Sunday, August 10, 2008

Vacation is over! DC trails and sand is gone!

This could not have been a better time during my NYC marathon training to take a vacation. Three scheduled 6 mile runs following a 14 miler. Ended up doing my 14 miler in Washington DC. Had 2 main choices. Decided to skip the group run (surprisingly a 14 miler!) that a DC running group had going on and ventured alone thru Rock Creek Park. Knew it would be a little more challenging, but had looked forward to running the trails again. Had done a 5 miler thru there the day before which was quite nice - just HOT! So - serious thunderstorms that morning woke me up at 4am and had me reconsidering. 6am rolls around (couldn't expect it to be quite as light running on the trails but ended up being fine by my 6:30am start) with a light rain and decided that it would help cool it down some. It did thankfully! A mile run to the park downhill, then north on the Western Ridge Trail up to the Valley Trail that loops around and back down the south. Same as last year - there is a detour that put me out on Beach Drive (goes thru the Park and is partially closed off on the weekends). There were hundreds of others out - mostly TNT runners, one of whom said they were doing 8 miles that day. Met up with a group of 3 who were doing a 16 miler to get ready for Steamtown among others. They were from the Montgomery County (MD) Road Runners, 3000+ members, 100 just in their marathon group. Very nice and we had a similar pace so we ran a few miles together. They had a scheduled stop/turnaround - and I was at the South end of the park (that section anyway) so I was able to get back on the Western Ridge Trail and head back home. Definitely a tough run. Not sure I did the 14 miles I was supposed to - but 2 hours and 10 minutes later - it felt like I had done that much! So - on to the beach for the rest of my vacation!
Topsail Island and three 6 mile runs planned (Tue, Thur & Sat). Lows of about 80 all week kept my 6am 1st run (along the road) down to ~3 miles. Was a little cooler Thursday after a rain as I did ~6 on the beach in the packed stuff. That is the only place to run - don't even try to run on the soft stuff. Got really warm again - so put off the last run until Sunday when I was back home in my familiar settings. 6:30am back at it - same people I pass walking/running every weekend. Squirrels, ducks, geese, and the rabbits out as usual. Good to be home. Also helpful that my marathon shoes - new Asics 2130's didn't blister on their 1st outing today! I had a good 15 miles running + ~15 mile walking this past week. Not bad for an easy week!
Coming weeks have a 16, 18 and a 20 miler though. Eek!

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