Chronicling a lovely stroll to St. Mary’s City and back this fine morning…
A few things I added to my pre- long run routine:
- Added a banana with a butter knife’s worth of peanut butter to my breakfast of Greek yogurt and water (saved the Mio for the run)
- Extra stretching, since this was my third consecutive day of running, including more than twice the distance of yesterday.
- Found my bag of Kramp Krushers energy bites and took one with my 20-oz. bottle of Nuun water.
Out the door at 0455. Set up my MapMyRun app for the St. Mary’s City Half, struggles with putting the smartphone in my back FlipBelt pocket, and off I went.
The strategy was to take the opening third kind of easy, and not go out like a rabbit on a coursing match. My opening mile was 12:44, which meant that I was on pace. It also meant that my MMR’s GPS was back in order, after restarting my phone just before activating the app for the run. After clearing the hill going up HWY-5 North and reaching the Nach-T farm, I gradually picked up the pace. When MMR announced that I hit the four mile mark, I decided to push the tempo as much as i could from then on.
I crossed the bridge into St. Mary’s City at the five mile mark, after opening up my stride on the downhill going into town. Took the curved grade up to the main road and headed to the six mile point at the entrance to Historic St. Mary’s City. The halfway point of this run is the opening/closing quarter mile of the St. Mary’s City Thanksgiving 5K. Ran that up and back to the entrance, then back towards town.
I hit eight miles as I approached the bridge heading out of St. Mary’s, and it was the first time all year that I was feeling really good after reaching this distance. No struggling through high humidity, no hunger pains, no cramps or soreness in my calves or thighs. I pushed the flats and downhills and worked the uphills as much as I could. I didn’t always get a negative split, but each mile I felt better and better about the run. As I passed familiar landmarks on the way hime-Triple E Farm, Nach-T, Glen Mary Farm, I opened my stride and headed downhill towards the HWY-5/Willow Road intersection. One last steep climb, then a last push to the end.
On the last straight towards Abberly Crest, I could have crossed into the back entrance into AC and called it good as soon as I hit the 13 mile mark. However, I wanted do the do the whole course the right way, so I took the final hill, passing the three fireplugs and ended at the top of the hill at the main Abberly entrance.
Today being the longest run of the year, I took a longer cool-down walk than usual, heading down to the Valley recreation center (not the official name), then walking past the Apex Center and then back to my apartment building. One more banana ( it was green when I brought it home last Saturday!) and a glass of chocolate milk…I’m all good.
Last night before I fell asleep, I pictured myself at several points during the run, especially the final 2~3 mile stretch. A few years ago, I pulled up lame with a sore knee and had to limp home the last two miles…and I didn’t have Uber at the time. Last September I ran this with no soreness and at a PR clip. Today, I ran this after an injury layoff, a Did Not Finish, and last week’s bad back half of an 11 mile run.
I think running the St. Mary’s “half” has become something of an annual watershed moment for me. It’s not an official half marathon, so there’s no souvenir tech shirt or medal, but it’s still a thirteen-plus mile Big Step Forward.
Postscript/Week in review:
Yes I ran thirteen miles in three straight days, but I still need to do better at getting my ass out of bed for the weekly short runs. I did that because I needed the mileage and I’m running out of days where I can afford to miss workouts.
Song of the Day (be ye forewarned, possible repeats at this point):
Confession: I just grabbed the first CD and picked three songs at random. I am recovering okay, but I really need breakfast as some point. And an epsom salt bath. And a nap.
Proposed: From this point, I will keep the SOTD to one song, and I will take an extra few minutes to do some research on the song before just slapping it on here. Trying to make the blog as interesting as possible donchaknow?