Lots of positive news from this week to report. First off, after years of purposely avoiding joining a running club, I finally found a great group of people who share my philosophy and overall outlook on running (i.e. "Let's simply enjoy ourselves out there"). The Virginia Happy Trails Running Club (VHTRC) has been around for a bunch of years and has a bunch of members from all over - Lots in VA, DC, and MD, but also in NY, NC, etc. It seems once you join, even if you have to move away from the area you never want to leave the club. They don't have any formal meetings, etc, but they do put on lots of races and runs, including a couple major trail races in the area. I witnessed their handy work first-hand at Massanutten back in May, and I must admit it was the first time I seriously considered joining a club. The vibe at the aid stations and among all the volunteers was amazing. I look forward to joining those folks by volunteering at many races for the club in the future.
Another great aspect of the VHTRC are the "informal" races and runs they organize for members. One such race is the "Andiamo 45" on October 4. I've happily signed up for this run, not necessarily to shoot for a great time, but to take advantage of running a few happy miles with some great people while training for the 24 Hour National Championships. I can't wait!
As for this week in training, the most notable fact is that during my long run this week it was 35 degrees cooler than last week...THIRTY-FIVE!!! When I stepped foot outside to start the run I said "Now that's what I'm talkin' about!". Nothing like cool, crisp weather to bring out the best in a long run. I loved it. I also decided to explore some new terrain up in Rock Creek Park. With tons of trails and bike paths that mix and mingle like a bowl of spaghetti on a map, I just ran up there w/ my GPS (about 6 miles from my place) and purposely got lost for about 30 miles. I ended up doing a few miles through the National Zoo, a few miles on paved bike paths, a few miles on hilly single track trails, and a whole lot of back-tracking and sun-navigating to find my way back south toward home. There's something fun about getting lost while running when you have a fuel belt full of gels and a bunch of creeks near by for water if needed. By time I found my way back to familiar terrain, I had just a couple loops of Hains Point to knock off to get to 40 miles total. All in all, a great run to cap off a great training week...and let me be sure mother nature hears me this time: HOORAY!! FALL IS HERE!!
Week Training Log:
Monday - 8.5 miles - Hains Point
Tuesday - 8.5 miles - Hains Point
Wednesday - Off Day
Thursday - 8.5 miles - Hains Point
Friday - 8.5 miles - Hains Point
Saturday - 40 miles - Rock Creek Park / Hains Point
Sunday - 8.5 miles - Hains Point
Week Total: 82.5 miles