"It's a little self indulgent..." - My mom
"After I read a sentence, I get mad at myself for caring what you're doing." -Karl Dusen

Sunday, January 24, 2010

You there- cabbie! Take me running!

Since I was completely wrong about which weekend Matt Ciccone was visiting (and when I was going to run with him in the city), I was now free to join the GRC fellows for a long run on Sunday. Jake Marren suggested Greenbelt Park in Maryland, and when I realized how close that was to the College Park metro station, I thought that was just a splendid idea. I noted it was also close to New Carrollton, though a slightly more complex route, so I wrote directions from both.
I woke up a little later than I would have liked, and thought that trying to transfer to a Green Line metro to College Park was risky, so I took the Orange all the way to New Carrollton, confident in my directions. The trouble started when I couldn't seem to find a road sig confirming that I was on Veterans Parkway. Had I written a few cross streets to look for, I would have been fine, because I crossed one- Ellin. But, I didn't know that was right and turned around and continued on the shoulder of Route 50, which was a terrible idea. When I saw signs for the Landover Metro Center, I knew I was out of my element. I found a Giant grocery store, locked my bike to a pole and caught a taxi idling in the parking lot. I realized only minutes later that I easily could have taken my bike in the cab, especially when I realized how far I had deviated from my course. I arrived to find Klim, Marren, Jake III, Jarrin, Karl, Murphy, Frank, Bain and I can't remember who else ready to go. Three six-mile loops would probably be too much, but two loops, an extra mile detour on another trail and 15 minutes around the nearby high school would suffice for 15 miles. I stuck to the front, not sure how I would feel compared to Saturday's meltdown, but I felt surprisingly good. I hadn't run the kind of quick, steep hills we saw a lot of today for a while, so I took some time to adjust, but it was a good run. I realized at the end how tired I was, but a strawberry waffle at Plato's Diner in College Park helped that. I was really happy with the trail selection, and it honestly didn't feel like 13 miles of running, despite what my watch said. Murphy kindly took me back to Landover to recover my bike, which I managed to park about a half mile from the Landover Metro station.
The best part was a total absence of pain or discomfort in my left leg. That's real progress, and I'm excited about it. It was weird that running 5:08 mile pace felt more comfortable than strolling along, but I didn't feel a bit of pain while running hard.
I'll shoot to maintain 65 miles again this week. With the conclusion foggy on what caused my leg weirdness, there's no use pushing too much mileage now. I'm going to take a day off every two weeks, but also try to not lose too much mileage in that day, so that will give me a medium long run every two weeks, but will also get a minor scaleback in mileage. That should help keep me from overdoing it (maybe) and give me a day of no running in which I will write about something totally unrelated to running, to reward fellows like Dave Wilson and Jason Beery whose interest in running rivals my interest in baseball, but who read this blog nonetheless. Thank you to all of you who fit in that category, you feed my vanity that people care about what I am writing.

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