Every once in a while I get bored with my run paths and decide to take different loops or see different areas of town. But the problem with changing routine around here is that you inevitably have to cross some alligator habitat or, at the very least, get closer than you’d like to their swampy homes. That’s how I ended up doing my Alligator 1200’s Sunday.
I know I write a lot about alligators but that’s the big thing down here. And after seeing a few of them, it’s on my mind a lot when I head out on soflo trails. I think there’s an inherent risk for trail running anywhere in the country though. There are always animals or snakes or ticks to watch out for. All those super runners who run trails in the pacific northwest are at risk for mountain lion attack or vampires or whatever is out there. Running through certain cities isn’t the safest option either. This is why my favorite run route ever is the Manassas Battlefield because it’s an amazing tour of history, coupled with running through nature and in largely open fields and not far from civilization.
Back to Sunday… there seemed to be a million tourists down here this weekend so I thought it might be a safe time to try the trails since, in theory, there would be a lot of bicyclists out and about and this would protect me from alligators in some way (… according to no study ever). But even though I probably passed 100 bicyclists during my 14 mile run, when I ran through the trail with the alligator signs on it… nobody around for miles! Every time I find myself in this situation I get acutely aware of how far it is til the other side. 1200 meters, give or take. Then I wonder which alligators like more: a fast meal or a slow meal? Would a slow walker get eaten over a sprinter? I opted to run like hell. It wasn’t a sprint session so much as it was “PLEASE DON’T EAT ME MR. ALLIGATOR!!!” mad dash.
The water comes up to one side of the trail and on the other side there are areas of more water or low brush that looks like where an alligator might find cozy. My husband saw the pictures and laughed at the idea an alligator might sleep there. Is he an alligator biologist by trade? Nope folks, he isn’t. So how would he know! I tell you it looks like a cozy alligator bed! I kind of don’t ever want to run through that trail ever again. I think I’m done now. Running is supposed to increase my lifespan.
Runner’s World says running 1200’s is good for speed training. That was the good part of the run. At least I got a couple of good speed workouts on a long run day and I wasn’t even sore afterwards. It makes me feel good about my fitness going into summer marathon training. I just need to find some better routes.