Went back to Percy Warner Park on Tuesday after work instead of doing speedwork. Haven't been back since the HHFM (Flying Monkey Marathon)It was a two fold mission, get some hills and to see if running the HHFM again would be doable. Not that I could get in, the race has already filled for this year. Just need some redemption from last years race. I still believe a 3:30 is obtainable. Jeez, I averaged 8:14 pace in the rain on this trip.
I started from the stone gates on Belle Meade Boulevard to a light drizzle and started the climb up 9 mile hill. Easy to see why I was seduced into walking it during last years race. Just as much oxygen debt as a speed workout, only the interval must be a mile and a half long till the top of Luke Lea. Couple little chances to catch your breath on the way up, but they don't last very long.
One good thing about the rain, other than it would help to cool things off from maybe the upper 80's to low 70's, would be the absence of bikers. Wrongo, guess because it was a weeknight, loads of bikes. Seeing as how I was running against traffic, salmon, I could see the bikes coming for the most part. This was a big advantage. Only problem is all of the blind curves and the fact that the bikes like to take up the entire road. I tried to stay to the right side of the road, but still had to jump off the pavement into the ditch on one occasion or get creamed by a biker. Ok, I love to ride my bike, and I've even ridden in PWP once in the rain. Still, bikes and runners, walkers, dogs, lovers, and cars are all just alittle to much for that park.
Still love PWP, favorite place in middle Tennessee for a run. You seem completely isolated from everything, yet turn the corner and meet a group of runners, bikers or walkers. Not just on the road either. The trails run parallel and crisscross the 11.2 main drive almost for its entire route. Except for maybe over by the golf course or Iroquis steeplechase and that's a different environment from the rest of the route. Wide open, about the only places on the drive where the sun actually hits the road.
Don't know if it was the constant rain, but only saw a few birds. American gold finches are my favorite, but the turkeys are always kinda cool as well. Did see just one deer the entire time, until my cooldown when they were starting to come down into the field by the stone gates. Almost bumped into the one deer on the run. Thought to myself that is one big ass dog, wasn't until it moved that I realized it was a deer. Plus, the musky smell was probably what woke me up.