Big Creek Greenway Bike Ride

Last week, I went bike riding on the Big Creek Greenway. I rode about 20 easy, flat miles.

I tried out my new Garmin Oregon 450 which I mounted on my bicycle using the Garmin bike mount.

Here is the Big Creek Greenway Bike Ride Garmin Adventure. Unfortunately, I don’t know if it’s possible to embed that map here.

Jingle Jog

Last weekend, I ran the Jingle Jog 5K. This was an exciting event because Amber, Michelle and I were all participating.

I ran this 5km race at Michelle’s pace, who did very well.

Here’s a map of the route, along with elevation, my heart rate and speed graphs.

According to the official results, my chip time was 39:40 and gun time was 43:44. I finished 1,440th out 2,133 participants, 576th out of 758 men and 70th out of 92 among men aged 40-44.

More importantly, Michelle finished in 39:40 which was faster than she had been running with me before the race. She was 1,438th among all (2,133) participants, 867th among 1,375 women/girls and 50th among 81 girls aged 0-9.

It seems like more women run than men. There were a few more women than men in the Gobble Jog and in the Jingle Jog, women outnumbered men almost 2:1.

Raven Cliff Falls

Raven Cliff Falls are beautiful falls located near Helen, GA.

Raven Cliff Falls Trail

Some photos:

Cohutta Wilderness

Getting to Cohutta Wilderness is not easy as you have to drive for more than 20 miles on unpaved roads and then there’s the issue of arranging cars so you can do a point-to-point hike. On the other hand, Lake Conasauga campground is beautiful and Cohutta Wilderness has a number of great hikes.

We took Tearbritches trail to Bray Field, then followed the Conasauga River trail and finally the Hickory Creek trail for a total of 6.45 miles.

The next day, we did a short hike near the campground.

And here are some photos.

Gobble Jog 5K

After years of running for a while and then quitting because running is hard, this summer I decided to try again.

In June, I started using the 9-week couch-to-5K program with the Get Running iPhone app. Since it was summer in HOTlanta, I did all my running/walking on a treadmill at the gym. But I stuck with it and by the end of August, I was able to run 3 miles without any walking breaks, even though I was slow.

Then the question arose: What’s next? The truth is running on a treadmill is incredibly boring and with the couch-to-5K program finished, I didn’t have any goals. I figured the best option would be to train for a 10K race in spring of 2013.

A friend was nice enough to make a training plan for me and help me choose races. I decided to do a few 5K races first. Also, it was time, with fall approaching, to start running outdoors.

At first, running outdoors was much harder than on a treadmill. You have to pace yourself instead of the machine doing it for you. And in my area of northern Atlanta suburbs, there are a lot of rolling hills.

On Thanksgiving morning, I ran my first 5K race, the Gobble Jog in Marietta, wearing my Wahoo Blue HR strap and recording the run using the Wahoo Fitness app.

Here’s the map of the race along with some data (I started the recording a little after the start line):

I found running in a race to be a lot more exhilarating than running by myself. It was a lot of fun to pass other runners. That’s how I ended up with my fastest 5K time ever.

According to official Gobble Jog results, my chip time for the 5K race was 31:46.01 and the gun time was 32:33.80. I placed 576/1027 among men and 54/101 in my division (men 40-44) [Of course the ranking is based on gun time.]

I don’t know what the cool kids do about keeping a record of their race times, but I have started a spreadsheet with my race results.

I have another 5K race coming in a week!

Bear Hair Gap Trail

The Bear hair Gap Trail starts in Vogel State Park and takes you to the Blood Mountain Wilderness.

Do go on the half-mile spur trail for a nice view of the lake.

Three Forks Loop

This loop trail requires driving on Forest Service Road 42 for a while to get to the trailhead, but the unpaved road is in good condition and the Appalachian trail is always busy.

Basically, the loop consists of sections of the Appalachian and Benton MacKaye trails which crisscross each other a couple of times in this area around Rich Mountain.