This week, I’m up to 18 miles for the long run. It’s definitely long and Umstead, where I ran it, is definitely hilly. To get the mileage pretty close (I think), I started at Harrison parking lot, ran the Turkey Creek loop the uphill direction, out to the end of Gralyn, back out past the airport overlook, past the gate and to the overpass bridge and back. During which I saw at least 4 deer, a baby snake, innumerable squirrels, birds, bugs and what not. The deer seem to have gotten pretty brazen. One just stood there on the road side chomping on greenery not more than 10 feet away of me running past. Earlier, there was the mommy deer and her speckled fawn. Quite a show with the wildlife this day.
About 2 miles or so from the finish I’m cruising down a hill and here comes Bri Gaal flying up the hill looking as fresh as a daisy. Or graceful as a deer in full flight, to keep with the theme of the post. Wow. Zoom. Come to find out later that she was doing intervals and she wasn’t moving quite that quickly the whole time, but it was an impressive sight nonetheless.
As for me, the run went as well as an 18 mile run can be expected to go. Kept the pace relaxed for 13 miles then build the last five to “faster” than relaxed. Surprisingly, I averaged just under 8 minute miles on the hilly route. I was surprised, at least, and bodes well for the fitness. We just won’t mention the two potty stops and one water refill break that didn’t count towards the finish time. Oops. Looks like I just mentioned it. Oh well…I’ll be stopping plenty at Silverman I bet for the same sorts of reasons.