Saturday, August 21, 2010

15 in 15 Run - Day 4 (Aug 20) Sterling to DC

I was looking forward to this day, especially after yesterday's "on the highway" run. Today was going to be bike trail all the way in to DC. We started at the parking lot for the W&OD trail on Route 28 in Sterling. I was met there by Gwen Corley who would be giving bike support and Alan Sowards, an old high school friend, who would run with me for the first 10 miles. This was another blessing. Alan lives in North Carolina and just happened to be in the area on business. Isn't it wonderful how God plans coincidences like that?

Alan and I got caught up on the last 30 years of our lives since we graduated from Loudoun County High. We worked out a system with Gwen, who could bike ahead of us with a spray bottle, and gatorade if we needed it, then she would be ready to spray us down as we passed by. The miles went pretty quickly with someone to talk to, and no traffic to worry about (except at the street crossings). Alan finished the 10 miles and left with his wife, while Gwen and I moved on. Eventually we were met by BJ Freeman who was walking towards us from where she had parked. This was great! From beginning to end, I was going to have somebody to talk to.

Our crew was having more difficulties. While we were running a straight line down the trail, they would have to plot a course through the streets in order to catch up to us. Sometimes this meant that roads they were planning to take had construction detours. By the time they made it to the rendezvous point we had already run by. It was good that Gwen was there with the extra supplies. I was also wearing a hydration pack, which gave me more water, but it was heavy.

Gwen turned around to ride back to her car, but it wasn't very long before BJ and I met up with Jay Jacob Wind who was going to run with us into DC. I recognized him because he was the race director of the Potomac River Run marathon that I did back in May. He was a wealth of running knowledge and he also knew the trail and the city very well. We handed over the logistics to him and he communicated back and forth with Steve on where to meet up. It was another one of those blessings.By now I was hot and tired. I really did feel like they were pulling me into DC and it made the run so much easier.

At one point there was a detour sign on the trail. We decided that it was meant for bicycles only and decided to try to make it through. Not! Now we had to turn around and go back. Fortunately, it wasn't very far. When Key Bridge came into view I was very happy, we were almost there. We crossed into Georgetown and stopped at the Georgetown Running Company for some water. Then, I followed Jay and BJ down to Water St (since it wasn't the original route) which avoided the Georgetown foot traffic and gave us a nice shaded route until we ran the last 12 blocks down to McPherson Square. At the end we grabbed hands and held them high as we crossed the "finish" line.  Our crew and the TOP DC coordinator, William Daniels, were waiting for us.

I did get one leg cramp after sitting on the curb a while, but was able to work it out and it didn't bother me the rest of the day. BJ treated us to ice cream, since the store just happened to be across from the park. What a great day of friendship. It reminded me so much that I'm not doing this alone. As the song goes "I get by with a little help from my friends."

1 comment:

  1. Susu - Just managing to finally catch up with some of your adventures. So inspiring! Louise from WW