Running on the NCR Trail

I am not a runner. But this summer, one of my favorite places to be was the NCR trail. And somehow (actually I know exactly how) I ended up spending a fair amount of time running on the trail. 


The Northern Central Railroad Trail extends 20 miles from Ashland Road in Hunt Valley to the Pennsylvania state line. It then continues in Pennsylvania as the York County Heritage Trail. It is up to 10 feet wide and passes through some absolutely beautiful Maryland landscape. A lot of it runs along the Gunpowder River, through shady forest. You might pass people on innertubes, or bikes, or even horses. Whatever works.


My daughter started Cross Country this year. Yep. We've hit high school, and suddenly so much has shifted. We have limited places to run nearby, and I wanted to make her summer practice not quite so boring. Personally, I can kind of embrace the boredom of running. I like that mindless time to not be anywhere. To turn off. But isn't it always nicer with amazing scenery? Yes.


So the trail became part of our morning routine. I took all of the kids at first, and then, as the distances grew, just her. She ran up ahead, but I was never far away. So if she ran 3 miles, I could sneak by with 2 and really be just a half mile away at any given point, right? But the miles grew, and soon I was at 4 (with her at 5). And then she went away to camp. I didn't see her for 2 weeks. You know what happened? I ran anyway. I ran in the rain. And it was amazing.

She came home. Cross country practice started and it meant that she would be running with the team instead of me. Last Saturday I ran 5 miles, which may not be that far, but it's a personal best for me. It was cool and beautiful and perfect, and I think I just might keep running.