Typically about 95% of my runs start and end at my house. The other 5% are split between races, occasional long runs at Cheslen Preserve, or random vacation spots. It is very, very rare that I actually get in my car and drive for a run. This morning was one of those exceptions.
My son had a cross country meet a couple towns over in Landenberg and needed to be dropped off before 7am. He wasn’t running until almost 9 so this gave me time to get my run done and be back to watch his meet. I briefly reviewed the area online and picked out a couple smaller roads to run on. One of them (Buttonwood) seemed to niggle at the back of my brain, however I didn’t think much on it.
I exited the school property and the first mile was a mostly gentle downhill. Nice. I made a left onto Buttonwood and the road immediately looked familiar. Hey, this looks like the Mason-Dixon trail. I started looking around and sure enough spotted a light blue blaze on a traffic sign a couple hundred yards up. Score!
I turned right off the “trail” (all roads along through here) after half a mile, but had a smile from ear to ear thinking back to my Father/Son Adventure. I had no idea I would be crossing paths with the MDT today and it was a really cool to be reminded of that day.
Since I hadn’t firmly mapped out my route, I wasn’t exactly sure where I was going. I thought there was a way to do a loop around this lake, however I wasn’t exactly sure which roads to take. I came to Newark Rd., but kept going as any road that shares it’s name with a town is usually pretty busy. I ended up deciding to do an out-and-back and turn around at 3 miles.
Well, I came to 3 miles and saw a road a couple hundred yards up. I don’t really have OCD, but if I did one of the signs would be how I decide where to turn around on out-and-back runs. I’m not wired to just randomly turn around. I need some sort of landmark and will typically turn around at road crossings, driveways, or telephone poles. So of course I have to run up to the road.
As I approach it, the intersection starts to look familiar. Is it? Am I coming up to Buttonwood again? Boom! Why, yes I was. Not only was I going to get my loop in (always preferable), but again I was transported back to one of the most enjoyable days of my life. I even ran past the point where Dave and I hit 26.2 miles. While he might not remember his first marathon, I definitely do.
My mind remained on the MDT for the rest of the run. I’ve had a lot of good days out on the trail and not really any bad ones. Heck, I had a great time on my worst day(s). I had been noodling another attempt this fall at the self-supported FKT. Today’s run-in with the MDT seemed like fate. Guess it’s really only a matter of when at this point.