Saturday, July 29, 2006
Who Moved my Capitol?
Because if the Capitol was still there, then I wouldn't have missed the part about running up and around the back of it, now would I? I wouldn't have missed .75 miles of today's awesome not-quite-16-mile run, now would I?
As I may have alluded to in my last post, I was a teensy bit worried about today's run. What with never having run more than 13 miles before, and that included a 20-minute-porta-potty layover. And there was last Saturday's 10-miler where I gave up for no apparent reason. So, I was a bit tremulous about this morning.
Until...a little vixen named a. maria suggested I think of it as three five-mile runs. As she so cogently put it: "Even you can run five miles!"
So, last night I marked up the hand with where the five mile intervals were. Then I ran all the numbers and printed out some charts and graphs, showing times for 5, 10, and 15 miles and a total time of 3:12 for 16 miles. Which would be a nice 12 min./mile pace, and get me a 5:14 marathon time, after which I could die happy.
Blah, blah, long story short: I started out with my friend The Other Jen, and her friend Kim, but they were running intervals. I couldn't find my other other friends, Christy and her friend Suzanne, but they are too fast for me anyhow (yes, you are!). So, blah blah blah, I ended up running alone, but behind a guy who was holding a nice steady pace.
We ran by the Iwo Jima memorial, over the Key bridge, through Georgetown, down by the river, by the Kennedy Center, all along the National Mall, and then, oopsie ... where did everyone go? I finally said hello to my pacer, James, and told him he was pacing me, and thanks! Right by the center of the photo, above, we kinda lost the group. Hmmm...where could they be?? Oh well, onward!
To water stop 9.7 miles where there were frozen grapes. Better. Than. Sex. Frozen. Grapes.
On toward Haine's Point (we all remember Haine's point, right?):
We did a loop around the point—what a beautiful day, beautiful scenery, the river, golfers, triathletes doing the loop—I'm not sure why, but running that beautiful flat point is like going through the bowels of hell. Maybe it's just the memories. By now James and I were running together and had actually exchanged a few words ... he works on some committee that oversees homeland security. (Now I have to kill all of you, har-de-har ...)
James was fading on the point. He was slowing down, and we took a few longish walk breaks. But ... I didn't need to!! Awesomeness. I was speeding up (or was it just relative?). I hung with him til the end of the point, and he wanted to walk again and I said sayonara, cuz I guess I had used him up and was now tossing him aside like I do with so many other me ... nevermind.
Next stop was the 14th street bridge, another reminder of hell. It's mile 20 of the MCM. But this time, I actually ran up the hill to reach it, and then ran over it, and this time I ran all the way back to the Pentagon—about three miles, with no walking.
Give me the award already, and clear the podium.
So, it wasn't 15.75 miles, it was 15. And I didn't finish in 3:12, I finished in 3:29. But I could have gone longer. I didn't need all the walk breaks I took. I didn't want to quit. Not once. I even ran up a hill at mile 13 ... past other people, other male people, even.
This, this is how we're gonna run the MCM, people.
This is how we're gonna do it.