Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Trail Run - 10/3/10 - 17.18 miles 03:43:37

This was my first run along the C&O Canal, starting at Riley's Lock in Darnestown.  It's really beautiful back there, trees for shade and the water on either side of the trail.  It is all gravel though and while that may not seem like a huge deal it's an uneven surface that can be tough on the ankles and knees.

I was at the parking lot about 30 minutes early, plenty of time to use the restroom and sit in my car with the heat on 85 and the heated seat on high.  It was COLD, I dreaded getting out of the car at all.  With about 15 minutes to go a coworker and fellow runner knocked on the window so I got out, figuring it was time to get acclimated to the cold.  Even though I had on a light jacket and capris and did the trying-to-keep-warm-dance my teeth were still chattering.  Makes for great running weather, but not great standing-around weather.

I was nervous that my group wasn't showing up but a few minutes before 7 I saw a lot of familiar faces starting to congregate.  We had a pretty big 12-12:30 group, I think there were 9 or 10 of us.  We ended up splitting up a little as we ran, in the first few steps Ameenah (who I hadn't seen in weeks while she was on vacation and I was so happy to see her I almost cried) fell back because I already had gravel to pick out of my shoe.  But we caught up with the group and traveled on in a pack.  First bathroom break was around 3 miles in, still going strong.  Next bathroom was around mile six, at this point I was getting warm and took off my jacket to run in our team singlet.  Ameenah stopped at this point to turn around, I'm amazed that she made it that far after having been off for a while - she's awesome.

The run was relatively uneventful, I stayed with an absolutely lovely girl named Emily who I've run with on some track days.  She's fantastic, very upbeat and positive when all I want to do is complain.  With the exception of water refills and bathroom breaks we didn't stop or walk at all so there wasn't much to complain about other than my knee which started bugging me around mile 7.  By the time we stopped for water at the halfway mark it was doing that thing where it's really stiff after I stop and it takes me a while to work out the kink.  But the more I run the less it hurts and when I get warm again it's a non-issue (unless there's a decline or stairs).  I'm pretty sure it's an IT thing so I'm going to follow the KT Tape IT instructions tonight and I ordered a Pro Tec strap.  I'm also icing and stretching and trying some light strengthening exercises and will likely take it pretty easy from here on out.  I don't know what did it this time around since it hasn't bothered me lately, maybe it was the uneven surface and maybe it was the fact that the two runs I did before this one I did pretty hard, maybe it was that I had a nasty cold and my body just couldn't react to all the stress as well as usual (I hurt much worse than normal after the run in general.  I'd rather take it easy these next few weeks and actually be able to make the marathon than run hard now and be too injured on the 31st.  Only 25 days left!

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