Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Anniversary Run

I am a very lucky girl.

I married an amazing guy.  DJ Research is awesome, and for those of you who know him, you know this is Truth.  Though I can expound on his virtues for days, I will spare you the sappy sentiments and instead tell you how we celebrated our wedding anniversary.

We went for a long run TOGETHER!

We actually began this tradition last year when we ran 8 miles through Georgetown along the route we used to run before Nugget was born.  We both took the day off of work and relived some memories and miles as we traced our footsteps along the course that started it all.

DJ Research ready to run!

This year we decided to celebrate our anniversary with a long trail run.  We chose a trail that is part of the course for a race DJ Research may run this fall.  We ran down to the Potomac River and back, for a little over 12 miles.  Total running time was 2:25 hours.  Total time on the trail about 3.5 hours.  We took breaks. Some were walking breaks, some were "hey, that's pretty!" breaks, some were "shoot, I think we took a wrong turn back there" breaks, some were "ohmygod I just ran through a huge spider web getitoff! getitoff!" breaks (just for the record, both of us were guilty of the latter).

It was awesome.  It was hard.  Though the trail is more forgiving on your body than the road, it definitely takes greater effort to run on trail than it does to run on pavement.  For one, you always have to be alert to your footfalls, lest you eat dirt.  Literally.  Like I did around mile 2.5:

We were barely underway when I tripped over a root and found myself involuntarily inspecting a parade of ants as they marched in much better form than I had been running.  Luckily, this was the only time I actually fell, but there were MANY other near face-meet-ground incidents.  I tripped so many times that after the run DJ Research asked, "Seriously, what was up with that?"  I dunno.  Guess I'm just graceful.

We were the sole runners/people on the trail, but we did happen upon a number of "residents," if you will.  A toad.  Two deer.  4 billion sicadas (ok, we just heard them, thankfully).  And this guy:

Isn't he cute?

We also saw a big beautiful bird take flight just as we approached the creek bank.  I guess it had been enjoying the water, but as we came stumbling running through the woods, it flew away so we only got a glimpse of its back.  I'm no bird expert, and I wasn't wearing my glasses, but my uneducated guess is that it was a crane.  Whatever it was, it was quite a sight to see.

As for shoes (cause we're all gear geeks, right?), we were both running in Inov-8s.  I was running in the Inov-8 F-Lite 230s, which are a 6mm drop shoe, and the DJ was running in the F-Lite 195s, which are a 4mm drop shoe.  We love these shoes for on the road, and they performed really well on the trail too.  That said, I think I would prefer a sturdier trail shoe for more technical trails.  The technical sections today weren't actually that technical, and though the F-Lites held up, any course more technical would be too much.

Frankly, this run was perfect.  The weather was sunny, breezy, and not humid.  The conversation was fluid and light.  The scenery was calm and rejuvenating.  I feel so blessed to have an awesome husband who shares my running passion (indeed, who is a primary inspiration for said passion), and who also thinks running 12 miles on trail is the perfect date.

Potomac River

Lock House
 (in which you can stay overnight!)

Pennyfield Lock

To many more years of marital bliss! (so we can go on one of these adventures!)


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