The plan was to do the 9.1 mile Torry Ridge loop twice, maybe adding a little extra somewhere to make it an even 20 miles.
But that’s not exactly how it went.
I decided to start with the gentle downhill section first (passing Sherando Lake at about 3.5 miles) then run the second loop in the opposite direction. That way I would only have 3.5 miles left to run after I stopped for a swim on my second lap.
It had rained overnight and was still overcast as I headed into the surprisingly dark woods. My little spotted newt friends were all over the place. I had to watch where I was stepping to avoid squashing them.
When I got to the lake, I decided to take the trail around the lake before heading up to the Torry Ridge trail. I felt like exploring a little, and figured it would be a good way to tack on an extra mile or two.
From here, it got a little bit tricky. I had never run the loop in this direction and had failed to bring a map with me.
I somehow managed to stay on course, though. It felt very much like dumb luck, but I’ll take it.
I also took a minute to check out the posted trail map, and found this little tidbit amusing:
I headed back up the trail in the same direction I’d just come. I hadn’t made it more than 200 yards before I realized that I didn’t remember locking my car door. I ran back and checked. It was locked. I headed out again.
I made it about 3/4 of a mile and my foot started hurting. I had brought my metatarsal inserts, knowing that I would probably need them for the second loop, but I had forgotten to grab them. I headed back to the car.
At this point, if I set out to do the entire loop again, I would end up running further than 20 miles. I didn’t want to do that, so I headed back down the trail to the lake, figuring that if I ran around the lake again, that would add up to just about 20.
After my second time around the lake, I was at 16.8 miles. I stopped for a swim. The sun had come out so I was surprised that I had the entire beach to myself.
I was a little worried about finishing the run with 3.5 miles of climbing, but it ended up not being an issue. The grade is so mild on that section of trail that I was actually able to run the entire way.