Another Cold Training Day

Yesterday I was supposed to run the relay at the George Washington's Birthday Marathon. But the race was postponed on Thursday in light of Sunday's forecast of extreme cold temperatures and wind chill. The rescheduled date is Saturday 2/21, which has made some people angry, as the published back-up date was 2/22. But that's another story and another blog post...if the race isn't cancelled for good. It will be cold with possible snow this weekend, but not quite as cold as last weekend, and with less wind.

Because GW was canceled, Jody (who was planning to run the full marathon) asked me if I'd like to do a training run with her. We decided on Saturday afternoon, as it would be significantly warmer and more pleasant than running on Sunday. We met in Vienna to do 10 miles on the W&OD Trail.

Here I am at the caboose in Vienna, our starting location for the run

We headed west on the trail toward Reston, staring at the Caboose just a short way before Mile 12. There was a slight downhill grade at first, but it felt flat to me. Jody was more familiar with this section of the trail and made sure I was aware of the downhill, and then later the slight uphill. Eventually, the uphill definitely FELT like it was uphill, and it went for quite some time at a very slight grade, but definitely enough to feel it. I don't mind hills, but I hate long inclines. They wear me down. I guess they are good training for me, but that doesn't mean I have to like them. There were also two crazy-steep hills on the course, but they weren't long...just steep. We got to go up both of them and down both of them since we did an out & back on the trail.

Our course and the elevation (via Garmin), which looks every so slight, but we definitely felt it

I need to use some of my training runs to practice a consistent pace for my upcoming pacing gig. This was not one of those runs. This run was simply about getting the miles in on a cold day. I also used it to start getting used to my borrowed Garmin GPS watch (thanks Abbi!). This was my first run with the Garmin, and I wasn't completely familiar with the device. I will need to set it up so that I can more easily see the stats I want to see, and I'll also need to figure out what intervals to run, and set the watch for those.

Here's Jody crossing "Difficult Run" which is actually the name of the creek

It was good to have company on this cold, dreary day. I can't say I loved the course. While I often run on the W&OD Trail, I'm rarely this far west. I started this run farther west than I usually go. This was my first time running on this trail beyond Mile 15 (we ran almost to Mile 17). I don't like the gradual inclines. I much prefer my normal sections of the trail that include more flat portions, as well as a few hills. But it was good for me, so thanks for suggesting it, Jody. Maybe we'll see each other Saturday at GW Birthday Marathon, if it is still held.


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