Training Log - Tuesday, November 23, 2010 (Sunrise, Florida)

11/23/2010 06:30:00 PM

A few questions came to mind during today's training run. Is it too late to duck once you hear a gunshot? How fast are alligators? And do they eat German meat? While I won't be answering these questions, my training log will explain why I am asking them;-)

First of all, a big thank you to Mike Giacobbe, the manager at the local running shop Runner's Depot in Sunrise, Florida. He was kind enough to point out a great spot for a run after I unsuccessfully scoured the internet for a decent trail run while on business in Sunrise. Proof again that local running shops are a great resource for local running information and not just the latest gear.

Mike recommended a fire trail (dam) along the edge of the Everglades Wildlife Management Area accessible through the Markham Park in Sunrise. The section of trail that I ran on started at Everglades Parkway, also known as Alligator Alley. That name was the reason for my concern related to alligators, especially when a rather large animal scurried away from the trail very quickly and back towards the swamp. While I couldn't tell exactly what this creature was, it was moving lots of branches and groundcover suggezsting it was rather large. It was doing this at a speed much...much faster than I was running which was the basis for my concern. Whatever it was, I wasnt going to outrun it. Reminder to self, do NOT do pickups early in a training run, especially when there is a chance you have to outrun a large animal late in your run;-)

While Mike didn't mention alligators, he did say that I should not be alarmed when hearing gunshots during my run. Aparently, Markham Park also is the site of an open air shooting range. So when I did hear gunfire, I did not drop and crawl as my eight years of military service had taught me. Instead, my mind started wandering...wondering if a stray bullet could somehow find its way through the thick forest separating the trail I was on from the shooting range. The mind is a funny things, especially when you are out on a run by yourself with nothing else to do except enjoy the scenery and the occassional mind game.

About 3 miles into my run, I realized that the sun was slowly going down and that while there probably weren't any alligators anywhere near the trail I was on, I didn't really want to find out for sure in the dark in an area unfamiliar to me. So I opted to turn around for an even 6 miles for the day. During the return leg of this nice out & back run, I noticed how quickly the sun went down. By the time I reached the end of the fire trail about half a mile from my car, the sun was gone. That's what I call perfect timing;-)

The scenery on this run was quite beautiful, the swamp of the Everglades on one side and a water canal on the other side of the fire dam I was running on. While I was trying to keep my tempo up just a little more than in recent runs, I did take the time to take some nice pictures of my surroundings. Hopefully, they will convey some of the beauty swamps can provide. I enjoyed the silence around me...aside from the occasional gunshot...or the scream inside my head when I thought I was about to make the acquaintance of an alligator.
Pictures to follow...

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