August: Leesburg 20K
September: DC Ragnar (but I told you about that one)
October: Woodrow Wilson Bridge Half Marathon
November: Richmond Half Marathon
December: Rehoboth Beach Half Marathon
And a few trail runs in there with the Backyard Burn series.
This week, I've done pretty much nothing. I ran about three miles on Tuesday to try to shake out some soreness from the Rehoboth Beach half, but it hurt, and then I remembered that I had promised myself a break from running after that race. I hadn't taken any real time off since my foot gave me some problems in January. It's weird to take a break and not be hurt, and I'll probably not meet my goal of running 1,000 miles this year because of it, but my feet and knees are thanking me.
So let me tell you about one of those trail runs.
Backyard Burn is a trail running series put on by EX2adventures. They are a terrific company and the series is challenging and fun. I did three of the races in the fall series this year, at Lake Fairfax Park in Reston, Wakefield Park in Annandale, and Prince William Forest Park, down near Quantico. One bonus of these races is that I get to catch up with Michelle and Steve, who run so fast that I only get to see them before and after the race itself, but that's cool.
|I'm smiling because the race hadn't started yet. They're smiling because they're going to kick butt.|
|Chris is in the green shirt, Jim has the shades on, Andrea is focusing, and you know me.|
Nope. About 100 yards down the trail I hit a root with my foot and went flying, splat. I skinned my knee, skinned my elbow, and called it a day. The other runners were jumping over me and asking if I was okay, but I managed to roll out of the way and take my bib off. It was the first race I'd started and not finished, which was disappointing.
My real problem was that because I had ridden with to the race Andrea, my cozy sweatshirt was still in her car. Fortunately, the ranger station was open. They let me use their bathroom to fix my contact lens and clean the dirt off my hands and face, and I loitered around there until the runners started coming in. I got to eavesdrop on the rangers (they were seriously helpful to the hikers who wanted to avoid the trail runners), learn a little about the history of Prince William Forest Park (it started out as the Chopawamsic Recreation Area in the 1930s to let DC kids get a chance to breathe some country air), and take selfies with the stuffed beavers.
|According to the park's website, there are now about 80 beavers living there. This guy is not one of them.|
"I saw a beaver!" I told him. He was a little impressed until I showed him the above picture.
Chris, Jim, Andrea, and Michelle enjoyed their races, and we all enjoyed the bountiful food that EX2 provides. I reasoned that if you bail out of a race because you fell and got dinged up, you can still have a piece of pizza at the end. And yep, check out Andrea with her pint glass prize!
|I would love to win one of these!|