Random Rantings and Ravings from a Slow-Poke Runner in the Heart of the South. (A Weeekly (sort of) Blog about running and just about anything else)

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Lamenting Leaving

Today was my last day in Tennessee as my family and I will head back home in the morning. Consequencly, it's my last time to do any runs on the trails of the IJAMS Nature Center or on the Greenway down Neyland Drive. Unfortunately, we don't enjoy the same provision for the running community in North Mississippi that residents of Knoxville are able to utilize. Although there has been some talk through the years, there is no Greenway and as I mentioned in an eariler post, few running trails. The trails around Knoxville have been great and I also enjoyed a visit to the Knoxville Runner's Market, a running speciality store. We don't have such a store in my area and it was nice to browse and pick up a reasonably priced long-sleeve Adidas running shirt with reflective stripes on the sleeves.

I was able to run three times at IJAMS and completed a four mile run at the Greenway yesterday. Running along Neyland Drive is fun. As a Tennessee Vols fan, its nice to gaze at the football stadium and run alongside the Tennessee River, but running the trails at IJAMS was a real treat.

I ran a total of five miles today but I took my time and enjoyed being out in nature, taking several pictures I would like to share. The trail is basically a mixture of dirt, gravel, or mulch and my new trail shoes seem to handle the terrain terrifically. These first ten miles felt great - the shoes have great support and seem to grip the trail nicely.

After about a 1/2 mile, the trail paralleled an offshoot of the Tennessee river and had a long boardwalk hanging over the water with rock cliffs and caves on the right. I ran a little more gingerly here as the boardwalk was wet and pretty slick, but it was beautiful.

It was quite hilly at times but when it got too steep, I just walked. After about a mile and a half, I came to an old quarry and took some pictures of what looked like a fort but was probably where they did some of their mining. There is a quarry lake there too that reminded me alot of the movie, Breaking Away.

I backtracked the River trail and then went up to the Discover Trails to a beautiful overlook. It was quite hilly here and this was one of the sections I had to do a lot of walking. I explored a little up here, finding an organic garden and one of the nature center's teaching houses. I then went back down and did the river trail loop again.

When I came back to my in-laws, I used the google satellite pedometer and was surprised to find that I had went more than five miles. You see, that is the thing about running trails like these; it is so fun, the miles don't seem as difficult. And that is why I lament so much about leaving.

Now don't get me wrong, I am glad I got to break in my trail shoes on such a great trail. Plus, it really inspired me to run up here for a week. But I am not looking forward to returning home and running the same ol' routes as always. I have been in the running blahs the last few weeks as it is!

However, I do promise myself to visit the trails in my community more often and, who knows, maybe one of these trails will become a favorite for me. I know that trail runners here in Knoxville probably wish they lived out west somewhere as the grass is always greener some where else. So I am going to try to change my attitude and attack the trails in Tupelo!

I will be taking my camera and will publish some info on these trails for anyone who is interested. I don't know if there is anyone in the community other than my brother who regularly reads this blog but if several of us join up together, we may have our own running trails built in Tupelo one day! As ol' Roy would say..."Happy trails to you!"

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