Saturday, December 23, 2006

Al Buehler Trail - Duke Forest

A rock displaying Buehler's accomplishments

Al Buehler Trail

Wanting to get away from the Fort Bragg/Fayetteville area and have a change of running scenery, I decided to drive to Durham to run in the Duke Forest. The Duke Forest comprises of 7900 acres of land and lies adjacent to the Duke University campus. There are many different trails in the forest that are not only good for running but also for hiking, horseback riding, and biking.

I chose to run the Al Buehler Trail. The trail is named after Al Buehler, former head coach of Duke University's men's track & field and cross country team for 45 years. The trail, used by Duke varisty runners and weekend warriors, consists of a 3-mile loop around the Washington Duke Golf Course and a 1-mile fitness trail added on. After completing the 4 miles just under 27 minutes (26:51), I was making my way around the trail for a 2nd time. That's until I saw another trail that went off course. I took this trail, called "Old Footpath Trail", and just kept running. I was feeling great running steady at 6:30 - 6:45 pace. At about 2.5 miles out, I decided to turn around and head back to the trail head. I'm not sure how much longer the trail went. When I got back to the trail head I asked this runner who looked competitive how far the trails go. He said that you can put in 15+ miles without overlapping. I'm sure I'll be back here some time to put in the miles.

I must say that I could not be happier with the way my recovery is going. I'm beginning to think that my fitness is carrying over perfectly to the next training cycle. This was the situation after last year's Marine Corps Marathon. Recovery after MCM went very well that I was back running key workouts 3 weeks after the marathon. I eventually doubled up my fall fitness into a great marathon training cycle, in which I ran a PR at Austin.

Today's run: 59:48 (9M - 6:39 pace)


Mike said...

Sweet-looking trails out there Wayne. You really are recovering well too.

Anonymous said...

I run the Al Buehler trail at least 2 times per week. It is awesome. Glad you ahd a good run.