|As close as I will ever get to being an Ultra-Man!|
Living abroad in a country where English is not the native language and you have little grasp of the native one, will reduce your functional vocabulary by 2/3, slow down your conversation rate, and make your facial expressions mimic those of a silent film star, so when you find yourself back among people from your native culture, eventually you'll become starkly aware that you resemble Nell. If you are lucky, the other person will have been abroad just as long as you or longer and you can share a good laugh at your own expense after spending three days trying to remember the word "flight attendant," so that you can stop calling them "those people on the plane that help you," and once again sound like you own more than a second grade vocabulary. My point being that I felt more uncomfortable not when I stood out from people that I had no hope of blending in with in the first place, but when I was around people who had the potential to fit in with and failed.
Which brings me to Saturday's run in Umstead Park, let me start of by saying that I am not an Ultra Marathoner, nor do I have any aspirations of ever being one. I was a ware that The Umstead 100 Mile Endurance Race was taking place on Saturday, but also knew the park would remain open. I wanted to run 8 miles, which would be my longest run to date and had mapped out a course that I wouldn't require running outside of the park or an out and back course. I planned to start at the Harrison Ave. gate and run a loop route consisting of portions of the Ready Creek, South Turkey, and Cedar Ridge Trails. From my second mile through my fourth mile, I would be on the same course as the Ultra Marathoners. I didn't think it would be an issue because that portion of the trails is a very high traffic area. Once I got to my Fourth mile I planned to take a different trail and be on my merry way. My only concern was that I would be running near one of the aid stations, but I didn't give that much thought.
I picked up my pace and quickly found my turn off, but as soon as I turned I saw something that I wasn't prepared for at all -- the trail was flooded. We had some heavy rain during the week and now about five inches of water running across the trial. I couldn't Jump it and there was no bridge. I wasn't going to be able to cross without either soaking my shoes or taking them off. I didn't like either option. There was a guy on the other side just sitting on a fallen tree, so I asked him if there was another way, but he wasn't aware of any. I looked for a map board, but couldn't find one. I assumed that it too was somewhere on the other side of the trail.
When I got home Old Bob said I ran 7.34 in 1:15:19 at a10:15 pace
.34 3:39.76 10:34