mistake.

First of all, at 9am in Florida the temps are already 75+. Not my favorite temps to run in...a little too hot and buggy, especially on the trail I tried this morning.

There's a new trail that opened up this weekend not too far from the house. It sounded intriguing and beautiful.

Turned out it was beautiful...and buggy and swampy and scared me to death because it was so remote.

The good news is I ran so fast to get out of the lagoon that I ended up clocking a decent run.

The bad news is I looked like a bug bitten, red-faced and sweaty swamp monster when I got done.

Yay me.

Luckily no one was out there to witness this. On the other hand, the whole trail was so eerily deserted that it made me even more paranoid that I was about to be abducted any second. I almost started praying for more joggers to show up.

Hence, the near sprint-like run to get out of there.

Yay for my jogger's mace that makes me feel (a little) safer.

It seriously is a beautiful trail.

Parts are wood-chipped (which almost turned my ankle):

Parts are packed sand (not too bad to run on):

Other parts reminded me of running cross-country back in high school, going through ankle-high grass and wondering where all the snakes are.

Speaking of, there were lots and lots and lots of little swampy marsh areas. While pretty, I couldn't help but think of snakes and alligators and swamp monsters.

Just kidding. Kind of.

The part that really freaked me out was when I came around a bend to a little pond, where I heard the biggest splash and rustle in the trees...and about jumped out of my shoes. I might have even screamed a little.

Seriously. I was so alone out in the wilderness my mind was giving me the worst possible scenarios.

It turned out to be a massive bird leaving the water and flying up into the trees.

Much better than an alligator, but still. Scared the bejeezus out of me. Dang bird.

The trail was nicely marked with signs, and I eventually did get to the stretch of trail that ran along the Indian River.

At the end of the loop, back by the trailhead, there's a little 1/4 mile "adventure trail" that looked fun.

It was full of lizards and spiders.

Once again, yay.

Yes. Lots of tripping hazards.

All in all, it's a nice trail with lots of different surfaces and ecological environments. I just don't think I want to go back out and run it by myself. My mind is in it's own little world all of the time anyway, and I just couldn't handle wondering what was in the lagoon, what was hiding in the grass and if anyone was going to jump out of the mangroves and grab me.

My Garmin calculated a nice heart rate and calorie burn, which I completely contribute to anxiety.

Today I love: Exploring beautiful new trails and not being kidnapped or eaten alive.

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