Mount Vernon Trail & SUMMER BREAK

This week has been super busy! I am a teacher and this was my last week of school before summer vacation. It was filled with tying up loose ends, finishing mounds of paperwork, and school events during the day AND at night. I barely had time to run let alone strength train or cross train! But we WERE able to finally do something I have been wanting to do forever- go for a long run on the Mount Vernon Trail!

The Mount Vernon Trail is an 18 mile multi-use recreation trail that is heavily used by bikers, runners, and walkers in the D.C. area. It stretches from Mount Vernon (George Washington’s home) up through Alexandria and Arlington. It also connects to many other trails in the area.

Mount Vernon is about a 20 minute drive from where we live. Not far, but only really worth driving to for a long run. We had a 16 miler on the schedule for Saturday morning so we thought it would be a perfect time to try it out. We got kind of a late start and made it to the trail a little bit past 8:30. That is much later than we like to begin long runs, especially in the summer. It was already warm and very humid, but we started on our way down the trail.

I LOVED the trail. I have gotten so used to my normal running routes and it was so exciting to have new scenery. Especially when the scenery is so beautiful! The trail took us alongside the Potomac River, through wildlife reserves and forests, and neighborhoods. I loved it. Since it was so hot we decided to take walking breaks every 4 miles. At the turn around at mile 8, right before the Woodrow Wilson bridge, we realized the toll the heat/humidity had taken on our bodies and it hit us like a ton of bricks. We ran the first half pretty fast because we were excited and full of energy. The second half was much tougher. It was getting later in the day and we found ourselves needing to take more walking breaks. The water in our Camelbaks had gotten warmer too, and my Gu tasted horrible to me so I didn’t want to eat it. I felt nauseous and I had even less energy as a result. At mile 13 we were struggling so we decided to cut the run short and make it 15. It was only one mile shorter than what we were supposed to do but it made a big difference to us at the time! It’s all about ADAPTIVE RUNNING 🙂

I can’t wait to run on the Mount Vernon Trail again. I also want to try biking the entire thing sometime (I don’t think I will ever be able to run 18 miles up the trail and back!) Next time though, I will make sure to get there earlier and I will have to bring my camera!

Here’s my weekly run-down:

  • Monday: Rest (We did our long run on Sunday)
  • Tuesday: 5 mile run (47:16/9:27 pace)
  • Wednesday: 5 mile run (45:35/9:07 pace)
  • Thursday: 7 mile tempo run- 1 mile warm up, 5 miles @ 8:12 average pace, 1 mile cool down (Splits were 8:08, 8:05, 7:58, 8:06, 8:11)
  • Friday: Rest
  • Saturday: 15 mile run (1:50:59/9:23 pace)
  • Sunday: Rest

Wow, I rested a lot this week! Probably because I was so busy and exhausted from the end of the school year. I am looking forward to summer break for so many reasons. I am excited to have more free time to do yoga, hit up morning spin classes (I couldn’t handle the evening ones during the school year), and get into a strength training routine. I also can’t wait to get back into my wedding planning. We started today by picking out our wedding bands! It was so exciting. We have less than 5 months to go, which is crazy because we got engaged over a year ago!

Summer… bring it on!

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