Thursday morning I did a pretty easy four-mile run around Falls Church to drop off the keys for my rental car, and I was feeling pretty sluggish, but it was just a morning run, so I didn't worry too much about it. In the afternoon, I went out for a 10 mile run from my office around Hains Point, but just three miles in I was starting to just feel awful. The humidity broke a little when a rainstorm started, but I still turned at the Jefferson Memorial and headed back for 6.5, my shortest day in a long time.
Friday was a little better. I woke up and did a light workout to get some turnover back into my legs. I went to the Greenwich mile loop and ran 8x400-or-so with 400-or-so meters of recovery. The first "quarter" is actually about .28 miles, but since I wasn't running on a track, I didn't scrutinize the times too much. I alternated 77-78 (the second interval was uphill) and I wound up pretty happy with it. The recovery was a little long, but I just wanted to get my legs moving fast, and get five miles out of the way in the morning.
That afternoon, I took a train to Cumberland, Md. to meet up with my mom and sister, who were biking the C&O Canal Towpath to Washington. I was going to take the car and be on call for assistance while they biked. The train, of course, was more than a half hour late, and I still had 10 miles to run on the towpath. I started around 8 pm and headed east, sucking in gnats with every breath. It was definitely cooler than in DC, though, and running wasn't an experience I had to endure.
I woke up at 6:30 and drove out to two points on my 22-mile long run route and dropped off water bottles at miles 9.5 and 14. I was looking forward to this run- I enjoy Cumberland, the weather is cooler there, and I came up with a pretty good loop- 12 miles up the Great Allegheny Passage Trail, then down a more direct route on Mt. Savage Road. The trail is crushed limestone and has some nice views to the north and east.
The problems began when my mom and sister were not ready to leave at 7:20 when I returned. An hour and a half later, they set off and I headed the other way on the trail.
It was humid, but I was feeling pretty good. I was moving at about 6:45 pace, which was pretty good for a gradual uphill at the beginning of a long run. I passed some bikers and into my fifth mile I saw a runner ahead of me. Over the next mile I reeled him in, which kept me focused. Within five minutes of passing him, though, I was starting to get weak. I slowed down to an 8:00 mile (though the accuracy of that split is dependent on the trail markers' precision). I just stopped for a minute, then decided to keep going to get to my water, which I mistakenly thought was eight miles in. I walked for a while, two miles, and some nice bicyclers passed me and asked if I needed help. I was fine, and took one of the gels, expecting to have water soon. No, another mile to go, as it turned out. I got my water and started running back down the hill. Why I didn't turn around when I first had trouble, I don't really know. I ran most of the way back, though I stopped to walk twice and had to wait for a train to pass. I immediately had to shower and pack the car and head back to Washington, so recovery had to wait until that night.
But, in the end, I did 112 miles, my highest mileage by far. I doubt I will match it, because the summer is just too brutal in northern Virginia, but it's also time to do some higher-quality work.