|Phil Connors memorizes Rita's drink preference.|
I'm not fine-tuning a romantic pursuit of Rita like Bill Murray's character methodically did every day, but I try to figure out the best places to run around my Durham house through trial and error.
The Triangle is home to me and I'm thrilled to be back. But I've never lived in Durham and running in Durham is new to me. The beauty of owning a Garmin is that I make up my routes as I go along daily on my morning runs and still know how far I've gone.
What that gets me in many cases, though, is many up-and-back runs in which I turn around when I reach half the number of miles I intend to run. I much prefer loops, and it's taken weeks to develop loops that are not only workable, but not brutally challenging.
Phil Connors' mistakes sometimes earned him a slap on the face. My mistakes earned me some climbs on hills I didn't expect on a day that I didn't plan to do hill work.
As I've said many times since moving, it's as hard to find flat areas to run in Durham as it was to find hilly places to run in Newport News. Both are very difficult.
Part of why I've been slow to figure out loops (as opposed to up-and-back runs) is that four days a week my runs are done before work. I don't have time to either get lost or run a few extra miles because I underestimated the distance.
I've discovered that I've moved to an area with many terrific places to run, and I'm still learning the best ways to take advantage of that fact.
I'm two miles away from the trailhead of the American Tobacco Trail, which offers many miles of gently rolling paved trails with only a few street crossings.
I'm a little more than a mile from the connector trail for the Bueller Trail, which is a nice dirt trail around the D**e Golf Course. It features very challenging downhills and rather daunting uphills that leave me seemingly running on my toes.
|The trail roughly runs just inside this yellow border.|
That discovery helped me on Sunday's 20-miler.
For my 20-miler two weeks ago, I ran the two miles to the American Tobacco Trail and still had two miles left to get to 10 miles when I got to where it stops at Southpoint Crossing shopping center. I ended up filing in those miles in a really hilly neighborhood near the shopping center. I also missed a turn, which made a 20-miler a 21-miler.
Sunday, I ran Campus Drive to the East Campus and did the trail around there. From there, I took Main Street to the Durham Bulls Athletic Park and ran 5.5 miles up the American Tobacco Trail before turning around and eventually heading home.
I'm slowly figuring out a few loops, which is always nice because that gives me a chance to compare times on the loop.
Phil Connors eventually found love with Rita. I'm finding that I love running in Durham more. It's just taken a lot of time.