After my long run a couple of weeks ago, last weekend we hit Hains Point again. We had a few 40+ degree weather days here in DC, and some of the snow melted, but the trails were still not quite cleared.
About 10 people from the running group made their way out there. We ran around Hains Point, then as the trail was mostly cleared, we followed up the Potomac River, passing the Kennedy Center and into the Georgetown waterfront. I haven’t been through there since last winter, so it was a great change of scenery! Being close to the water also made the run SO relaxing. At the end, those 10 miles went by easy…
Karl was having issues with his knee, so he would walk a bit, catch up with me (not hard to do), run for a bit, and so on. I was feeling great, so at no point I considered stopping. I guess all that time on the treadmill (I hit the treadmill twice before this run) helped.
This week, the above freezing weather kept up, and the trails finally cleared up completely. I was able to run outside on Wednesday, for a bit over five miles. Karl stayed home because of his knee, and only 2 other people showed up since it was cold and drizzly. Ashley ran with me for the first twenty minutes, but I no longer could keep up with her and I ran the rest by myself. I brought the ipod with me, so for the first time in well over a year, I ran outside with music.
The moon was pretty bright, and the cloudy weather helped — the trail was completely visible, so I turned off my headlamp and run with just the light of the moon. A run through terrible weather, that I was not looking forward to, turned out to be perfect!
Yesterday, I got home just in time to catch the group for their Thursday run. There were a lot more people out, since the weather was much better. We ran a bit over 4 miles on Mt. Vernon trail.
I’m still much slower than I was last year — who would even think that was possible? But for long runs I’m averaging a 12:30 min/mile pace, for runs shorter than 5 miles, a 11:30 min/mile pace (and to think I finished the ten miler last year at this pace AND I wasn’t dying).
Tomorrow we’re running by Shirlington, Four Mile Run trail and the W&OD trail. I’m supposed to be out there for 2 hours and 20 minutes — ouch. It’s my last long run before taper starts next week, but I’m debating on the tapering thing… It’s not like I’m running the half marathon for time, so maybe it’s best to just keep up the high mileage as my body is still getting accustomed to it?