The pictures here are of Great Falls National Park in Northern Virginia. The Park is very near downtown DC, and is also near where my folks live. The river is the Potomac River, which is one of the biggest rivers in the east. While visiting this past week, I twice ran the River Trail along the river from a neighboring park to the west. I think the fall colors make this the best time of year to be in Virginia. The River Trail is noted for its wildlife, with all sorts of birds visible along the way, as well as the occasional deer and who knows what else. The trail is pretty easy to run, except that it gets a bit rocky in an east coast old rock sort of way. There are many sections of the trail which traverse cliffs above the river gorge. One of my favorite stories about this area is how I foolishly swam across the river to Maryland a couple times when I was in high school. I say foolishly, because people frequently die in the river here. It is a favorite spot for competitive white water kayaking. Still, it was a rush, as the current just whipped me across to the other side.
So today I went out and ran the Ron Herzog 50k+ out by Granite Falls. DFL. I ran about as horribly as I can ever remember. My hips would not engage for the whole 6.5 hours, my feet felt swollen and my big toenails seemed to want to come off. And it rained. And rained. And rained. I'm not sure what to make of my day, except not to read too much into it, coming off the travel and all. I probably should not have watched the vampire movie the night before and ate so much popcorn and spaghetti. To some degree, I'll try to use this as motivation to get constructive this winter in my training. I want to be in better shape come February than I was last year.
I do know that TC and Shawn did a wonderful job in keeping this run alive, and the peeps that showed up today were awesome. In particular it was really cool to see so many friends waiting for the final finisher, namely me, and giving me the good cheer at the end. That's really cool.