Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Eighth Trail Run - 6/27/10 - 11.56 miles 02:31:31

This run was almost epic.  Almost.  But it was so close that I won't complain (too much).

This was our first point-to-point run, beginning at the Capital Crescent Trail in Bethesda and ending at Union Station in DC.  12 sweaty miles, then a metro ride back to our cars.  It's a little unnerving knowing you're running straight out, for some reason it's much more comforting to know you're hitting a halfway point and turning around to go back the way you came.  We were also warned that once you hit DC both water and shade are hard to come by.  I carried a ton of stuff with me: 
Amphipod belt with Nuun in the 20 ounce bottle and with two additional 10.5 ounce bottles, one of water and one of Gatorade (runningwarehouse.com is THE BEST place to order all this stuff)
Three Gus - two in the belt pocket and one in an additional pouch
Car key, additional sunblock, a small first aid kit with antiseptic wipes, band-aids and aspirin, Alka-Seltzer, phone, ID, ATM and SmarTrip cards

All that stuff felt awfully heavy around my waist when we started out but I soon got used to or ignored it.  With the exception of the 10.5 ounce bottles moving around when empty it was all pretty comfortable.  I also tried out my new CW-X Expert 3/4 tights on this run.  They have some fancy pants webbing around the thighs and knees, I was hoping they'd reduce the knee soreness I'd been feeling after the longer runs.  And they did!  They're a bit of a hassle to get in to but once on they're quite comfortable, I didn't feel too hot at all and I think they really did support my knees.  Thumbs up, especially since I found them on sale for 30 bucks.

Anyway, on to the run!  It was relatively uneventful, I started out with the 12:30 group as usual but got separated when I stopped to wait for a friend.  I got vague directions from the pace leader and almost got lost when I came upon a closed street in Georgetown and wasn't sure which way to go, luckily Andy saved the day and came back to rescue the stragglers. By this time the group was a bit ahead of me and instead of busting my butt to catch up I plodded along behind, as long as I could see someone I was okay since I had absolutely no idea where I was going.  I got picked up by a slower group as we converged on a street corner, our group had apparently taken a "short cut" so I have no idea what scenery I missed.  There are amazing photos and videos posted from some other groups of a whole lot of stuff I didn't see.  I think a lot of groups ran across the mall, we ended up going up Constitution Avenue which was a bit shadier but also, I imagine, a bit more boring.  I didn't see the Kennedy Center, we only saw the Capitol in the distance.  We did stop at the Lincoln Monument and saw the White House across the street.  So my only beef with this run was that I missed out on seeing some cool stuff along the way, and that it was slow going in downtown DC waiting for a bunch of traffic lights.  Once I got picked up by the slower group around mile 8 I went from 12-12:45 minute miles to around a 14 minute pace.  Slow going but I had good friends and coaches to keep me company.

This is what Union Station looks like around 9AM on a Sunday morning after you've run almost 12 miles to get to it:

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