Yesterday, I had 17 miles on my MTP. Bob was out of town, so I had to run all by my lonesome. My plan was to run to Lake Needwood (4 miles) - then run 4.5 miles on Rock Creek Trail and turn around, head back to Lake Needwood Park - then home.
I was up at 4:45 am because I was nervous about my run. I always lay out everything the night before so I do not forget anything and it proves to be a good plan since I am not really awake in the morning.
Everything was fine until I looked for my light. It wasn't working... I changed the batteries and it still wasn't working. I was annoyed, but decided to wait 15 more minutes for the sun to rise slightly before heading out. As I was running to Lake Needwood, I was really happy with the weather. It was even a little chilly which felt great. It was still a little dark, but most of the streets had enough lights. The part that didn't was when the paved path ended right after the golf course and I had to run a little trail... which was not really safe in the dark. I took it slow (it was down hill) and just concentrated on my footing. I emerged from the trail to the street once again with soggy shoes. I thought it would bother me, but it really didn't.
As I was running through the park to get to the path, I felt my belly starting to act up. I just kept running because I knew there was a porta-potty at the start of the trail. Sure enough, I was happy to make it and relieved when I finished (perhaps the Thai dinner the night before wasn't the best prep meal before a long run... it was Pad Thai - that is pasta, right?).
Splits for the first 4:
Mile 1: 10:09
Mile 2: 10:19
Mile 3: 10:44 (trail)
Mile 4: 10:11
Feeling much better, I headed on the trail. People were just arriving at the park, so I thought I would get a head start on them. The best part about Rock Creek Trail is the sound of the creek, wildlife and shade. It was almost perfect running conditions as the cool "woods" felt great.
I fueled at mile 5 with a vanilla Gu and two runners past me. I did not stop my Garmin, so that split is a little off. I picked it back up and felt great. I reached to 4.5 mile turn around on the trail which was just over Viers Mill Road and saw a runner with a biker. Apparently they were talking. I often wondered it a biker could go out with a runner. I think it was a safety thing, but it looked kind o awkward for the biker. The biker even carried her water... where can I find a biker to do that for me on my long runs? Maybe they can carry all of my "equipment" and even a potty.
Mile 5: 10:01
Mile 6: 10:18
Mile 7: 10:17
Mile 8: 10:15
After finishing 8.5 miles, I felt great. In my mind I was thinking, " I am half way done!". I started to pick it up after I fueled again and caught the runner/biker duo and passed them. Back on Rock Creek Trail, I passed a lot of men and women walking duos. It looked sweet. I wondered if my hubby would walk with me, then started to wondered what they were doing at home. I started to get really lonely and a little sad.
Mile 9: 10:24
Mile 10: 10:13
Mile 11: 10:32
Mile 12: 10:14
Mile 13: 9:58
By Mile 13, I arrived back to Lake Needwood and the parking lot was hopping. I saw the local high school Cross County Team. There was some really young looking teenagers. It brought back lots of memories from my high school Cross Country team, which was a good experience. I used the facility one more time before heading home and noticed that my belly button was started to chafe again. I asked the CC coach if I could have a band aid and he obliged... and it was HUGE. It looked like the kind you put on a knee injury, but beggers cannot be choosers, so graciously accepted it and placed the HUGE band aid on my belly button, which in fact covered a good part of my belly, but I wasn't chaffing now. I fueled again and headed out of the park.
Running out the park was hard. It is extremely hilly (funny I didn't notice all the down hills coming in). At one point, I had to look at my Garmin to see if I was actually moving, I felt like I was standing still on a particularly large and long hill - I wasn't, I was running a 10:15 pace (which I was pleased with at this point).
Mile 14: 10:17
Mile 15: 10:53 (trail)
After reaching the street and then the trail, I was amazed I hadn't fallen when I was running in the dark. It was very rocky and hilly and lots of areas where the rains had created holes. Thanking God that I didn't fall on the way to the park in the morning got me emotional and this continued for the next 2 miles.
The way back home was very hilly for mile 16 and I was definitely feeling the pain in my legs, hips, and back. I wanted to give up.
Since I ran with my iPod, I had lots of really good music. My favorite is Christian Rap. As I was approaching my neighborhood the lyrics were: "Yes, my God really cares. Yes, he understands and sees our every tear! So, put your trust in Him and just wait on Him and God will prove to you He how much He really cares!". I was in tears as I rounded my street. I knew that I had been focusing on how I was running alone.
Mile 16: 10:11
Mile 17: 9:33