Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Long Run Wednesday

Today was my scheduled long run.  A "long run" for me means I run slow and steady and it's the farthest I run all week.

Here's the funny thing about a long run.  It's exciting up until the exact moment you start running it.  I spend all week thinking and daydreaming (yes, daydreaming.  Welcome to the excitement that is my mind) about my long run.  But the thing is, a long run is still just that.  A very.  Long.  Run.

Today's scheduled long run was 8 miles.  Can you believe I was actually looking forward to that?

Pre-8 Miler.  Happy and naive.

Lately my IT band in my left knee has been bothering me during long runs and after doing some research I decided that it might be due in part to running on the road, and more specifically, always running on the left hand side of the road.  The road slopes down gradually from the's hardly noticeable, but apparently it can do some serious damage to your knee.  Booo.

I love running in my neighborhood but I was too worried about my knee to risk it.  I didn't feel like going all the way to the beach (sorry landlockers, "all the way" for me is ten minutes...and that seemed WAY too far).  I couldn't fathom running 8 miles at the middle school track (32 laps.  Are you kidding me?).  So I opted for best out of my options.

Mt. Trashmore.  Yes.  A pile of trash seriously won that competition.

Mt. Trashmore
I should preface this by saying that I am not making up the name Mt. Trashmore.  That is the park's legitimate name.  I also am not making up that it is a pile of trash.  That is true as well.

Once upon a time, Mt. Trashmore was a landfill.  I might be making this up, but I'm pretty sure it has to be the highest elevation in Virginia Beach, due to the fact that it is literally the only hill around.  So anyways, Mt. Trashmore was a huge landfill that any tourist driving to the beach could see from the highway.  I'm guessing it was only a matter of time before the geniuses in the Parks and Rec. office were all, "Let's add a playground and a walking path and call it a day."  Months (years?) later Mt. Trashmore park was open for business.  I can only assume that whoever named it is entirely unoriginal or perhaps ironic.

Mt. Trashmore is actually really nice and clean, and you sometimes even forget it's a landfill.  There's a nice lake and everything (do not under ANY circumstances get anywhere near the water though).  Kids play on the playground or roll down the hill, and aside from the occasional soggy area roped off with orange fencing, it's really not so bad. 

I arrived at Mt. Trashmore pumped and ready to knock out my 8 miles.

Awkward pre-run face.  The sun was really bright.

I started my Nike+ and took off.  And then I was all, "Aarrgh, eight miles is going to take forever!"

I wanted to go home, but instead I ran and ran and ran some more.  I watched the people walking their dogs.  I watched one lady carrying her dog in a BabyBjörn.  Seriously. 

Pretty much I was creepy and watched people for a little over an hour.  Some people were nice and smiled at me.  Other people awkwardly made eye contact before looking away.

All in all, it was a good run.  Slow and steady.  My IT band didn't start hurting until about mile 6.5 and then the pain just came and went randomly.  Actually, not randomly.  If I thought about the pain, it was killing me!  If I got distracted by BabyBjörn dog wearing ladies, it didn't hurt at all.

Awkward post-run face.  No excuse, I'm just that awkward.

  I have a 5K race on Saturday for Alzheimer's, so my Friday run will be a tempo 5K to prep.

3.23.2011 Run
Distance: 12.08 K (8 mi)
Time: 1:14:20
Pace: 9:17/mi
Calories: 961

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