half marathon training: first SLR

rock-creek-trail-january

Hello fit crashers! Just a short update to share a few photos from my first Saturday Long Run (SLR) of half-marathon training. The plan I am using called for a six miler last weekend to kick things off. This is longer than I have run in quite some time, and despite the knot in my stomach about re-entering the love-hate obsession that is distance training, I was excited to rev up my legs and see how they’d do. They held up great during the 4 mile hill run and the 3 mile speed workout earlier in the week, so we were on a roll, these legs and I.

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I set an early alarm and ran over to the trails in Rock Creek Park. It was a frosty morning with blinding sunshine and intensely blue skies. My nose was running faster than I was, my toes were cold, and I had a sudden twinge of regret about not sleeping in a bit more. But there’s something about the solitude of the trail, the crinkling of the leaves, and the soft ground that always calms my nerves. It’s some of the best medicine there is. Before I knew it, all those mental fidgets quieted down, replaced by the methodical sound of my thumping feet with my breathing chiming in to sing back up.

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I was exploring a few new twists and turns in the trail during this run, and mile three brought me to a completely new site: the remnants of Fort DeRussy. It was a Civil War fort constructed in 1861 and played a major role in the Battle of Fort Stevens to defend the nation’s capital. I had no idea this was here, did you? Always love a good history lesson during my runs. Thankfully, DC is full of them.

rock-creek-park-trail-civil-war

The trails started to get crowded as I headed back. No matter what time of year, and no matter what the weather, Saturdays and Sundays bring the runners out of the wood work here in DC. All sorts of runners. While not everyone smiles and waves back as they pass me by – yes,  I’m the one waving at you and saying “good morning!” – I can’t help but get a surge of solidarity from seeing everyone out there getting their miles in. It’s inspiring to see and definitely gave me the juice I needed to round the bend and head home. Six miles wasn’t easy, and there were a few walk breaks. But this early morning run was just what I needed to feel confident about the next 10 weeks of training.

rock-creek-park-trail-selfie

On the schedule for next weekend: seven miles. Let’s do this!

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I have to ask: is the “runner’s hello” not cool around these parts?

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2 Comments

  1. Anne January 10, 2013 / 5:10 pm

    I’m a big fan of the runner’s hello. 🙂

    • DC Fit Crasher January 10, 2013 / 6:21 pm

      I’m so glad to hear I’m not the only one! I seem to catch all the grumpy morning runners.

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