It sounds cool, doesn't it? "Drop me off here and I'll just run home." That is essentially what I told Hiroko yesterday morning. She needed the car, and I planned to run a 10 miler in Umstead. However, as it got closer to the time for us to leave, I began to do some
complex mathematical calculations simple addition and realized that the Ready Creek Trail through Umstead was approximately 5 miles one way, and the Greenway from Meredith College to Schenck forest was 4 miles one way, and there is about 1 mile between Umstead and Schenck, which made 10! 10 miles by my monkey math and it got me thinking, so I told my wife, "just drive me out to Umstead and drop me off, I'll run home."
Now, my wife is kind of use to my hare brained ideas, since the time that I rode my Japanese granny bike from Kasukabe to Shin Koshigaya and back on a whim. The trip is normally over a 20 minute express train ride one way and took me nearly three hours. I repeated the trip the next weekend just for fun. So, when I told Hiroko that I wanted her to just drop me off roughly 10 miles from my home with no cell phone, a hand held water bottle, and a Garmin, she knew that I was serious. In fact, this run had been something of a goal of mine for some time now. The mileage wasn't a problem, but the course is hilly as all get out (as you cans see from the elevation cart below. However, the idea of being committed to the run is what appealed most to me. One way or another, I was going to have to cover that ten miles in order to get home.
Also, I enjoyed this run a lot because I feel like I had been building up to this run for some time now. I have run portions of this course over the last year, but I have never tried to connect all the dots in one run before now and doing so gave me a thrill. I enjoyed the idea that every step I took got me on step closer to home and it helped me to keep moving forward. There were only two drawbacks to this run. 1). The second half of the course would be run on sidewalk and paved Greenway rather than compacted gravel and a little harder on my feet than I needed. 2). The hills from mile 7 to 10 loomed heavy on my mind for the entirety of the run. I won't try to say that they didn't suck because one look at the grade on the hill at the end of mile 7 will tell you that I was lying if I tried say otherwise. Even though, I have run 10 miles and beyond several times over the last 12 months, this run gave me a particularly large feeling of gratification when I finished it. Mainly because I can remember a time not too long ago that the thought of completing this course was beyond unimaginable. Now all I can think about is the day I do this as an out and back!