Sunday, February 26, 2012

14 Miles at Gravelly Point

I was thinking yesterday while I was running about the long training runs I've had. When I say "long," I mean longer than a half marathon (13.1 miles), because that was previously my longest distance. There is something so exciting about tackling an even greater distance than ever before, and those weeks really stick in my memory.

14 miles took us to Gravelly Point Park.
This is one of the closest starting points to my home in Arlington, VA. It only takes 5-10 minutes to drive there and the parking lot is located just next door to Reagan National Airport. This training run was the first time I ran longer than a half marathon. 

It was also memorable because the area had one of its few actual winter storms the Friday night before. We were originally meant to run 14 miles on Saturday, the 21st of January, but with the snow and ice on the trails and no time to salt or sand before the early morning training time, the training was canceled and rescheduled for Sunday morning. As a result, many people on the team weren't able to make it on Sunday. A good number of us convened in sub-freezing temps Sunday morning and completed our run beside the Potomac. I can't imagine what the conditions would've been like if we'd tried to do our run on Saturday.

Normally this is one of my favorite trails because of the great DC views. I absolutely love running in Washington, DC, and it makes my youthful dreams come true every time I do! 

January 22nd was a challenge to that affection. The wind was freezing cold and sharp. Snow and ice shards blew into our eyes off the trees and ground surrounding us. Ice was a couple of inches thick on all the bridges. The sun never peeked out from behind seriously gray clouds. My mentor injured her leg badly and had to go to the hospital (this injury took her out of the full marathon). I ran alone for 14 miles, because none of my running buddies were there that morning. Still, there were some memorable sights and a great feeling of accomplishment when we finished.

Navy - Merchant Marine Memorial - Honors naval sacrifice during WWI
More info about the memorial
Gorgeous peek at Washington and Lincoln across the river
We tiptoed across several of these icy bridges 
The following Thursday was a team fundraiser at a martini lounge in Dupont Circle (DC). We had a great time and raised serious dollars! Here is a photo of my mentor, Amanda, and I (sorry for the quality):
Me & Amanda - check out her war-wound from the Gravelly Point run!

Stay tuned for 16, 18 and 20 miles...

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