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):

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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.

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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.

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Blood Mountain

A nice loop trail up Blood Mountain is to start on Jarrad Gap trail from Lake Winfield Scott, then go on the Appalachian trail and return to the lake via the Slaughter Creek trail.

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Tallulah Gorge

Tallulah Gorge State Park would be fun to go kayaking. But even from the rim it’s very pretty in the fall.

Here’s the Tallulah Gorge South Rim Trail.
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North Rim Trail:
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Trail to Inspiration Point:
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Brasstown Bald Trail

Brasstown Bald is the highest peak in Georgia. There’s a short 0.5 mile hike from the parking lot to the summit which we have done more times than I can count. It has really nice views in the fall.

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