With a week that was packed to the gills with stuff, I decided that a change of scenery would be good for the Saturday outdoor run. Having checked the Gwinnett Parks website, Peachtree Ridge Park in Suwanee, Georgia looked to be a prime candidate for this week’s run.
I had a number of annoyances occur on Friday during the day job and a few more after leaving job two last night. Once I finally made it to bed, there was no real sleep, just moments of sleep in between some very bizarre dreams. By the time morning came I was relieved to see daylight and was looking forward to getting to the park. Getting there was quick an easy, traffic was on my side. It was cool out with a bit of dew on the grass, another plus. I thought, this is going to be a good one.
Peachtree Ridge Park has most of the standard features of the larger parks I’ve been to in Gwinnett. The parks website lists the following:
Amenities: ∙ 156 acres ∙ Handicap accessible ball field and playground for children with special needs ∙ Three baseball/softball fields ∙ Football field with lighted walking track ∙ Two soccer fields ∙ Outdoor basketball courts ∙ Playground ∙ Pavilion ∙ Restrooms ∙ 1-mile paved multi-purpose trail
On this morning run I managed to see it all, because I didn’t exactly follow the paved trail.
The paved trail was clean (goose-poop or trash) only the first few fallen leaves of the season were on the ground. I started at a pavilion next to a small playground and followed the curve towards what I thought was the back of the park. What I noticed was how far out some of the brush hovered over the trail, it was clearly in need of some cutting back. I took a trail the left, which made a small loop into a nice wooded area in which there was a small covered picnic area, which was really cute. During my second pass I saw a lady doing what looked to be Tai Chi with another lady and a dog that started yapping as I passed by (the dog was messing with my chi). Following the small loop I made another left and immediately regretted it. There was a steep downhill, on which I “put on brakes” to make sure I didn’t go to fast (yes even I’m fast on a downhill), which followed a manageable climb out. The trail leads to the football field and the walking track which surrounds it, but it’s not really a track. It’s a loop around the football field, paved and marked, like the trail. There was a pee-wee game going on with cheerleaders and everything (didn’t know they had cheerleaders at the little bitty kids games). As I wound my way through I was uncomfortable and it wasn’t just the brush or that hill, which I would have to climb on the way back. There was something urgent pressing… my bladder.
I NEVER have to pee when I’m on a run. Well not never but almost. I’ve probably had to go twice in the last 15 years or so. Well today was that day. I made it around that football field. Ran up that hill that scared me and going up it I’d say it was at least 45 degrees, I mean I was learning forward so far, I felt nearly horizontal. Made it back around to the front near the car and high-tailed it to the restroom…
which was clean had toilet paper and soap, thank GOD! I resumed my run, this time running through a small tunnel instead of the loop and followed the trail, again to the left and a funny thing happened, the trail ended in a parking lot, followed by more parking lots. This was fine because on this portion of the run I got to see a rabbit, the basketball courts, a large playground and the baseball and soccer fields. I made a loop through the parking lots and headed back to the trail. I said to myself, pick your feet up and watch the curb and I did , except all of my body went up. I FELL.
My bracelet flew off and I landed on my tail facing the other direction. A passerby asked if I was alright and handed me my bracelet. I had a small cut scrape on my palm that was bleeding, but otherwise I was fine, a bit heated but fine. I’d planned to run for a certain amount of time, but by then, my mind was made up to run back to the car. I was out of there. Stopping 20 minutes short of my scheduled time for today, I decided to cut my losses.
Peachtree Ridge Park is a great park for families, as there are numerous fields, play areas and open stretches of land that are conducive to play. The trail on the back side near the football field is a BEAST! If you like challenging yourself on steep hills this is a great place to do it. As for me, I’ve been there and done it. I won’t be going back to this park, though it’s fairly close, the experience unfortunately soured me on it.
Until next time see you on the trail! (I promise to remain upright.)
For more information on Peachtree Ridge Park, please visit the Gwinnett County Parks website.