Saturday, July 11, 2009

Powers Island, Cochran Shoals, Sope Creek Trails

After test-running at the shoe store last night my shins/knee were hurting again. I decided that my long run scheduled for today should be on as soft a surface as possible. So I decided to go to Cochran Shoals and extend into Sope Creek trails since the Cochran Shoals loop is only 2.5 miles and I didn't want to run it three times. There are 16 areas that are part of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. When I got there, the CS parking lot was full. So I went next door to the Powers Island parking lot. I saw runners exiting the parking lot and heading into the woods so I figured there must be a trail here too. I had printed out trail maps before I left home and looked at it in the parking lot. There is a trail. So I decided I might as well explore this trail first, after liberally applying insect repellant. The main trail was a few feet wide and well traveled. I noticed the runners exiting about 5-10 minutes after they entered so I doubted it was very long. At one point, a more narrow, but marked trail went off to the right and up a hill. After looking at the map/marker to make sure I wouldn't get lost, I headed up the hill. I cleared a lot of cobwebs as apparently this trail isn't used much. It was a hilly and narrow; I hope I didn't contact any poison ivy! I stopped a few times and took photos, not bothering to stop my watch while doing so. I really enjoyed this scenic natural path! But the trail maps were a bit misleading. It looked as though there was a trail/parking lot access point on the trail that was closest to the water. But as I got to the end of that trail, it was a dead-end with thick vegetation growth all around. So I turned around and went back up to the connecting point and made my way back to the parking lot. My run at Powers Island was about 2 miles. Then I jogged across the Chattahoochee river on the road/bridge to Cochran Shoals. I ran there until I got to the "bike trail" that leads up to the Sope Creek Area. I started up that trail at about 4 miles into my run. it was a steep climb. I alternated walking with jogging. There were a lot of people on bikes zipping past me too. I wound my way through this clay, hilly trail until I looked at my Garmin 405 and thought I should head back to keep my total distance to about 8 miles.

On my way back down the "bike path" from Sope Creek to Chochran Shoals, I hit a root and twisted my ankle and in turn my knee. I heard/felt a light popping in my knee (like cracking your finger knuckles). I've been having knee pain for the past few days but it magically disappeared immediately after this incident. Guess it just needed to relieve pressure through the "pop". My ankle was a little tender afterwards, but I kept going.

I love my new Adidas Supernova shoes! They are so cushiony!!! Trail shoes would have been preferred on the more hilly/rooty areas, but since I'm waiting on my first pair to be delivered, I was pleased with these street shoes.

I hit 8.27 miles very close to the end of the Cochran Shoals trail as it approached the parking lot. I stopped my Garmin and walked back to the car for my cool down period. Although this run took much longer than I could have done 8.27 miles on the street, it was a lot more scenic and refreshing. What a great run!

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