22 miles on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail

What a good day out on the trail looks like:

Image

Did my first-ever 20+ mile single-track training run today on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail. I think I ran a bit farther than 22 miles. I’ve run 3 marathons, each with 20 miles as the longest training distance. Uwharrie 20 is the longest single-track run I’d done thus far (oh, and however many miles I actually ran on the Neusiok). Andrew and the boys were camping, so I had the rare luxury of time. Some friends, including my best girlfriend Ann, joined for the first six miles or so; my buddy Steve stayed in for the long haul. Great company and the miles added up.

I ran at the front much of the way, holding a forked stick out in front of me in an attempt to capture most of the spider webs which were stretched across the trail. At one point I picked off a fly, still alive and buzzing with panic, off my hat brim. It was engulfed in sticky threads, ready and waiting for a spider’s breakfast. I put it on a low-hanging branch and silently wished it luck. Yuck.

Mostly, I feel great. Did it hurt? A little bit toward the end. But I kept returning to the gratitude I felt–how lucky I was to have the gift of spending a Saturday morning doing something I love.