Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Trail Run - 9/5/10 - 18.64 miles 04:00:15

After we moved four years ago, and before I changed jobs, I had a pretty miserable commute from Gaithersburg to Bethesda.  It was only about 20 miles but I had to leave around 6:30 if I had any hopes of making it in under 45 minutes and getting to work by 7:30.  And I had it pretty lucky, since it's a commute toward DC people come from much farther out than I did and spent much longer in their cars.  I used to complain about the hour-long commute when it only takes like 15 minutes on a weekend, this Sunday I ran that commute and it took me four hours.  Which was actually less painful than driving it.

Bo and I met the group at Shady Grove metro, Bo was going to run somewhere around 9 miles with us before he peeled off to hit another metro station while we would run another 9 down to Bethesda.  The route started at the station and wound through a neighborhood, down to Lake Needwood, south to Ken-Gar and at some point after the Mormon Temple we turned toward Bethesda.  Until that point I knew exactly where we were going but I couldn't find my way to Bethesda again if my life depended on it so I'm glad I had a group to stick with.

I was kind of surprised at how many people were out for a holiday weekend, we had a little 12:30 pace group of 6 (including Bo) and we stuck together pretty much until the very last mile when some of us got tired and others got a second wind.  I was in the exhausted category, around mile 15 my legs started to get really heavy but I did pass two members of the 12 minute group in the final half-mile.  The route was one we'd pretty much done before, relatively smooth except for the road into Needwood, The Silencer (which Bo owned, we've never seen anyone run up it faster than on flat road), and then three hills into Bethesda.  We ran the first of those and it just wore me out so we walked the other two.  With the exception of those hills we didn't stop other than for water and bathroom breaks (and popsicles at Ken-Gar!) when available so we had lots of good long stretches of several miles with no breaks. 

After Bo left I ran mostly with another girl whose name I never got, I've never really talked to her before because she usually ends up ahead of me but I was really glad for the company and she's really awesome.  She took off like a bat out of hell the last mile but I did catch up to her for the metro ride home.

About two miles from the end I really, really wanted to start taking walk breaks.  But I didn't.  I slowed down, probably by quite a bit, but I refused to let myself walk.  The last thing you do is run through a tunnel and as soon as I saw the light at the end I knew I was home free, I knew I was so close to finishing that I just "believed" myself forward. 

So it was a good run, a steady, decent pace on a lovely day.  Though I wouldn't want to commute to Bethesda on foot every day.

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