Sunday, March 14, 2010

Indian Head Rail Trail

Lets preface this by saying that my schedule for this week's long run was a 13. Next week will be an 18, followed by a 13/19/13/20 etcetera.

I had no intention to do what I did today

Ok. Got that done. But seriously folks. My co-worker tells me Friday, "Hey I found this great route on my bike this week and it's awesome." To which I googled it and raised an eyebrow.

What special about this route? It's an abandoned rail road section where Maryland pulled up the rails and ties and cleaned it up. They then black topped it and blocked it off to all motorized traffic. This route literally is tailored to anyone. It even has porta potties at parking lots along the way! I kid you not!

I live next to the District of Columbia. It's a flippin concrete jungle out there. And it's dangerous as !@#%$%^&*. That's why I only run on base. And that lends itself to boredom.

So I descided that I would run this route today. I got on this trail run and my jaw dropped. Beauty. Streams, wildlife, and the lack of humanity seemed to course through my veins. I drew power and passion today and nearly grinned the entire time I was on the run. I was listening to back episodes of A mile with me podcasts and the miles literally melted by.

I ended up doing a PB distance of 20 miles:
The run route!
Distance: 20.2
Time: 3:14:06
Avg Pace: 9:35
Calories: 3,189
Avg HR: 142
Elevation gain/loss: +1,475 / -1,450

Yes I hurt a bit from 17-20 but that's ok. Joints mostly, no muscle fussing or cardio issues. Fueling was my standard carrot juice, salt, chia, agave, lime juice. Zero issues with endurance. Some of the data points got messed up cause my garmin for whatever reason turned back on while I was on the road (I was monitoring my heart rate recovery). So some of the data points are messed up.

All in all the most miraculous run I've ever had. And I've vowed to myself and anyone who listens that any and all runs that I have on a day off or the weekend will be done on this trail. It was a serious departure from humanity.

And I loved it.


  1. Way to go! Inspirational. I remember when I moved from Indiana, there was work being done on some "rails-to-trails" in our area. It seemed like such an obvious good idea, but there were some in the community who opposed it. (They didn't like the idea of "strangers" traipsing through their backyard.) I'm glad you've got a good one!

  2. First I have to say I love the format of your podcast. It is like running alongside an old friend. The thoughts that pop in your head as you run are shared unabridged.
    I live in Michigan in a smaller city so I get to experience the countryside a lot. It makes running much easier. I don't, however, have a place to get away from the traffic, I envy you. Nice job on the 20 miler.
    Dan AKA Passinthrough

  3. Wow, isn't it amazing the difference a good running route can make. There's nothing more frustrating than feeling that you're trapped into the same old boring route - one of the great things about running is enjoying the scenery and the feeling of being outdoors in a beautiful place. I'm glad to read that you've found your place. Enjoy it while you can!

  4. That was awesome Ted, nice job!!! This sounds similar to the 50 mile ultra I ran, but the trails down in Florida are not paved yet. (They used to be rails as well, that have been cleaned up.)

    If you ice bath the joints will not hurt afterwards. (There is a 2 hour window after your run to get the ice bath done to prevent the soreness.) Actually I usually take a 20 minute dip in the pool instead of ice bath, but that is only if the water is cool enough to make a difference.

    Have you given consideration to run a half marathon race in your area during one of your 13'ish mile weeks? I think it would be a great help for you. :)

    Nice pace for the 20 miler. You are doing awesome!

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