November 19, 2013 at 11:31 am 4 comments

*photo credits for most of the pictures in this post go to my friend michael!

the weekend after mcm i had camping trip plans with a group of trail running friends. year two of this hopefully annual tradition. last year i didn’t quite get to experience things the way i wanted given i was in a boot with a broken foot! but i still went, camped, hiked and hobbled best i could. i knew this year wouldn’t be ideal coming off a marathon but i’d had a small taste of the trails and i couldn’t wait to see what lay further out.

torreya state park is in north florida. a near five hour drive from tampa and a lifetime of difference from what we know here. hills, colors, fall. i wanted as much of the weekend as i could get so friday afternoon i slipped out of the office around 2 p.m. and headed north with a couple others. it was nearing 7 p.m. when we arrived and i took the last of what little lingering light there was to setup my tent before plopping down at the campfire with a strong drink and dinner.

nothing like a campfire surrounded by good friends

nothing like a campfire surrounded by good friends

saturday morning we were up and out semi-early. with the added bonus company of the race director of the torreya challenge we got a lesson in the fauna and flora that abounded in addition to an amazing run. it was hard to believe we were still in florida. the hills and views almost made me feel as though i was up north where i belong!


some opted for extra miles but i kept it easy at eight and headed back to camp for a drink and a shower. but  a few hours later a group of us headed out for run number two at a trail system called the garden of eden. last year i’d walked part of it but i’m not kidding when i say the hills were so steep i had to crawl up them given how inflexible my leg was in the boot. i’d heard the oohs and aahs of what the view was like and it did not disappoint!

holy crap the hills!

holy crap the hills!

garden of eden

the view from garden of eden


i can see why they call it garden of eden

after garden of eden the other type of fun began. there were bourbon slushies sent courtesy of jax even though she didn’t make it this year. barenjager shots. beer and lots of vodka. not to mention the food! i think we could have fed the entire campground!



glow in the dark hula hoop!

glow in the dark hula hoop!

party camp site

party camp site

after dinner ~ and many many drinks ~ those of us that dared headed out for a night run. nothing long. a few miles maybe. but we’d turn off headlamps and hide behind trees trying to scare each other but more often than not just ending up in seas of giggles.

i love the woods in the dark

i love the woods in the dark

when we came back into the clearing in the center of the campground, i found myself mesmerized by the sky. living in the city we miss so much. i couldn’t help but lie down in the middle of the field and just stare. i swear it was just because of the stars and NOT the vodka 😉 turner and chori joined me for awhile as did some random guy who came and lay down with us. but seriously how could you not be in awe of this view …

the milky way

the milky way

sunday morning i skipped the run. i’m not sure my body could have handled more miles, not to mention i may have been a tad bit hungover. but even the view from the campsite was worthwhile.

doesn't quite look like florida does it

doesn’t quite look like florida does it

DC was nice. MCM is a great race. but from city roads to campground trails it’s obvious to me where i love to be most.

Entry filed under: running. Tags: , , , .

mcm x2 baylor

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Forrest  |  November 19, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    The “the milky way” photo is beautiful! Hopefully that alone was worth the trip?

    • 2. becelisa  |  November 20, 2013 at 8:26 am

      i lay on the ground for easily half an hour just staring at the stars. it was absolutely incredible!

      • 3. Forrest  |  November 20, 2013 at 1:30 pm

        This is going to sound crazy, but I’ve pretty much stopped having camp fires on clear nights. The fire is nice, warm, and fun, but I’d rather watch the stars. (But then I live in Seattle, where there’s too much city light to see anything in the sky, so going into the mountains and stargazing is a treat.)

      • 4. becelisa  |  November 20, 2013 at 6:14 pm

        That doesn’t sound crazy at all. It’s exactly why I couldn’t bring myself to get off the ground and go back to camp. A sky like that is too rare an experience in my life.

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the best of times

5k pr ~ 24:23
10k pr ~ 52:49
half marathon pr ~ 1:55:10
marathon pr ~ 4:10:41
half ironman pr ~ 5:57:50
50k pr ~ 5:33:23
50-mile pr ~ 11:32:39



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