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running

Day278 Fairfax County Parkway Run

Run yesterday 62; GVRAT total 149

Last couple weeks I ran north on the County Parkway to Reston. Yesterday I decided to run south, since the starting of where I entered the highway is at mile marker 26. I figured if I run south, I would have a marathon distance. Doing an out and back would give me a double marathon with change.

I enjoyed my runs to the north but not so much to the south because they were hardly any people on the trail. It might be because yesterday was kind of cold, 34 F (near freezing) in the morning and later got up to the high 40s.

Amazingly the cold and blustery wind didn’t bother me that much. I dressed well, with gloves, and face buff.

Some sections of the trail need to be repaved because roots are starting to take over and creating uneven surfaces. I saw bikes rather go on the road than on the trail. Also some places need better signage. Most of the trail has no street lights, making it unfavorable to ride on it at night.

Enough said, I felt I was the only one on the trail. Not that it bothered me, it is better to run alone. Yet I felt mostly bored since the scenery was about the same. There were no businesses, no house, and mostly devoid of people. The 20+ miles were hardly developed in term of businesses unlike the northern section. There are some rich estates. Maybe that the reason they like being in the remote area and away from the bustling of city life.

My goal was to get to Springfield from the County Parkway. It was a long way. I followed the mile marker until at mile marker 5, so technically there were few more miles to go. The trail was diverted to somewhere. I didn’t try to find out. I reached where I wanted to reach, that is, what used to be called Springfield Mall, now it is Springfield Town Center. The mall of course was closed due to the shelter at home policy. I had lunch from a nearby Thai carry-out.

After my late lunch (4:30 pm), it was a long way home. I didn’t reach home until 15 mins before midnight. I have been out on thr road for 16+ hours. My mind and body was about to shut down.

County Parkway southbound. It was an euphoric moment to reach this point where the highway split, because in the past, I have always driven here in a car and have found the trip long. So here I was that I ran the whole way!
The County trail diverts into the local neighborhood from time to time. I have arrived at my final destination, Springfield mall, which is about a block away, along with the Metro station (light commuter rail). My family was asking if I am taking the rail back home, now I ran 33 miles.) I told them I plan to run back on my return trip.
On a normal weekend there won’t be any parking spots available. There are some cars now and they got my hope up that the mall was open. Unfortunately, the mall was locked. Cars were probably employees of from the restaurants there, because they can still be open for take-out orders. It was an anticlimatic as I turned back around and run 7 hours back home. I was hoping for some good food at the mall.
Around 8-8:30 pm now, and I was happy finally to reach this part. This is the exit off the County Parkway toward my old house. I was getting off here too. I think the mile marker is 20, there is about 13-14 miles to home. The rest of the way, I could run with my eyes closed.
The picture was taken on an earlier as I was passing by and heading out to Springfield. These new homes are built on what used to be a church. One thing I like to do when I am on a run is to look at the architecture. It saddened me that the church is no longer there as I was looking for it. Granted it is not any 200 years old church like in DC, and there is no law requiring preserving this little history. I felt a bit of my childhood is lost. The neighborhood is transforming. Our county is growing at 16% in population per year, and there is not enough housing. Only way is tear down the old and replace them with the new.
watch stat. 16 hrs. I got lost for 2 hours. It should be one straight way of out and back, but you see on the map a bulge in the middle section. I was wandering about at that point looking for the trail and for a place to eat. A future goal is to do 100k under 14 hours.