20 miles of pain for a FL boy
I’ll make this my first real post!
Years ago back when I was a college athlete I used to make trips up to MD to see my parents (the real reason was to get some Mtn training into my regiment…. I hope mom and dad don’t read this post). Being a new guy in town I asked about 25 runners + the local running store (www.iftheshoefits.biz)for a list of the best hills in the city I decided to design my long run based of those hills and finish at the top (thanks dad for always driving there to pick me up). Back then I used to fly up the mtn and down the trails and would complete my 16-18 mile run in about 2 hours or a little more… all without out gels, gamins, snacks, maps, bug spray, and maybe one quick stop for water if that….. I wish I was still stupid and fast when it came to running…..
Lets fast-forward 8 years…. I wanted to see if I still had it in me.. Can I still tackle the hills, the Mtn, and the trails at the top?
Knowing it was going to be tough I forced a detour on our way to Harpers Ferry to make water drops along my route the day before (Update: so Jenny and my mom were in the car and at every water drop my mom kept telling Jenny that I shouldn’t be placing the water there for every reason under the sun.. and when I got back in the car… she was mysteriously was quiet again.)
Long run day Saturday morning:
Mom drops me off 20 minutes late at the drop off location for the start of my run as she warns me about the rough part of town I was going to start my run in… (she worries way to much, it’s actually a really safe area)…. It’s time to start
I finally hit the dreaded Old Swimming Pool Lane… This is the most feared road in all of Frederick for runners (most refuse to even think about running it), its about 1.5 -2 miles of heading straight up the hill and many hills you can’t see the tops of… I watch my pace on some of the hills drop down to a 9:30/mile and I realize I am not even close to being in the same shape as I used to be the last time I ran this route
I get to take it easy on Ridge road, finally a break! But as soon as I hit the road I tried to wipe some sweat off my forehead and brush against my sunglasses, completely smearing them with sweat…. I lose about 10 min trying to find a rag at random people’s houses to wipe off my sunglasses
It’s the bottom of Gambrill State Park and its all uphill from here. Lets just say the road is steep enough that my ears pop twice on the way up.
At the top, legs hurt but its now time to enjoy the trials!! I cant believe how slow I am going on these trails! I used to clock out the 8+ mile loop on an easy day in around 56 minutes. Now I am looking at my garmin and my pace is 10:10/mile as I try to dodge sharp rocks on these highly technical trails (I remember a good day running them is when I came back not bleeding on any part of my body). But as I realize how slow I am going I also realized I am running late for Jenny to join me and get in a few miles
I get to run with Jenny on her longest run up to date as she trains for the Disney Wine and Dine half marathon. I didn’t think about it till halfway through her run as we are continuing to go downhill… what goes down must also come back up! But she was a trooper and finished strong!
So I dropped off Jenny at the car and took off down the road at a 7:40 pace (finished at that pace)… by this point and time my legs were screaming at me. It was my first time doing 20 miles in almost a year and at the same time there was barely any part of the run that was flat like my wonderful home down in FL.