Saturday, August 8, 2009

13 miles and feeling good

What a great day!

A bit of a snag to start but nothing that could ruin it. Today marked the halfway point in the Phillyfit season. So we have a picnic. Everyone brings their favorite post run snack; not necessarily enough for everyone but we all bring something and share. The plan was to meet at Wayne's Woods, a picnic area in Valley Forge, and do our run from there. Well the best laid plans didn't plan on the gate not being open early enough. We all began parking by the Arch figuring we'd wait for the ranger to unlock the gate. We knew from experience that they opened the bathrooms at 7 so assumed the gate would be the same. A few minutes before 7 an official looking car with two uniformed people in it arrived. Using a loudspeaker a woman in the front seat told us we had to move our cars. We could not park there. We asked when the ranger would be around to open the gate. She said, "In a few, but you can't stay here". Now there were more of us than them but she had a gun. Now I doubt she would have used it of course but 13 miles was intimidating enough for one day so we got in our cars and paraded to our usual meeting spot at the visitors center.

We ran the loop (5.5 mi) and the river trail (6 miles) and more or less 1.5 miles over and back between the two. The thing about this route is it starts out on a hill. There is a lot of huffing and puffing going up that hill and then we settle in. Many in the group have watches that tell you time and distance. Some have set them to alert them when the go faster or slower then their desired pace, others have them set to alert after so much time as the alternate between running walking. At the beginning of a run when we are in a big bunch there is so much beeping going on it's rather comical.

My goal today was to finish with energy left in the tank while at the same time having a good workout. I ran to approximately 2.5 mile where there is a rather steep hill and walked the hill. At the top I stretched and then continued running to the over and back spot which is another hill up to the 422 pedestrian bridge. In this stretch I also had my first serving of raisinettes. I managed this on a flat run which is good because it's really hard to chew and breathe at the same time. I really have to try the gels/gus; they may have a weird texture but at least they'd go down quick. anyway at the hill to the 422 walkway I walked and stretched at the top then continued to run to the end of the river trail. At the turnaround I walked at ate my other bag of raisinettes. Then ran back to the walkway. Another short walk and stretching and then run back to the visitors center.

I had a great workout. I was reasonably tired but mentally I felt great. I was glad I didn't have to but I could have gone some more if I wanted to. Today's distance was 13... more or less a half marathon... and tomorrow I will run again. I'm not ready to follow this with a full marathon distance but I am confident that I will make 5 miles tomorrow. My first back to back runs.

At the picnic, Helen brought her pictures from the Goofy challenge in 2008. It really looked like they had fun.

Thanks for listening.

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