April 2010
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Month April 2010

A few licks of the Triple Loop Scoop

Triple Scoop stickers

I’ve had this nagging on-again, off-again knee injury that keeps resurfacing at the most inappropo times…. such as for Wendy & Mark’s fun run, The Prentice Cooper Triple Loop Scoop. This was to be 2 loops of  the Mullens Cove trail (from the recent River Gorge Race’s 10.2 mile course) and 1 loop of the 6.5mile race course. Fun event, fun people, good snacks, good weather. The only thing missing was my good knee. So as to not miss out on everything, I took a nice hike out to Snoopers Rock (insert a scenic break here) and back. Sure, it was tough to keep it slow on such a gorgeous day (with everything exploding in color!), but I was happy to just be in the woods for a bit.

trail?!

I swear there's a trail thru there

Chillaxin' at Snoopers

1 scoop with lots of pollen sprinkled on top (the shoes really aren't supposed to be that yellow!)

The pancake run

Wekiva River

the headwaters of the Wekiva River

No unfortunately it didn’t involve any fluffy whole wheat blueberry banana crunch goodness, but it did involve nearly flat as a pancake scenic trails winding through thick florida palmettos, pines, oaks & swamps. This was my first visit to Wekiwa Springs State Park, located in Apopka, FL and it did not disappoint, despite the lack of mountainous terrain :) I had the morning free while my sister was at work (I flew into Orlando Thurs and was heading up to Gainesville to celebrate Grandma’s 90th bday), so it was the perfect time to sneak in a run somewhere new.

Wekiva Springs I checked out the springs (the headwaters of the Wekiva River, which pumps out 42 million gallons of water daily) and got some advice from a local runner on a great 8mile route. The ranger station has a pretty good trail map, although not many distances are marked. The trails are easy to follow, with frequent colored paint on trees and numbered posts leading the way. The trail itself was mostly hardpacked, with bits of typical Florida sand on occasion to make you work. One section on a connector jeep road made me wish for more sunscreen, but thankfully it was short and most of the trail was otherwise shady. It was a peaceful run – I didn’t encounter any other people out there, but did happen upon a few deer, 2 snakes, a fat turkey doing some sort of mating song & dance, and endless birds & squirrels. Oh, and something in the palmettos making a very strange clicking sound that made add a little speed interval.

About half way through my knee started acting up again. Soo frustrating! After 10 days of rest (again), I had 2 short runs earlier in the week that made me think all was well; oops, scratch that. Much more of this and my Summer of Running plan may have to be modified…

One thing I forgot was a towel – definitely needed in the hot FL summers (oh wait, it’s just spring – that too!)… and it would have been nice to take a dip in the springs afterwards!

Here’s a mini map of the Wekiwa trails. It doesn’t show a trail that runs NW, connecting the springs to the main trail system, but should get you started.


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