TROUT CREEK TRAIL

FOR THE LAST TRAIL RUN OF THE SNOW BIRD SEASON IT WAS OFF TO THONOTOSASSA FOR THE TROUT CREEK 15K TROUT CREEK TRAIL RUN.  IT STORMED ALL NIGHT LONG  ON  AND ALL THE WAY TO THE RACE – I WOULD LIKE TO THANK ELLA FOR THE 2 AM-5 AM STORM TERROR ALERT. SLEEPLES IN BRADENTON IS THE NAME OF THAT MOVIE.   THERE WAS THE MAGIC BUBBLE OVER THE RACE SITE- DRY AS A BONE AND SUNNY SKIES.  I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE AN ABSOLUTE MUD PIT.

I WAS STILL FEELING THE HILLS OF ATLANTA FROM LAST WEEK SO THE PLAN WAS TO TAKE IT EASY NOT FALL OR TWIST AN ANKLE. 
THE START WAS AT THE BOTTOM OF A BERM WHICH IS A  FLORIDA TERM FOR A  VERY HIGH MOUNTAIN.   THE 5K WENT RIGHT 15K LEFT AND THE PLAN WAS WHEN THE 15 K FINISHED 10 K THEN DO THE 5K ROUTE. MORE ON THAT LATER.

PATIENCE IS THE BEST PART OF BEING OLD AND SORE.  SETTLING IN AND NOT BEING CONCERNED IS A GREAT RACE AND LIFE LESSON.  ONE CAN ALWAYS PASS UP THE EAGER AND BOLD LATER ON.  JUST ENJOY THE REASON YOU CAME- NATURE AT IT’S BEST- SOUNDS -SIGHTS- SMELLS (AND HOPE THE BAD ONES ARE NOT YOU!).
AFTER WHAT SEEMED LIKE 9 MILES THE WATER STOP CAME FOR 1.1 MILES. THE CUPS WERE THE SIZE OF A THIMBLE BUT IT WAS DELISH AS ALWAYS.  THE NEXT MILES PASSED QUICKLY, THE CROWD THINS SO FAST AND THEN IT FEELS LIKE YOU ARE RUNNING THRU THE WOODS WITH A FRIEND OR TWO. THE FRIEND PART IS IMPORTANT BECAUSE IT IS ALWAYS GOOD TO HAVE SOMEONE IN SIGHT IN FRONT TO REINFORCE THAT YOU HAVE PICKED THE RIGHT PATH.  I CONTINUE TO BE AMAZED THAT THERE ARE SO SO MANY TRAILS IN THESE PARKS. OF COURSE I SPEND TOO MUCH TIME WORRYING ABOUT SPENDING THE REST OF MY DAYS WANDERING AIMLESSLY WITH ONLY A GEL TO EAT FOR PICKING THE WRONG TRAIL TO GO ON.

SO AFTER WHAT FEELS LIKE ENOUGH WE COME TO A PLACE MANY OF US THINK IS THE START AREA. WE HAD BEEN COMING UP AND DOWN ON THE BERM A FEW TIMES, THE BERM WAS NOT THE PLACE TO BE AS THE SUN WAS BEATING DOWN AND THE WOODS FELT SO MUCH COOLER.

A KNUCKLEHEAD WITH A GPS WATCH SAYS I HAVE A LITTLE EXTRA ON MY WATCH FROM WARMING UP BUT WE HAVE “ABOUT” 5K LEFT. GREAT.  I THINK NANCY YOU ARE A ROCK STAR YOU ARE GOING TO CRUSH THIS ROUTE.  WE RUN WHAT FEELS LIKE 10 MORE MILES AND CROSS THE BERM A FEW MORE TIMES AND WE ARE REALLY THINKING THE FINISH IS CLOSE.  THEN WE COME TO THE 7.7 MILE AID STATION OOOPS.  WALK OR NOT WALK ? NO THERE IS A POSSE ON MY HEELS WITH A WOMEN’S VOICE. I WORK HARD TO GET AHEAD OF THE LADIES AS THERE IS A PRIZE FOR THE TOP 25- I WANT THAT COFFEE CUP SO BAD IT HURTS.
THE POSSE SAYS WE ARE CLOSE .4 LEFT WE ARE AT 9: 44 PACE.  WHEN THE POSSE SAYS .3 I  LIGHT THE BURNERS AND PUMP THE ARMS WHICH SEEMS TO HELP NOT TRIP OVER THE ROOTS WHICH ARE DETERMINED TO SNAP YOUR RIGHT FOOT.  DID YOU KNOW ROOTS HAVE SUCH INTELLIGENCE ?
WELL WE HEAR THE FINISH MUSIC AND THE PATH TAKES A CRUEL TURN AWAY FROM THE MUSIC FOR A LONG TIME. I AM REALLY GETTING TIRED AND SWEATING LIKE A PIG. ALSO I AM STARTING THE HAVE MERCY VOCALIZATIONS WHICH IS A BIG CLUE TO ANYONE BEHIND TO PASS AS I AM RIPE FOR THE PICKING.  MY MIND GOES INTO CRAZED ANIMAL MODE- AND THEN PATH  CONTINUES ON THRU THE WOODS, WE CANNOT HEAR THE FINISH ANYMORE. 
THE POSSE IS NOT PASSING AND THE VOICE OF THE POSSE A NICE COACH SOUNDING GUY WHO KEEPS SAYING OUR LEADER (ME) IS DOING A GREAT PACE.  ALL I NOW IS IF THAT WOMEN’S VOICE PASSES ME AND IT’S THE LAST COFFEE CUP I WILL CRY LIKE A 2 YR OLD.

AFTER WHAT FEELS LIKE ANOTHER 3 MILES THE FINISH JUST POPS UP.  THE POSSE  IS AT BAY,  I STAGGER ACROSS AND AN ANGEL LADY HANDS ME THE SECOND TO LAST COFFEE CUP!!!.  I AM SO HAPPY IT FEELS LIKE I COULD BURST.

THEN THE FILL OUT YOUR CARD WHILE YOUR HEART IS BURSTING AND ENJOY BEING DONE AND SEE WHAT CRAZY FOOD THEY HAVE TO OFFER.

THE SCUTTLEBUTT FROM THE GPS FOLKS IS THAT THE RACE WAS WAY OVER 10 MILES- 15 K IS 9.4. AND WE WERE SO  SO  WRONG ABOUT WHEN THE LAST 5 K STARTED. IT JUST SEEMS SO AMUSING NOW. THE MIND’S GREMLINS WILL GIVE YOU A RUN FOR YOUR MONEY EVERY TIME.
THE POSSE AND I ENJOYED SNACK AFTER THE RACE- FETTUCCINE ALFREDO, APPLE COBBLER, STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE CORNBREAD, CAESAR SALAD AND PRETZELS.  HOW ABOUT THAT FOR 10 AM??   LIFE IS LIKE A BOX OF CHOCOLATES !!
DID YOU KNOW THAT TRAIL MARATHONS SERVE M &M’S, GRILLED CHEESE AND COOKIES AND SOUP ?

TWO OF MY FAVORITE PARTS OF THE SNOWBIRD EXPERIENCE HAS BEEN DOING THE TRAIL EVENTS AND GOING TO THE PERFORMANCES IN SARASOTA. VERY UNEXPECTED FAVORITE THINGS.

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