Or alternately titled... Hammer Time.
As suspected, when the alarm went off Saturday morning to meet with my group, I decided to go with Plan B which was running on my own later in the day. Around 9:45 or so I arrived at Stone Mountain for the 5-mile loop. Stone Mountain has some serious hills so it can be a mental challenge if you aren't fully motivated to run (which I was not). I brought my camera along to entertain myself.
This is my starting point. Check out the heart rate (59). I must have still been half asleep. Oh, and I am not sure why my hand looks like a Shar-pei puppy.
I decided to go around the back side of the mountain first. There were quite a few runners, mostly walkers and a few bikers out there Saturday morning but it is still peaceful. I opted to go without my I-pod this time. My Dad always tells me he gets lost in his thoughs and it helps the miles tick by. Before today, I always thought... ummm right. I think I need some thoughts pumped in my head via the I-pod but, he was right, it really wasn't bad.
A scene from the backside of Stone Mountain. They have traffic diverted in the back so the cars only go one way. The other lane is running and biking. I also saw a roller blader out there which is unusual.
I made a pit stop along the way to take a picture of the "big rock". No, not THE big rock as in Stone Mountain but the big rock that I spent many hours playing on as a kid. It earned its name because it was soooo huge. Well, that is the way I remember it. Today, it is kind of comical because it seems so small. For benefit of family and friends who know the rock of which I speak, here it is:
Here it is again from another angle in case it didn't look big enough in the first photo. I took a picture of myself in front of the rock to give it scale but I am not a pretty runner. I opted not to post it; I have my pride.
By the time you get to the "big rock" you are almost on the front side of the mountain where all the attractions are located. As I am running towards the Antebellum Mansion I noticed all these tents in the yard area. Apparently, they were having some sort of re-enactment weekend. A park policeman was escorting four confederate soldiers across the street as I ran by. One of them was drinking a coke. I am guessing it isn't a 100% authentic re-enactment. I was a little too slow on the camera to capture that one although here is a shot of the tents. You can somewhat make them out I suppose.
Not long after you pass the mansion, there is a pretty big uphill. All sorts of little mantras generally help from chanting "I think I can" to not looking up and just chugging away until you think you are almost to the top to, well, MC Hammer (I am not proud, I am just telling the story). I do not know why this song popped in my head. I promise you it is not on my I-pod. All the way up this mountain (and oddly again as I am typing) Too Legit to Quit is running through my head. I opted not to break into dance. I made it up that hill because apparently I am .... too legit to quit. Who knew?
The end of 5-miles, back to the car.