I’m gearing up for my farthest run ever tomorrow. I will try not to do what I did at my first marathon (Umstead 2009) by shouting “WOOHOOO! THIS IS THE FARTHEST I’VE EVER RUN!” at every mile marker past 20. I was tag-teaming with two guys up the Corkscrew and I’m sure they thought I was a weirdo.
Just another reason not to use a GPS. I’ll have only vague ideas of where I am at any given point.
That worked out well last weekend when I ran about 24 miles with my friend Joanna, who is also doing Triple Lakes. She had mapped out a great route starting from the NC Museum of Art (at 5:00 am) and winding all through Umstead Park. Nice combination of fire roads and single track kept the scenery interesting; good conversation made the time roll by quickly.
We were supposed to run 25, actually. We ran into the Schenck Forest along Richland Creek, which I’ve done many times. But instead of turning up toward the road, we were supposed to continue following the creek underneath Wade Ave. and over toward the RBC Center.
We reached Wade Avenue. “I guess we’re supposed to go through the culvert,” said my intrepid friend. “That CAN’T be right,” I said dubiously. “It must cross farther up.” After all, the creek was going through the culvert. Well, I still don’t think the greenway went through the culvert, but the way we went wasn’t right either. I know this because we ended up running/walking through tall grass and then having to climb a locked gate.
Some of my ultra buddies tell me that I don’t physically need to run 28 miles. And I am certain that they are right. But having never run farther than a marathon distance, I need to break that mental barrier before I tackle 40 in October. Right now, I’m feeling pretty psyched about it.