Last Saturday, we went up to Washington, DC for the weekend to visit good friends and attend their annual party at their new town home in the city. Since it was exactly 4 weeks out from the Marine Corps Marathon, I needed to get in a long run and what better timing than to be in the city where I could run on the marathon course. Prior to our trip, I scoped out the 2009 marathon course (which has changed a bit from the course I ran in 2006) and than mapped my own 22-23 miler that would include a good portion of the course I will be running on October 25.
I run with a digital runner's watch that uses pedometer functionality to fairly accurately gauge my time and distance. I use gmap.pedometer.com to map out and estimate mileage on my route and than compare it to my watch results and record it on my runner's log at LogYourRun.com. Gmap is powered by Google Maps. For those of you who are friends with me on facebook.com or followers of my fan page for the marathon charity run on facebook, you also know that LogYourRun syncs with facebook and posts run results as they are logged for my status. Additionally, my facebook fan page syncs with my twitter page and tweets my updates to my followers. At the end of the day, these technologies aren't necessary but they make training more fun, have encouraged me to work harder since my training results and race times are public and most importantly; they create buzz about my fund raising effort for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation and my running of the marathon on their team.
So this past Saturday, my long run started off on Pennsylvania Avenue as I exited the Foggy Bottom metro station and took me through Georgetown, along the Capital Crescent Trail, along Rock Creek Parkway, past the JFK Center, Lincoln Memorial, FDR Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, around Hains Point Park, past the Washington Monument, up Constitution Ave, past the Smithsonian American History and Natural History museums, past the US Capitol, down Jefferson Dr, past the Smithsonian American Indian and Air and Space museums, the Smithsonian Castle, the Holocaust museum, across the Potomac River, along the Mt Vernon Trail, across the Potomac again, back through Georgetown and again back to Pennsylvania Avenue. The total mileage was roughly 22.5 miles with about a .5 mile walk to the metro.
I had a great run and felt pretty good and strong throughout. There were plenty of other runners out there with me, some alone and many with groups. I ran with my fuel belt carrying 4 bottles of Powerade (same brand and flavor as the marathon will have in a month) and a couple energy gels. Luckily, I found a team water cooler on the backside of the Lincoln Memorial and refilled my bottles with plain water about mile 14. I really think running the course in advance will help me a lot on race day and covering the distance at a reasonable pace last weekend has done a lot for my confidence. Obviously, race day will be harder since its 26.5; not 22.5 miles and because the crowd around me will severly impact my time during the first 1/3 of the race. I got 3.5 more weeks of runs in Raleigh to go before race day and that also leaves YOU with 25 days to donate to my cause. Thanks for your support and stay tuned for more hot blog action about race day.