Thursday, April 8, 2010

How to catch a runner

Step one: find a trail
Step two: leave behind a tangled, near invisible fishing line
Step three: watch as they run, get caught in it, and not realize its wrapped around their legs until they fall over.


Last weekend (yeah, this is a little late), on a beautiful Spring day, I wanted to spend a lot of time outside. I planned on a 20 mile trail run, and then running back to my place if I felt like it.

First, I was running along on a trail (in the "woods") and turn to find a giant, black and gray, super-hairy, huge (did I say giant yet?) dog. Alone, just standing on the trail. I honestly thought it was a wolf. There was no one else around. So, I stood completely still and for a good 20 seconds, was scared to death. I was in between climbing a tree and jumping into the Potomac, when the dog's owners finally turned the corner.

Then, the fishing line accident happened. And, I discovered why I only ran 4 miles an hour last week, as I actually watched my splits, they went: 8:53, 10:57, 13:42, 27:16. One mile in nearly 1/2 hour!! There is a ton of rock climbing and its just not runnable. This time I got stuck behind a family and they weren't very speedy. It was annoying since I was on the clock.

I really like trail running, except I get lost every 10 minutes and it totally kills my rhythm. But, its ok when that leads me to hot boys who can give me directions (twice). The Potomac Heritage trail is really confusing and at one point goes through a neighborhood.  I got lost, gave up, turned around and hit the C&O Canal towpath after 9 miles on the trails.

The towpath was beautiful, the weather was perfect, and I finally got into a great rhythm. Thing is, I ran out of water, and luckily there was a park with Gatorade, and I chugged 1/2, poured the rest into my fuel pack. I had made corn tortillas with black beans for the run, and was glad to see how well my body handled food.

So, I kept running, and running, and realized at mile 14 I ought to turn around and head home. Then, on my way home, I decided to do a lap around Haine's Point to see the Cherry Blossoms. At mile 28 my feet finally started to hurt, but I was still 3-4 miles from home. I walked through the massive amount of tourists for 1/2 mile and then ran home, giving me about 32 miles in 5:48!!

This is what happens when you threaten me with a taper!

In light of all this, and after finding trail running friends to convince me, I moved up to the 50 mile run in June! So excited! And, I'm really looking forward to the Boston Marathon--11 days away! I'm taking it easyish this week and then next week I'll rest more. I decided to try and PR at Boston. If I die out at mile 20, then I die out. The goal is to have fun and not be able to walk the next morning :)

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