Rolling hills, plenty of shade, wooded view

Ahhhhhhhh, gotta love that cool ocean breeze.

No, I’m not at the ocean — not for another three weeks. But the temps in Indy have dropped about 20 degrees since the Killer Heat Wave last weekend, making my run this morning a joy and a relief. The breezes felt like they just blew in off the Atlantic.

I ran 12 miles on rolling trails at Fort Ben Harrison.  My legs had lots of bounce, even on long uphills with tricky footing. The woods were shady, cool and quiet. I was in heaven.

This is one of the tamer sections of the Lawrence Creek Trail: no sand, no mud, no loose rocks. But my legs started to feel the hills after about 10 miles.

I ran laps on the Lawrence Creek Trail, a woodsy, laid-back trail loop that has lots of variety.

One minute, you’re running on hard-packed dirt. A minute later, the surface changes to loose stones. Then a short stretch of sand. Then an area that is always, always muddy. Then back to hard dirt. Then up a gravel-covered hill. Then a series of rollers, etc. etc.

In other words, it keeps you on your toes, in more ways than one.  Glance at your watch at the wrong time, and you will do a face plant. But keep your eyes on the trail ahead of you and the surrounding woods, and you will enjoy every step.

Speaking of watches, I remembered to wear mine this morning (unlike Saturday), so I was able to time my laps on this loop. My average time around was about 13 minutes, leading me to conclude that this loop is only 1.5 mile around, not 2 miles, as I previously thought.

That might sound like a short distance, but it’s a challenging in its own way — neither a flat towpath that would bore me to tears nor a super-steep switchback that would slow me to a power walk.

So in total, I ran an honest 12 miles, requiring concentration and effort. 

I felt strong throughout and even though my legs started to feel the hills after about 10 miles, I could have run several more loops with no problem. I just ran out of time.

I also alternated the direction after nearly every lap, to keep the run interesting. I wasn’t running for speed, but I kept a nice, strong trot, and kept track of all the loop splits, just to see how consistently I was running.

Here are my times (and directions) on the path:

Lap 1 — 13:31 (counterclockwise)

Lap 2 — 12:49 (clockwise)

Lap 3 — 12:50 (counterclockwise)

Lap 4 — 12:37 (clockwise)

Lap 5 — 12:38 (clockwise)

Lap 6 — 13:04 (counterclockwise)

Lap 7 — 12:46 (clockwise)

Lap 8 — 12:46 (counterclockwise)

Total time: 1:43:05.

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