OK to start this story I think I need to set some history and back it up a week. Melissa has been running with a group training for a 1/2 Marathon. She is not planning on running the 1/2, I however am, but I have been running on my own without a formal training plan. But last week was the week her group was going to hit 13 miles, the approximate distance of a 1/2, and they were doing it on the canal. I love running on the Potomac and I had a bee up my bonnet to run with them. Up until this point my personal distance record was a bit over 12 and I really wanted to hit the 13 mile mark before my race.
So I asked my dad if he would babysit the boys so we could both run. Now my dad will typically only watch one of my boys at a time, but he agreed, so we were set. It was a gorgeous morning. I am a bit faster than Melissa’s group, so when I got back to the starting mark I was was feeling great and decided to tack on a couple more miles while I waited for everyone else to arrive. I had a great run. I hit 15.03 miles with an average pace of 8:42 per mile.
So this weekend, Melissa said she wanted to take her Sunday run off. I was feeling so great about about last weeks run and I wanted to try and push my PR from 15 miles to 20. That is a pretty big jump, but I figured worst case scenario, I would just have to walk back the last couple of miles.
The first 1/2 of the run was phenomenal. I was low to mid 8 on pace and I felt great. Then as I was passing through Georgetown a rather cute 20 something commented on my butt. I think its disgusting when men cat call woman, there are Patriarchy and power issues that are in play that simply aren’t for the reverse. So great run in, cute girl complementing my butt; my ego was thoroughly stroked. So now on the the embarrassing part of the story.
So I turn around in the waterfront to head back to Great Falls and to my Car. As a native Washington, who has been on both the C&O canal and the Capital crescent trail a million times, I am not sure how I took the wrong one. Never mind one is a paved path and the other a dirt trail, I was completely oblivious. Eventually I glanced down and noticed toe path way down below and knew I was going the wrong way. But at least they were parallel. And being the Native Washingtonian that I am, I was completely convinced of an imaginary bridge that would eventually connect these to paths. When said bridge never materialized, I did the unthinkable as a man, I asked another runner for directions. He told me I had essentially added about 7 miles to my run, and gave me a couple options to get back to great falls. One was to head down MacArthur and the other was to backtrack, cut through some neighbor and catch a trail. I opted for heading back to the trail. At mile 17 I hit a wall, but managed to break through it. At mile 19 I hit a mac truck going about 60, but I fished my 20 goal. It was even a fairly respectable speed of an average of 9.07 miles per second. The only trouble was, at 20 I was good an done and still had about 7 miles back to my car.
That was the most painful walk I have ever had. The previous record holder was when I was 10. My mom forgot to pick me up at Bullis, and I had no real sense of distance; it was about 3 plus miles. I guess I should mention it was a fairly narrow road, with no sidewalks and was snowing. Not the smarted thing I ever did at that age, sadly not the dumbest. But I got home in one piece, as I did yesterday, not to worse for wear. And now I know I can at least finish a full marathon, I just have to get myself to be able to , you know, run the last 6 miles! All I can say is I am so happy my wife is a trained Shiatsu therapist!