Getting far away from it all and escaping to mountainous (for Central Pennsylvania), remote trails is something I rarely have the opportunity to do anymore. The responsibilities of being a parent, as well as the myriad of other time commitments I have make getting those trips to secluded trails far and few between.
There is definitely a fair amount of guilt after driving half an hour or more to do a 4 hour run and then returning in the afternoon. And that is when it is even feasible, because mostly it just is not anymore. Which is alright.
A few years ago I really got caught up in the wonderful sport of ultrarunning and jumped in wholeheartedly with both feet. I had visions of completing all the major mountain ultras and traveling the country to do so. The cost and time commitment has proved especially daunting, however, and I have come to terms with what is possible at this time in my life.
And that is getting out every day for a run. It means a lot of road miles. And it means the urban trails surrounding the city will have to suffice for the trail miles I need to get in. I can get up early, drive the less than 10 minutes to the “trailhead” get in some nice miles and then be back at home before the kids are up.
And the trails surrounding the Harrisburg Greenbelt are actually really quite nice and fun to explore. And while I am not likely to come across rattlesnakes or bears on my run, there is the discarded pornography that makes an occasional appearance on the side of the trail. And that certainly beats the gym.