An eighteen mile run was on the training calendar for today and my sister, Nancy, had a six mile run on her training calendar (she’ll be running the Marine Corps 10K the same day I run the Marine Corps Marathon). So we woke up just after 6:00 AM to get ourselves ready for our long runs. Dave, Nancy’s husband, was kind enough to go out even earlier and pick us up some yummy Dunkin Donuts!
We decided to do our run on the Washington & Old Dominion Trail. Before we left Nancy looked up directions to one of the trails access points. Yet of course it took us almost an hour to actually find the access point because of all the crazy construction on the beltway. By the time we finally got to the access point I had to go to the bathroom! Luckily there were some woods near by and we had Tedy with us so I grabbed a baby wipe and headed into the woods, shouting out to Nancy, “Can you see me?” When she finally said no, I was able to relieve myself. Once I was ready to go we loaded up Tedy in one side of the stroller and snapped his car seat into the other side since Sophia had stayed back at the house with Dave and the doggies. Since I only have the behemoth jog stroller this is something that I do on a regular basis now, maybe one day I’ll get a single jogger as well. We put the canopy down over Tedy because it was drizzling out and headed down the trail.
Here’s your history lesson for the day, the W&OD Trail is 45 miles long and is names after the railroad that used to run along that route. Nancy and I ran together for the first 6 miles, as I pushed Tedy in the jog stroller. After 6 miles I handed the jog stroller over to her and kept going for another 3 and then turned around. Nancy walked back and we met back at the Odyssey a couple of hours later. Remember how I said it took us about an hour to get to the access point well it took about 10 minutes to get back home!
Later on we talked about our runs and how good they were. Even though it was raining, the cool weather was comforting. It was nice to have a running partner for the first third of the run – I pushed her to go faster than normal and it helped me to not go out too fast and conserve my energy so that I could stay steady through the whole run. I really enjoyed the W&OD Trail – there were lots of runners and cyclists on the route and everyone was very nice! My favorite thing was this group of kids that came out with their moms to watch people on the trail. I felt like I was in a race because they had water and were cheering people on. I stopped to fill up my camelbak and talked to the moms for a minute. They shared with me that they take the kids to the trail to do this on a regular basis. I thought it was great, and they helped get me started up again by sprinting with me for a couple hundred yards before turning back. It’s also really funny how many people comment when you have a jog stroller – they say things like: “congratulations,” “way to go,” and “you’re getting an extra workout pushing him.”
The camaraderie on the W&OD Trail was great! If you are ever in the D.C. area and looking for a place to ride your bike, run or take a nice walk this is a great trail to hop on. I hope to go on it again one day and maybe stop to read the historical markers along the way. Today’s successful long run got me psyched for the Marine Corps Marathon – just 5 more weeks to go!