0500. Clear skies. Full moon. Good vibes.
Everything went just right for today’s half-marathon plus distance run to St. Mary’s City and back. I discovered the course when I drove out to Historic St. Mary’s City for the local Thanksgiving Turkey Trot 5k. The drive was a short five plus miles, which would make an excellent long distance run.
The course is the usual 1.5 mile start down south Willows Road to HWY-5 and then turn north and upwards. I follow HWY-5/Point Lookout Road into St. Mary’s City, all the way to Rosecroft Road. Instead of turning back at the sign (roughly 6 mi.) today i extended the run up the parking lot driveway through the first quarter mile of the Turkey Trot Course. At the Hogaboom Lane/Rosecroft Rd junction, I turned around and followed the road back through St. Mary’s City and back through HWY-Y/Point Lookout, back to Willows road and up to the main Abberly Crest entrance.
I felt good this morning. Even my MapMyRun app was cooperating. It kept the GPS signal all the way through the run, and I could actually hear the app calling out my pace. I actually hit sub-eleven minute paces at the 5, 7 and 8 mile marks. It didn’t last, but I still finished the run with an 11:15 pace.
Since there was no cloud cover this morning, not only did I get the beauty and light of a full moon, but I also saw first light earlier than normal as I made my way back on Hogaboom Lane towards the road back (about the 7 mile mark). I couldn’t see any street signs in the pre-dawn darkness, so I relied on MMR to call out when I hit my f4/8/12 mile marks for my Mio water/Gu breaks.
My sub-11 minute pace broke after the 9 mile mark, but something better happened. You see, two years ago I ran to St Mary’s City. On the way back, around the 8~9 mile marks, my left knee started hurting real bad. I was slowed from a run to a jog to a shuffle, and finally had to call off the run with about two more miles to go. It was a long and painful walk home; no Uber drivers to take me home, nor a smartphone with app so summon one.
Today? No such agony. My knees and kneecaps felt great. No plantar issues, no post run blisters or broken-off toenails. No revolt of the thighs or hamstrings, although I could use a sitz bath right now. I really could use a whirlpool/jacuzzi, but I’m not at a hotel this weekend.
After triumphantly passing the last of the three fire hydrants and running through the drive at Abberly Crest apartments, my wristwatch read 2:30.01. MapMyRun had me at 2:31.14. There’s the usual quibble about me always messing with starting the app and putting it in my shoulder phone holster, but I can live with an 11:15 pace with under a month left before the Marine Corps Marathon. If I had run this on base, I would have been done before morning colors sounded at 0800 (I finished just after 0730). If I had run an actual half marathon (with other runners, an official timer, and medals and post race snacks)…who knows?
Any was, this is as good as it gets. Everything broke right today, and I feel good.
Now…about those roommates…
Song of the Day: I woke up to the excellent instrumental “Fire on High” from Electric Light orchestra this morning. The ending of the song was a commercial for the local TV station (WEEK-TV, Peoria, IL) broadcasting basketball games for the Braves of Bradley University. I heard it on the radio a few years ago (thank you, 97.7 The Rocket!) and finally discovered the identity of the band and its song.
“Hold On Loosely”/.38 Special. If memory serves me right (it usually doesn’t) this was an offshoot formed from one of the surviving Van Zandt brothers who survived the plane crash that killed some members of Lynyrd Skynrd. This song got some heavy rotation on MTV back in the day.
“Rock the Casbah”/The Clash. Not the first song/video that I had seen from the Clash (“Radio Clash” left quite the impression on me). If I could use a phrase to describe Joe Strummer’s band, it would be “The Sex Pistols with much more common sense.” And then Joe Strummer came back with Big Audio Dynamite later in the 90’s.
“My Generation”/The Who. Ritual destruction of the instruments after every concert ending performance of this song. Nuff said. Check out the film “The Kids Are Alright.”