Success! And I found the way back to the trail...
Monday, February 17, 2020
NICE day for a run today! I didn't get out until about 9am and, while I had 20 miles in the back of my mind plan, I wasn't sure I'd live (or run) up to it. Still, I geared up as if I would - waist pack with 18oz water bottle (+ electrolyte supplements), energy gels, $60 in case + my credit card to cover all circumstances (deciding I needed to stop running and get transportation home at some point, deciding I needed 20 doughnuts to make it through, etc.).
My rule was pretty much to just keep going and force a longer distance by getting halfway to the goal and then either running home or being forced to admit defeat and call a cab (or catch a bus/train).
I followed the Schuykill River Trail (SRT) again - my mainstay for long runs since it goes and goes (seriously, like out at least 25 miles, if not more). It' s also a pleasant run going along the river. The only problem is there's a segue in the town of Manayunk where you have to run on the road (sidewalk) for a while. I've read directions but either I'm really bad at following directions (which is entirely possible) or they weren't great, but I've tried 3 times in the past and never found the way back to the SRT. The last time I tried, I found a side trail that looked promising, but even with it, it's only 8.75 miles out and I really needed 10. I was convinced that must be the way back to the SRT, so I tried it again today and still, nope, definitely no trail of any kind past a certain point.
I still had distance to add if I didn't want to have to add it at the end of my run (when it's harder to muster the will to do!), so I decided to use half of it to just go farther along the road past where I had turned off to (and then turned back on from) the side trail. I had done that last time as well and I didn't think there was anything useful, but this time I resolved to run even farther. Sure enough, a couple of blocks (maybe just one???) beyond where I had turned back last time, I found.... SUCCESS!!!
I saw a promisingly named street - LOCK ST (as in, "canal lock") - and, sure enough, it lead over to the Manayunk canal - and the running trail along that (crushed gravel instead of paved at that point) is a step along the way of getting back to the main Schuykill River Trail. Yay!
In my excitement, I ran out a bit farther than I needed, so not only did I finish the planned 20 miles, but I added another 1/2 mile for good measure to reach 20.5.
I ran pretty consistently throughout (definitely FELT the last few miles, but didn't slow down too much) and ended up at a 10:37 pace, which is very good for me - not too far off my "back in the day" paces for that kind of distance, even, which I'll take any day.
It was a good day all around... M was up when I got out of the shower post-run and we ended up binge-watching an anime series (12 episodes about 20ish minutes each, so about 4 hours total watching), finishing up some leftover pizza for dinner and ending with a dessert from a local place I ran out and picked up. We finished the 1st season of the series shortly after that - "complete" in the sense that there was an acceptable ending, though it also definitely left room for another season.
Not completely good nutrition, but with 1600+ calories to burn from a 20.5 mile run, at least I stayed in range! And I ended my feast window at 6:30p which should make for quality sleep and getting back on schedule tomorrow.
And I never got around to the laundry I meant to do, but hey, there's always tomorrow... At least I did the running clothes on Saturday so I have a few days of those! :) That's one good thing about working from home - I have a conference call in the AM, but once that's done, the laundry can go in.
So, I wouldn't say it was a PRODUCTIVE day (didn't do anything for work or get laundry done), but it *was* a holiday and a great day of both "me time" (3.5 hours of running :)) and just chilling with M and enjoying a very pleasant show... I'm not normally a good binge-watcher (I get way too antsy) but had no trouble staying engaged (the fact it had subtitles helped since that requires a certain amount of attention). Sometimes a complete and total day off work and chores and tasks is just what the doctor ordered...