This morning, after grabbing some breakfast, I drove to the Eno River State park to run on one of its trails. I chose the Cox Mountain Trail.
This trail is located in the western part of the park. It's a loop trail and is about 3.75 miles round trip. If you're looking for a longer run or hike, the park offers a total of 14.2 miles of trails along the Eno River.
There's no cost for parking though there's a fee if you plan on camping in one of their wilderness campsites.
Trail maps are provided by the friendly park rangers. One of the things I noticed about this park is that its trails are both well marked and well maintained. At every intersection there's a brown sign with white lettering and along the trail there are blue blazes. I really enjoyed the run today. The trail was dry and in great shape. One of the neatest things about this park is the pedestrian suspension bridge you cross before hitting the trails.
There's plenty of shade along the trail, but that doesn't mean you won't sweat. I was sopping wet by the time I finished my run. The first part of the Cox Mountain Trail is uphill, while the final part of the trail is mostly flat or downhill.
Of course, it being North Carolina, there were rocks and roots everywhere. Way too many of them for my liking.
I did trip and fall once, but I did it gracefully and ended up in that table top pose from yoga. Have you ever done that?
(Note to self: If you take your mind off of what you're doing for only a split second while trail running, be prepared to suffer the consequences.)
In total, my run was just over 4 miles, but I definitely felt these miles were harder earned than the ones I get when I run on a flat surface. It's runs like today that remind me why I love being outdoors so much: the simplicity of it, the grandeur of it, and the challenging quality of it.
Keep taking risks, friends. Continue to do what makes you uncomfortable. Feel that fear and do it anyway.