Monday - Greenbelt, MD - 6 milesWe're staying about a half-hour to the north of D.C. Our original hotel had plumbing issues so they moved us to this place in Greenbelt. It turned out to be a boon for my running as there is a park across the street with nine miles of trails. The weather had held out for the drive down but it poured in the evening. When I set out at 6 AM the rain had stopped but I hadn't thought about the darkness or the conditions of the trails. It was pretty dark in the woods when I started and there was lots of standing water and streams on the trails. My feet got wet almost immediately but at least it was 60 degrees.
The Greenbelt Park is pretty big and flanked on both sides by highways. I ran the Perimeter Trail so the drone of early commuters was constant for much of the run but I enjoyed being out there. The trail was fairly free of obstacles. Several streams to cross and the soft dirt of the south makes all the waterways a sickly brown color. By four miles it was light however I took my eye off the trail to look ahead to a sign so of course I took a bad digger. It ripped off a scab on my left knee and made a fresh one on the right. I enjoyed the rest of the run despite the pain but I was a muddy, bloody mess when I arrived back at the hotel.
We took the Metro into the city and spent the day exploring the museums and various memorials. Beautiful hot day in the heart of D.C.
|Rough way to start the vacation|
Tuesday - Greenbelt, MD - 1.2 milesWith sore knees I decided to take it easy this morning and not squeeze in a run. Plus our sleeping arrangements have been in disarray and I woke up with a really sore back.
We had a fun time at the National Zoo today and after got back to the hotel I took Ezri to the nearby Greenbelt Lake. There's a walking path around the lake and Ezri had been asking to run with me. We went about 1/3 of the way around and took some breaks as we went. Then we turned around and went to the playground. There were plenty of people on the path - walkers, runners, dogs and cyclists. Clearly a popular spot for folks. This was a fun time and I hope Ezri continues to want to run with me. She really wants to do a fun run this summer.
Wednesday - Greenbelt, MD - 6.6 milesThere are a wealth of Strava segments in this area and two circle the lake that Ezri and I visited yesterday. Both were 1.2 miles and hovered above or below a 6 minute pace. Could I take them? I made my way over to the path in the morning and gave them a shot. Initially I kept the pace around 5:45 and was feeling pretty good. However by the time I was halfway around I was feeling it and my pace began to creep upwards. I knew I wasn't going to have enough for both segments but I tried to push it on the first one and then I ran at a hard but manageable effort for the rest of the second one. I wasn't even close to the second one but I was only three seconds off from the first one. So close! Don't think I'll be returning for another attempt though.
We spent the day in the National Arboretum - an amazing place if you dig plants. There's a wide variety of trees and plants and trails are set up for each of the areas. We finished with the bonsai exhibit which was incredible. They had some trees which were hundreds of years old.
Thursday - Greenbelt, MD - 7.4 milesI returned to the park across the street to check out some of the other trails. Last time I had run the Perimeter Trail but there were also several loops that could be accessed from the Perimeter. I went in the reverse direction on Perimeter until I hit the Blueberry trail. There was some elevation on this one and while early I could tell that campers would be getting a big haul of blueberries later in the summer. There's also a bunch of black squirrels down here - they just look weird and creepy.
Then I ventured to the Dogwood trail to attempt a Strava segment. There was long version of the loop and a short one - and I had no idea which one held the segment. I did the long one first and pushed it. Afterwards I was tired and rested for a minute. Then I went back and did it again on the short loop. Then, good and exhausted, I followed another trail back towards the hotel. In the end it was the long loop that held the segment and I took it easily by a couple minutes.
We spent our last day back down in the heart of D.C. We did one of those bus tours which worked out well as we could jump off and explore the memorials. Then another bus would be along a few minutes later. We also took a bus up to Georgetown to check out the ritzy shops. Overall a fun trip and we all enjoyed the museums and national memorials of D.C.
Friday - 0 milesI slept in and then we packed up and made our way back to Rhode Island. Lots of shitty traffic to contend with in Connecticut but we finally made it home. Big thanks to Muddy for watching my dog and my mom for taking our cat.
Saturday - 0 milesWe spend the day puttering about in the yard. No real desire to squeeze in a run.
Sunday - Charlestown, RI - 21.5 milesWith much of the day to myself, and almost 20 miles needed to hit an arbitrary goal of 40 for the week, I concocted a run that would force me to run much longer/farther than I've done in quite some time. My long runs had been stagnating at the 13-14 mile distance and I decided to see how my body would react to a 20 miler. The route took me along Route 2 to the Kingston Train Station. Then I followed the bike path for awhile before taking roads back to Ministerial and then along Worden's Pond back to my house.
I kept the pace in the low 8s and took gels every 45 minutes. It was a pretty relaxing run and I stopped at a friend's house around mile 13 to refill my water bottle. Not long afterwards I began to feel it in my quads and they got tighter as the run went on. In fact my legs began to tighten up overall but thankfully there was no spasms or anything. By the time I returned to Old Coach Road I was ready to be done. I ended up with 21.5 miles and almost three hours of running which I'm psyched about. We'll see how I feel tomorrow but this was a positive effort! Janky knee grumbled a bit around mile 6 but then shut its cakehole for the rest of the run.
Weekly Mileage: 42.7 miles
Year to Date: 519.1 miles
We had a fun family vacation in Washington D.C. We saw a lot but there's so much more we didn't hit up. Next time. This was also four weeks of 40+ miles in a row. I'm very happy with that. I may not have the speed but I feel like I'm finally getting the distance endurance back. Time to start looking for longer races!