Fitness, Georgia

Recap – Sawnee Mountain 4mi Trail Run

A little over a week ago, on July 18th, I did a 4 mile trail run at Sawnee Mountain Preserve here in Cumming! The race was presented by Dirty Spokes, the same group that did the previous race I did at Haw Creek Park. Sawnee Mountain is another awesome place to hike right here in our new town. I use the term “run” loosely, since it was a 2.1 mile hike up the mountain and then 1.9 miles back down! As I’ve mentioned before, being a Florida girl, these hills and mountains (!!) here in Georgia have really thrown me for a loop when signing up for races, but I’m enjoying the (somewhat painful- lol) challenge. This is only my second-ever trail run, so I am still learning my way around these compared to regular old 5k road races.

I had never done a race longer than 5k… actually I hadn’t even run or walked longer than 3.1 miles in a really long time, so I was excited to see how I did at this event. I knew that it was going to take me a while to make my way up the mountain since I heard that the trail was pretty rocky and full of branches… not to mention… the elevation… so I wasn’t aiming for any specific PR – I knew I wouldn’t hit it. I did decide that I wanted to finish the four miles within an hour and fifteen minutes, though.

If it doesn't challenge you, it won't change you
Yeah, this was definitely a challenge.

Well, I was right. Despite stretching out beforehand, it was a hard climb up for me. My muscles were so tight, and I found the first mile to be really tough… after the first mile, I had settled into a groove and started enjoying myself. I took the second mile slowly, since it was quite rocky, but as I came up the eastern side of the mountain, the sunlight was coming down on me, and I really felt very much at peace. I had been in a bit of a strange mood that morning, and at that moment, being outside on the trail was just what I needed!

On the trails!
Running on the trails! Photo captured by H&H Multimedia.

When I got through the second mile, I was definitely feeling it and was so relieved when the course began turning downhill. I really enjoyed jogging down and had fun dodging the rocks and branches. I could hear my Runkeeper app in my earbuds telling me the elapsed time, and I knew that if I was just a little faster, I would meet my goal of finishing before an hour and fifteen minutes. I forced myself to speed up, and I did it – my official time was 1:12:29! I was so, so proud of myself! I have to say, without doing the incline training at Orangetheory the past few weeks, I don’t know if I would have made it!

Map of the Sawnee Trail 4.0 mi race
Map of the trail. It registered 3.85mi on the GPS, but the total distance was actually 4.0mi

Of course, after I finished the 4 miles, I thought to myself, “hey, that was tough, but it wasn’t so bad… I could totally go another 2 miles and do a 10k!”

So… I wonder what will be next up on my plate! 😉

After the race
Red-faced and glad to be done! It was hot out there!

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