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NotSoDifficultRun

Scott's Run, 7 Apr 2007 - click for larger image

The "Difficult Run 5k", a cross-country race sponsored by the MCRRC, is rather imprecisely named:

But no matter! Recent entries, including "Difficult Run", from the jogging logbook ...


2007-03-17 - Wheaton Loop

~10 miles @ ~11.5 min/mi

Yesterday's surprise sleet/snow storm causes the cancellation of this morning's MCRRC 10k race, so come late afternoon I set out to jog a big circle: from home via Forest Glen Rd. to Sligo Creek Trail, upstream to University Blvd., west through Wheaton along University, south on Connecticut Ave. to Rock Creek Trail, and thence home again. It's brisk, temperatures in the mid-30's, but after the first half mile the hat comes off (I stuff it into my shorts) and soon thereafter I doff the windshirt while waiting to cross Georgia Avenue.

Then, of course, the northwest wind begins to gust and I spend the next hour debating whether or not to put the outer layer back on. Sidewalks and trails are mostly clear, but wooden bridges along Sligo are still rather icy. Most woodland creatures are smart enough to hide, but I disturb flocks of ground-feeding robins near the Mormon Temple. I leave out the walk breaks and measured mile 8 is a fast 10:30. The trail access route near the new National Park Seminary is eroded and impassable, so I cut through the construction site back to Linden Lane.


2007-03-24 - Boggy Wallow

31+ miles @ 15+ min/mi

see HAT Run 2007 ...


2007-03-31 - Oh-Dark-Five

~9 miles @ ~14 min/mi

Like a candle in the wind, the moon gutters and fades as it sets into the clouds. At 5am I prepare to swerve off Route 28 into the usually-empty Seneca Creek parking area, and am startled to see the gravel lot almost full of pickup trucks, with more coming in. I squeeze into a space next to Caren, and we discover that it's the first day of trout fishing season. The anglers tell us that they plan to work the waters upstream, so we head south. There are a few boggy areas, but nothing like four weeks ago at the Seneca Creek Greenway Trail Marathon 2007, and far short of last week's HAT Run 2007.

The top of my right foot and the extensor tendon of that big toe is still slightly sore, perhaps from a too-tight shoe at the HAT, perhaps from the effort of lifting the foot out of sole-sucking mud in Susquehanna State Park. So I try my Nike "Free" slippers, and they work wonders on the soft ground. I lead most of the way, with occasional near-stumbles on tree roots. My socks are damp after we cross small streams and bedewed meadows.

The darkness is spooky (my headlamp needs new batteries) but even though most of the faded teal blazes are invisible we manage to follow the trail and reach Berryville Road in a little over an hour. Soon after we reverse course the sun rises and we can turn off our lights. The return trip is faster, as we now can see what's tripping us. Ken phones a bit before 7am and heads our way, to keep Caren company for the remainder of her long run. We reach our cars at the parking lot and while awaiting Ken have a pleasant chat with an elderly gentleman who tells us he used to be a runner but now focuses on fishing, a "cradle to grave" sport that offers many lessons for life — like running!


2007-04-07 - Difficult Run

~5 miles @ ~12 min/mi

Caren and I converge on Ken's house at 8am and carpool to the MCRRC race site in northern Virginia. An overnight snowfall dusts the vegetation and makes for lovely scenery, but leaves the winding trails clear. I snap silly photos (see http://flickr.com/photos/zhurnaly) of sundry participants and jog along with Caren; Ken and Lorrin sprint ahead, while Emaad and Pam cruise behind us. Just before the halfway point of the double-loop course we step aside for the winner to blast past on his final descent. During most of the race I tell Caren that we're doing a 13-14 min/mi pace, but about a mile from the end I sense that we're far ahead of that schedule and might squeak through in less than an hour. So I sprint ahead with Caren's permission; she's planning a long trail run the following day, and prefers not to risk injury. My watch as I cross the finish line says 59:59 but the official results show me at 1:00:00.


(cf. VikingRailroad (26 Sep 2006), HatBulge (23 Oct 2006), InnerGoat (12 Nov 2006), JFK 50 Mile Run 2006 (20 Nov 2006), SharperImage (10 Dec 2006), All Good (13 Jan 2007), RacyJetsam (4 Feb 2007), AggressiveResting (17 Mar 2007), ...)

TopicRunning - TopicPersonalHistory - Datetag20070410


(correlates: NanoRadians, Difficult Run 8k XC 2008, JanuaryQuips, ...)