After spending several weeks with weak lungs (from the bronchitis), and having an inhaler for the first time since I was 16, I had some trepidation about today's adventure in the Chattahoochee National Forest.
An old friend met me near Demorest, GA, and we headed out to do all the trails in the Lake Russell Recreation Area. I was excited to see my friend, but nervous about my lungs' performances, and bummed about the rain. However, my concern about everything evaporated when I pulled up to the trail head, and I remembered why I loved trail running, and how much I had missed it in the last several weeks.
We started on a short trail, Sourwood, which starts climbing soon. I was out of breath quickly, but then the trail flattened out, and I recovered, again, quickly. I had that feeling - was I born to do this - haha. More simply, a feeling of joy flooded over me, and I picked up my pace. Generally, this is how the next 3 hours passed for me. Every time we approached a hill my lungs closed up, but once I summitted, and the trail flattened out or we proceeded down hill, I relaxed and enjoyed the feeling of really using my legs again.
The day included the 3 main trails at Lake Russell: Sourwood, Ladyslipper & the Lake Russell trail. Although I have done more difficult terrain in North Georgia, this area is still one of my favorites. It provides diverse terrain & many miles of good climbing. The trail also passes over many streams & is well marked with green markers on the trees & signs. It is well shaded - good for summer. but, in the winter when the trees are bare - you can see Curahee Mountain, and the views are awesome.
This Sunday provided a good reminder and motivator to continue training for the next adventure - Twisted Ankle Marathon (with some shorter races in between).