I was in Farmville Tuesday through Thursday this week for work. Last year, I got to run at the High Bridge Trail State Park while I was in Farmville. I was hoping to be able to do the same this time, and get in three runs while out of town. But the weather had other ideas.
The High Bridge Trail State Park is a 31 mile long trail of crushed limestone that used to be a rail bed. The trail gets it’s namesake from the High Bridge, which sits 125 feet above the Appomattox River and is nearly half a mile long (2,400 feet). It’s actually the longest recreational bridge in Virginia and one of the longest in the country. (source)
I got to run across the High Bridge last year when I was in Farmville. It’s really something to see!
When I rolled into town on Tuesday evening, it was pouring so hard you couldn’t see six inches in front of your face. I knew a run on the trail wasn’t going to happen. The rain continued the next day, with some thunderstorms sprinkled in. When I finished up my workday in the evening it was raining hard and hailing at times. There were also tornado warnings and numerous cloud to ground lightning strikes in the area (including one in an open field that I was parked next to during the day that made my hair stand on end!). Obviously a run outside was not going to happen again. My prospects for getting to run on the High Bridge Trail were not looking good.
The rain finally relented Wednesday night, and I got to run on the High Bridge Trail yesterday morning before work! It was in the low 60’s, but it was so humid I was as sweaty as if it were 100 degrees outside.
I got in an easy four miles while enjoying the sunrise and watching Farmville wake up. I think the three days of rest must have done my legs good, because they felt recovered from Blue Ridge.
I didn’t run to the High Bridge this time, though. The bridge is a little ways away from town, and I felt safer staying on the part of the trail close to town since it was early. During my run I saw some pretty crazy flooding from all the rain they got in the area on Tuesday and Wednesday. Check this out:
That was one of my views from the trail. The water level of the river was up so high it was nearly up to the main road through town. I’m not sure what the river normally looks like, but you could tell by the trees that the water was much higher than usual.
There were some sections where the agricultural fences were under water. The picture of the gate below shows how deep the water was here.
The trail had a view of this road for at least half a mile, and as I ran I saw a car driving down the road towards the washed out section. Luckily, when they got to the flooded part of the road they stopped and turned around. Smart decision. Then on my way back into town, I saw another car (it looked like a Ford Taurus) approach the flooded area. They came to a stop and I thought they were going to turn around, too. Then I heard their engine rev and they floored it and drove straight into the water! I didn’t get a picture, because there were a lot of trees between where I was on the trail and the road below, but the road looked like this.
I stopped to watch, hoping that they’d make it through safely. The water was rushing swiftly, and it was up over their wheels. They did make it through by the skin of their teeth. The car was barely moving when they got to the other side. I would have been sprinting back to town to call 911 otherwise! The rest of my run was free of anymore crazy drivers, and I arrived back in town feeling refreshed. Morning runs just feel so good.
I’m glad I was able to at least get one run in on the trail while I was there. Tomorrow morning I’m running the Trail Nut 10K (my second trail race!) in Bedford. After all the rain we had earlier this week, I’m wondering what the trails are going to be like. Maybe they will have dried out by now?
If not, I guess the race logo will be very fitting!
What kind of weather did you have this week?
Have you been able to stick to your workout plan for the week?