Long run

Day 161

I did it! I ran my long run on Friday. My long run was supposed to be tomorrow but there are just too much going on during the weekend and the risk was high I might not be able to pull off a long run at all. Long run is usually my hardest run because it is just unbearably long and any little distraction would cause me to give up.

So after looking over the schedule and my legs are still relatively fresh, I attempted to switch up my run to Friday at least for this week and so did the run tonight. It is certainly risky too to have the long run on a Friday night instead of on the weekend due to shortness of time. I would have to do my run after work and I have to finish it before the last train leave the station, so I can catch the train back home and so not be stuck in downtown. Train stations remain open a little longer on Friday. Still I wasn’t sure I could fit a twenty miler within the four/five hours windows.

In theory I could run a twenty miles in about three hours but that is under normal race condition. However long run usually is quite another beast. Last week, I spent 9 hours doing it. You want to do the long run in slow speed. I don’t rush my long run. As long as I finish, that what count.

Well I decided to try any way. My motivation was to finish early enough so I can catch the train home. I use our club run routes because they are familiar to me (I dont have to think on where to turn) and their distance are known to me. The fun thing for me was to remember all the routes we did, and to not get bored. Each route is about 3.5 to 4 miles. If I do it five times I should get 20 miles. Normally it takes about 45 mins to an hour to run a route. Note, since it is in the city, we stop for traffic lights and the stopping time is included. There are a lot of lights.

The first loop/route I did is called the Square because it looks like a square/rectangle on the map. I went down 19th, to Constitution, to 12th, to P and back to the Circle (DuPont).

The second loop, we usually refer to as Rock Creek. We have a few variations but usually it is running up on Connecticut, then to Carvert, to Rock Creek, turn on Pennsylvania, take a zigzag and cross the street to M, follow M to New Hampshire, and back to DuPont.

The third lap is called Behind the Lincoln. This is one of my favorites. From New Hampshire, to Washington Circle, through the circle and get on 23rd, to Lincoln Monument, cross the street and run behind Lincoln Monument, get on Independence, here there is a normally a choice to run either up 17th, or go for the bonus mile. Tonight, I chose for the bonus mile, by crossing over 17th, continue to stay on Independence, run until 15th, basically go around the Washington Monument, turn on Constitution, get back to 17th, turn and follow 17th to Connecticut, and back to DuPont.

By Fourth loop, I was tired. I chose the easiest route for me to do (and I planned to run this twice to get the twenty miles). It is called the Hexagon, because it looks like one. This time, the route begins on Massachusetts, to 14th st, follow 14th to Constitution, turn on Constitution, go until Virginia Ave, turn on Virginia, and go until 22nd, turn on 22nd. Follow until New Hampshire and turn to get back to DuPont. This is the easiest route.

The last loop:

With some extra mile I did here and there, by the time I got back to DuPont I had 17 miles. The time was around 10 pm. I was very tired at this point and feeling a bit hungry and wanted to call it a night. The dinner I ate at 5:30 was all gone. But there are three more miles left. I was debating to quit and head back home. Yet there was only 3 miles left, the buck of the run already completed. In my mind I was nervous about missing the last train out of DC. So I pulled out the phone to check when is the last rain supposed to come. I was relieved to know I have another hour and half before the train arrived. Still I was very tired. Know I could do it, gave me fresh strength. It was a Friday night and first day of school (moving day for a lot of local colleges/uni), so a lot people, students and their families, on the street. It gave me the will to finish.

I haven’t decided what route to run for the fifth loop. I could do the Georgetown route but it is kind of dark to go there. I would finish with some extra miles. I didn’t want any extra mile.

In the end I decided to have my own route by running down Connecticut, turn on Constitution, maybe go behind the Monument, and headed up on 14th. Stop when I get to three miles and hopefully it will end on 14th at my workplace where I left my personal belongings before the run.

I finished it. It was an amazing feeling! Like in a race all kinds of emotion bubbling up. No longer was I sleepy or tired.

I wanted to go to McDonalds (the only store that opens late) to get a milkshake and a burger, but I remembered I had a bag of grapes and some left over lunch as well as a cheeseburger my friend gave me. I was very hungry. I ate them all. Still was hungry and I made myself a cup of hot chocolate and then it felt good.

The weather was nice for tonight run. When I started it was around 70 (20C). When I ended, it was a few degrees cooler. I ended up feeling cold. There was some breeze and with wet clothes, I felt cold. The hot coco did wonders.

Amazingly I didn’t feel sleepy. I made it to the 11:26 train. I tried to write this post on the train but felt asleep. My stop is the last stop, so it doesn’t matter for me to sleep through all other stops as long as I know to wake up for mine. Got home. Still tried to finish up the post but felt asleep again. I finished the post in the morning, but now have to start thinking of the Saturday run … A new day. Still I am very happy to get the long run out of the way.

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