Stupid 20- When I was approaching the Marine Corps Marathon (note, not training for it, because that would have betrayed my amateurish attempt at the distance) I dug my heels when people asked about my long run, saying I wanted to run the marathon simply based on my 5k training. Hans Rottman consistently and emphatically advised against this, saying I needed at least one 20-mile run to work on maintaining my form as I tired, lest I injure myself. I placated him, putting together this route. I erred before my run by not eating enough- my date the night before and I opted to skip dinner to get good seats at a play, and I went to sleep without any real sustenance, but that seemed not to matter, as I averaged 6:33s for the 20 miles. It was a nice rebound from the average race I had the day before in Hazlewood.
Looking back, I really enjoyed the stretch of this loop coming down Washington Boulevard toward Butler Street. I was listening to a Morning Edition story about Alanzo Mourning while I ran on the trail parallel to Washington. The weather was perfect, with a slight chill, and barely any traffic -- a feature that usually makes Sunday morning my favorite time to run. Butler Street can be busy, but not that particular morning, in fact, I'm hard pressed to remember many cars at all. The first stretch through Squirrel Hill was pleasant, too. The first few miles kind of blended together, but the climbing the hill passing CMU toward the end will take a lot to forget. As much as I disliked betraying my plan for the marathon, I enjoyed this particular run.