Monday, August 1, 2011

Got To Go

Saturday morning, Jay and I snoozed past 4:45 a.m. and finally got up at 5:20 a.m. to run before our little camping adventure. I always pre-map runs and show them to Jay to decide which one we will do. Early in the week we were both very motivated to run up to the National Cathedral, but Saturday morning after a restless night of sleep neither of us wanted to try the hill.

supposed to 17

Instead, we stood in front of our Army Ten Miler route poster and came up with the run below. A nice familiar run that was relatively flat. We figured this would be perfect.

monumental 18

Perfect, if we could have finished it… Jay had one too many beers the night before and had coffee before our run. The combination was explosive and caused him to call it quits a mile into the run.

As you can imagine I was less than thrilled. I had never run further than 7 miles on my own. Ironically I was just telling Jay on the run that I was worried about running the USA Rock ‘N’ Roll 1/2 by myself in March. I know plenty of bloggers will probably run the race, but I really wanted a companion. After g-chatting my brother Friday to no avail, I knew I would have to go at it alone.


As I ran away from Jay towards the Key Bridge I started to realize this was my chance to prove to myself I could do a long run on my own. I was very familiar with all of the areas I was running and knew I would be safe. Plus runners are very friendly people. I was put to ease by all the fellow runners saying “Good Morning” and loved the extra support from the training teams on the mall.

The only area where my guard was a little higher was on Pennsylvania Ave between Washington Circle and the White House. I was very surprised by the number of homeless people who were camped out there.

By the time I reached the White House, I knew I was ready for a break and some Gu. I took a poll at work that week and learned that Chocolate Gu is the favored flavor. My coworkers were right! I found this Gu a lot easier to take and liked the jolt of caffeine. About a 1/2 mile later I knew I was in trouble. Finding a bathroom became imperative. As I ran by the Old Post Office I began to weigh my options. 1) I could turn around and go to the Washington Monument (guaranteed bathroom). 2) There’s a Starbucks on 7th and Pennsylvania, the one in Georgetown was open so that one should be too. 3) There has to be an open porta-potty on the mall, right?


Unfortunately for me I had to try all my options before choosing the guaranteed option of the Washington Monument. I ran down Pennsylvania to 7th to a CLOSED Starbucks. I ran to the Mall to find porta-potties in front of the Sculpture Garden that were pad-locked. Finally, I ran to the Washington Monument to find the best bathroom ever (or at least in my mind). The added bonus, there was actually soap! It took almost 2 miles, but my body was happy and ready to run.

16 on my own

After pleasing my body, I continued to run the route Jay and I had planned as best as possible while watching the time. I told myself to make it back to the Capitol to get the feel of the actual MCM course. Another piece of advice from many runner friends was to run the course. Our next few runs will start incorporating more and more of the official MCM 2011 course.

By the time I reached Hains Point I knew I did not have it in me to run around the whole thing. As soon as I saw the sprinklers from last week I decided I was not going to do it. I just did not feel like being soaking wet for the last part of my run and turned around at the golf course entrance.

As I continued to chug along I started to get more and more concerned about the time and the safety of running the distance alone. As I ran under the 14th street bridge I knew I had to call it for the day and start running home.

Overall, I was very very proud of the run. I completed just about 16 miles in 2 hours and 28 minutes, about a 9.15 minute pace. Not too shabby!

What were you proud of this weekend?