Sunday, October 26, 2008

22 Miles - Help me hear your work

I decided to try and incorporate a really long run on Sundays. So this morning I rolled out of bed at 5 am and finally hit trail at 5:30. It was really dark out when I took off down Rock Creek Parkway from Woodley Park. When I got to Water Street in Georgetown I ran into a bunch of Marines who were preparing the route for the Marine Corps Marathon. I greeted them loudly and then promptly hit an uneven patch of pavement and went down hard. I could feel I had banged my left knee a bit but didn't think it was too bad. It turns out I was wrong, I took a pretty good patch of skin off of my knee.

I hit the trailhead for the Capital Crescent Trail and ran all the way to Mass Ave before the sun came up. I was very happy I had a tail light and a flashlight. Even before the sun comes up the Crescent is pretty busy.

I was carrying gel for the first time. I opted for Clif Shots because they had non-caffeinated chocolate. I'm trying to avoid caffeine. I have to say that they really helped a lot. I ate a Clif Shot at about one an hour, and the first one left me amazed. I was starting to go into a little decline at the hour mark, but after the gel, I felt really great.I continued on the Capital Crescent until it met up with the Rock Creek Parkway again and followed the RCP all the way home. Rock Creek was stunning today, so achingly beautiful that I was running along and laughing. When I run I really try to concentrate on my surroundings and it was terrific to do so today. The only trouble I had was that I kept thinking of music. I know this sounds innocuous, but I have a spiritual belief that I owe it to my higher power to try to appreciate whatever surroundings he/she/it has prepared for me. So I found myself running along, thinking, "help me to hear your work". It helped. The creek has a lovely murmur and I was able to concentrate on that.

The route ended up being right at 22 miles ( I forgot to track about a half-mile detour I took when I got lost finding the RCP from the Crescent. I finished right at 3:31, which works out to 9:35 miles, which I was very happy with. I finished feeling pretty strong, and it occurred to me that I only had to run four more miles to run a marathon. The Marine Corps Marathon was today, so I could have signed up. Next year, I guess.

I did my fifth step yesterday.

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