So next Saturday I will open my account for the racing season at the Marine Corps 17.75K (talk about your low-interest accounts). For those who aren’t big into conversions that works out to around 11.03 miles. I ran the race last year, so other than the fact that the parking isn’t as close to the start line this year there isn’t too much new (and they run shuttle buses so the further distance only matters if I end up running back to my car like I did last year).
Although I want to do better than I did last year at this race, it is not my “A race” goal for the spring (in face it would be my “C race” out of 4). So I didn’t cut back on my long run on Saturday which was 14 miles with a couple of half marathon race pace miles thrown in toward the end. This is certainly not a week before a race long run (well, if you are me anyway).
This type of long run is great for my training for the Frederick Half Marathon, but after a crappy night of sleep Saturday night (I think I had less sleep than my NCAA bracket had winners (barely)), I woke up Sunday tired, with my legs feeling dead. On Sunday I typically do a short shakeout run but I really didn’t feel like running. Here is how the conversation went inside my head.
Me-“I don’t want to run.”
Me2-“What kind of badass are you if you skip a 5 miler?”
Me-“NOBODY thinks I am a badass.”
Me-“How about a walk instead, it’s a nice day.”
Me2-“Walking? What kind of workout is that???”
Me-“Think of it as course recon for GW Parkway 10 miler and we can stop and get cookies afterwards.”
This is why I don’t share my thought process on a regular basis.
So I drove off to the Mount Vernon Trail south of Old Town Alexandria (city motto- “Suck it Arlington”) to walk the some of the lower part of the Mount Vernon trail. The George Washington Parkway does run next to the trail so it I didn’t lie to myself I could do some course recon.
It was a nice spring day. Yup, that’s all I got.
Since like all runners I am utterly obsessive about data, I did bring my Garmin along even though I wasn’t going to race walk. I may or may not have had my heart rate monitor on as well.
So off I went on the trail.
Off I go the trail. GW Parkway is on the right. It’s pretty flat at this point.
I was walking around 15 minute/miles and then would stop to take pictures or text or DM someone (because you can’t just sit there and enjoy a walk, you HAVE to multitask).
Wooden bridge over a swamp
Although with the breeze I was starting to wish I had a worn a jacket, I did pick up the pace a bit and quickly warmed up.
View of the swamp and the Potomac River. There isn’t much clever I can say about this other than it has nothing to do with race recon.
Then just as I warmed up, I stopped to take pictures and sit in the sun for a bit and just relax (well to the degree I am capable of relaxing).
At least one of you is wondering if they are going to set up a mud race here.
Considering this was frozen solid a few weeks back, probably don’t want to go swimming (unless you are Canadian in which case non-frozen=swimming temp)
Around the half way point of my walk there is a short hill to climb up. In the spirit of course recon I noted that it would be downhill during the race.
Then I turned around and headed back to the car.
This time I will call it a marsh instead of a swamp.
After 4 miles of walking I was hungry so I grabbed a sandwich and some fruit for lunch.
Afterwards I did some foam rolling and stretching. As for the course recon, well…