Monday, March 21, 2011

Back to It...Running in VA

After a few days off and a flight to D.C., jumped back into things with a 15-mile jaunt on just about every surface available...asphalt, concrete, dirt, rocks, gravel....

Distance: 15 miles
Time: 2:11
Effort: Moderate
Body: Fair
Weather: Cloudy and warm

Ran from the hotel about 3.5 miles down the Curtis Custis Trail, a paved bike path along I-66, to Rosslyn and hopped on the Potomac Heritage Trail for 4+ miles of dirt.  The PHT runs along the Potomac River through this part of VA and is the closet part of an evolving 800-mile collection of trails in the Potomac River watershed.

This part of the PHT is a rock and root-strewn stretch of singletrack that runs between the river and the George Washington Memorial Parkway above. The trees are still leafless here, so the views down to the river were unobstructed and beautiful. I scared up about half-dozen great blue herons and saw my first belted kingfisher of the year. Spring is coming quick here. Today's temps were in the 60s, warm enough to run shirtless, particularly with the humidity.

Ran the PHT to Chain Bridge, hung a right and ran across the bridge and descended down to the C&O Towpath, a wide crushed gravel path that parallels an old canal. Picked up the pace a bit along this long, flat stretch and ticked off the four mile trek back to Key Bridge in Georgetown at just below a 7-minute pace.

At this point, the race was on to see if I could finish the run before my back, which has been bugging me for the last five or so days and was the reason I took off Thursday - Sunday, tightened up too much and forced me to lope home.  Fortunately, things held up and I was able to run steady the last four miles back over Key Bridge and up the Curtis Trail back to the hotel.

After a quick shower, I immediately headed out the door for some food and walked for another two miles to keep the blood going to hopefully hasten a return to a more normal running schedule.

Post walk and post-refueling, I returned to the hotel and started icing. Not sure what happened to tweak the back so bad.  The discomfort has centered around the an area just to the left of the spine with some modest pain radiating into the left glute and around the left side into the region around the top left front of my pelvis.  Been a bit anxious that I did something to my hip, but there's no impact-related pain. So, for now, I figure its just some annoying (really annoying) muscle strain.

Eager to see how things feel tomorrow.


  1. I thought it was the Custis trail? Hmm. In any case, they have probably one of the best trail connected systems in the country in terms of what they cover.

  2. Nice work, hope the back holds up for you so you can keep this up.