Charlotte Runaround – Little Sugar Creek

After flying to Charlotte, sitting in a windowless conference room for hours, then going out for drinks, I was feeling like jiggling blob in dire need of some movement. Any movement. My resolve to rest was not helped by the fact that Charlotte was having a few days of very mild weather. When we finally exited the conference room last night, it was in the sixties. When I checked my phone on waking, it was still just a few ticks below 50 degrees. How could I pass that up? 

My hamstring had improved. I could feel it if I searched for it, but after two days, it wasn’t tight on every step. Yes, I still had a touch of a sniffle, but it definitely wasn’t in my lungs. I would go for a short run and see how it responded. After a thorough warm up, of course.

And I had time for that thorough warm up, too. I woke early, which is pretty typical, but I forgot how much further east home is and what a difference it makes in the sunrise time. I expected to be out and running by 6:30 or 6:45, at the latest. Nope, still pitch black. I might run in the dark at home, but not on roads and paths that I was barely familiar with on only my second visit to Charlotte. Turns out sunrise was until 7:23 this morning. By ten after, finally couldn’t stay it any longer or do any more dynamic stretching. Hamstring felt good. My runny nose would just have to deal.

My first visit was in August and while I (eventually) found the running path along Little Sugar Creek, the humidity also found me. And had a field day, even at 7 in the morning. I was drenched, without water and called it quits pretty quickly. This time, I found the path without any mishaps (the roads through Charlotte like to randomly change names mid-avenue, or so it appears to me) and didn’t have to deal with the humidity. It proved a much more pleasant run, though I did learn that sub-50 degrees, even only a few ticks, I really require some gloves.

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This time I was staying at a hotel right on the corner of the road I needed, so no confusing east/west or north/south street swaps to throw me off. It was a nice gentle downhill mile to warm up the legs and test the hammy. I ran out of the city center, passing by the Hornets stadium, the courthouse and then under the highway and found the start of the greenway path.

Trees blossoming in February? I am definitely not in Boston anymore.

The only drawback is the lack of dirt trails, it’s all paved, but winds along next to the creek for some nice views and no traffic. Some of the place it’s practically even with the water and there are multiple flood signs.

 

I even got to run across a handsome wooden bridge.

I think the greenway continued on, but I didn’t have unlimited time and jumped off the greenway and followed signs Freedom Park. Sounded promising.

I circled around a large fountain and back past a bandstand, even seeing a sort of random (I didn’t see other stations in the city but maybe I missed them) bike share station.

 

After completing a circuit of the park, I jumped back on the greenway next to the creek and ran back toward the city.

 

I finished my run with a tasty burrito from Seventh St Market.

(link to sträva file – feel free to follow)

Best part, after the breakfast burrito, was the hamstring felt good.

MIKE'S WINDOW