Monday, February 27, 2012

C&O Canal 20 Miler

I met up with Eric and Beth again for our last long run of this "marathon training cycle".  That's what the crazy running people on Runners World call it.  I get a little nervous by that expression because of the word "cycle". The use of the word cycle implies that this will happen again which makes my legs hurt.  Actually, I'm only joking about that.  I'm pretty sure that I will run at least one more marathon after this. Preferably one that takes place in the fall instead of the spring. I doubt I will ever get this kind of a winter to train through again.  BUT, I'm getting waaaay ahead of myself right now.  I haven't finished anything and I'm already talking about doing it again.  So let's start over.....

I met up with Eric and Beth for our last long run before our first marathons.  Eric and Beth are running in the Rock and Roll Marathon in DC on March 17th.  This used to be called The National Marathon until they brought in the Rock and Roll people to run it.  Eric and Beth are both first timers like me and this was to be their first ever 20 mile run.  We started at Point of Rocks and headed upstream (north-west) toward Brunswick.  The plan was to run the 6.5 miles to Brunswick, stop in the visitors center to use the rest rooms and then head back.  We would pick up the remaining miles by running downstream toward Noland's Ferry and back.  The run to Brunswick was pretty good despite the high winds.  The trees provided some buffer from the wind and none of us felt cold as we ran.

Once we arrived at Brunswick we couldn't find the visitors center but the park provided restroom was adequate.  We decided to abandon our plan for turning around there and just run the last 3.5 miles upstream and then turn and run 10 miles back.

Eric and I move at a little faster pace than Beth so we stopped every so often to let her catch up.  Neither one of us wanted to get too far ahead in case of emergency.  I didn't know it at the time, but Beth was feeling dehydrated and also suffering from a lot of pain in her back.

I felt like I relied on Eric a little too much to set the pace and that I needed to finish the run on my own.  When Eric stopped to wait for Beth at mile 17 I decided to keep going.  I also wanted to see how well I would do if I tried to pick up my pace after running 17 miles.  I was able to do that and finish pretty strong.  According to my Garmin our pace up until that point had been at about the 11:30 mark.  My splits for the last three were 10:14, 10:10 and 10:08.

I considered going for a 6 miler on Sunday just so I could say I ran a marathon over the weekend but my left Achilles was pretty sore when I woke up so I took a rest day.  It's still somewhat sore today so my run will be a very slow 6 miles.

I was able to get some pictures with my phone this week.  If you click on the image you can see it a little larger in a slideshow.

Another shot from the Catoctin Aqueduct. I think this is the best one I've captured here.

The town of Brunswick.

One of the few sections of the tow-path that you are allowed to drive on. Turn left here to go to the Brunwick water treatment plant and also to the Brunswick Family Campground.

The route 17 bridge over the Potomac

This is the 10 mile mark. That small black dot at the far end of the trail is Beth.

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