The good news is that I have yet another my-longest-run-ever-EVER! under my belt. The bad news is that 17 miles? Was NOT easy. Ouch.
I was going to meet up with Erin and Margaret at the Roosevelt Island parking lot. I got there super early, around 5:45am, it was pitch black and I had a surreal experience. Guy hiding under tree, another guy running (not on the trail, mind you, on the grassy area) then throwing himself down and crouching behind a bush (he did this a few times, and for sure anytime a car drove by on the George Washington Parkway). Then the one other car parked there suddenly having the car alarm go off. I don’t think I’ve ever been so scared in my whole life.
I called Margaret and asked her to make sure to park right next to my car, because I was afraid of getting out as there was a guy hiding behind a tree just a few feet away from me (should I mention it was still dark?), she thought I was crazy for hanging around there that long and to meet in Crystal City instead.
The whole experience was odd. It would not have believed it if I didn’t experience myself. First, who were they hiding from? I considered calling the cops, but how do you explain that one? At some point, both of them stared down my car from their hiding spot — luckily, since it was dark I doubt they could tell there I was in there by myself, or even that I was a girl. I should also note, that I didn’t notice there were two separate guys, one kept up with his running and hiding and eventually disappeared from my view (shortly after the car alarm at the end of the lot went off). When I noticed male legs hiding behind a tree a few feet from me, I assumed it was the first dude. But when I pulled off the lot and my headlights lit him up quickly before he changed his hiding position, I realized they were wearing completely different clothes.
Anyway, onto the run… The weather was great, it was nice and cool around the 70’s and overcast. We started from Crystal City, and took the Mt. Vernon Trail up to Roosevelt Bridge then over to DC. In DC, we ran the Mall, just as I did last week. Margaret did great, with only 2 hours of sleep! I was impressed.
I was feeling great until about the turn around point at mile 8.5. We took a quick walking break to eat some Gu (which I totally had forgotten about up to that point), and going back to running after that was hard — my legs felt REALLY heavy.
I wasn’t enjoying myself, but I wasn’t dying either, but the last mile was, not surprisingly, my absolute hardest. Specially since I had run out of water with 5 miles to go. I should have had more Gu, but there’s no way I could have eaten it with nothing to wash it off. I really wanted to give up and walk. Erin did a great job in motivating sleep-deprived Margaret and I so that we kept on going. (And I can’t thank Erin enough for that!)
We finished the 17 miles in 3 hours and 29 minutes, with a 12:18 average pace (which included our walking break for Gu — we walked probably a quarter of a mile for that, we needed a break). The first half of our run hovered around the 11 and 11:30 or so pace, we slowed down a lot on the second half, most miles ending slightly above 12 min/mile.
I freaking burned 1955 calories!
I got home, showered then went straight to bed. Managed to sleep about 4 hours straight. I guess waking up at 5am two days in a row took its toll.
My legs? Are sore! My aching foot? Didn’t hurt at all during the run, but doesn’t feel any worse right now — let’s see how it will feel tomorrow…