I started a tradition last year of a long run on January 1st. that I hope to be able to continue. Last year I ran 8.6 miles on New Year’s day. It was the longest I had run in a while. This year was not much different. I have been out of commission for several weeks. While I have started running some again, yesterday’s run of 6.something miles was longer than I had run in a while.
This year I rode my bike to a state park that was just under 10 miles from home. When I got to the park I locked up my bike and headed off on a 6.something mile run through the woods and along the beach of Perdido Bay. This is a great place to run with a cleared trail all the way through the park. There are a few places to cut from trail to trail and extend the run. I stayed on the main path and just did an out and back. The path is very soft. Most of the way it is sandy with pine needles covering the sand. You get the softness of the sand, but because you are stepping on the pine needles the sand does not shift under your feet. It seems like a perfect running surface if you are looking for something soft to run on. Probably not very good for speed work.
When I got back to the parking lot I had a text message from a friend saying that he and his family were on their way to the park for a hike. I stuck around and did about 2 miles on the trail with them before jumping on the bike and heading back home. I was not dressed warm enough for a casual walk through the woods.
There were 2 geocaches at this state park that we had grabbed on 2 separate occasions. My friend and I also had taken a guided nature walk and did a 7 mile hike at the park. This was our 4th visit to the park in the last 10 days. Previous to that I had never been to the park before. The state owns 4,000 acres across the street that is also full of trails. I have not ventured over there yet, but it will probably become a favorite place to run.
Happy New Year everyone!