Saturday, April 30, 2022

Takoma Run: Mid-city Trail Running

 I almost forgot to post this one! I ran it two whole weeks ago. So without further ado, I present to you: Takoma Station!

Photo of the Takoma Station entrance, which is basically just a dark recess. Above it you can see the train platform.
It's not a very exciting station.
This is your basic two-track, one-platform station on the Red Line. It was one of the first Metro stations opened in 1976. This station serves both Takoma Park, MD AND the Takoma, DC neighborhood. They're not the same place, something it took me a while to figure out.
Photo of a train at the platform, which has an arched cover. In the foreground is a metal pillar that says Takoma.
The platform looks like every other platform.

The station itself is down a couple of escalators and seems to be pretty much under construction.

Photo from top of escalators of a tiled area surrounded by blue work walls. There is a painting over the fare machines.
I just noticed that painting, but I don't think it is part of the station. I think it is across the street.

I headed off on my run, actually in the opposite direction of home, but there was a dog park a couple of blocks away that I wanted to check out. It was disappointing though because there were only two dogs wandering around.

My route that day cut through Rock Creek Park on the Valley Trail. I love running through Rock Creek Park so much because even though it is in the middle of the city, it can seem like you are completely alone in the woods. I mean, if I were dumping a body, I'd do it here. 

Photo of wooded trail. Visible at the top of the photo is a handrail that indicates how close the road is.
You can see the road there in the middle of the photo, but once you're a quarter mile in you're alone.

This is my route map, which shows my path through the park. The dotted part indicates that it is trail, but doesn't differentiate between dirt and asphalt.

Screenshot of a route plotted through a green spot surrounded by city.
I ran  bottom to top.

I don't do a lot of trail running, largely because it's easier to find a road to run on than a trail, but also because I am prone to tripping on things and I feel as if it would be a lot easier to lose a tooth on a rock or break a shin on a log out there than on a sidewalk.

That said, I might have to do more of it, because good lord it is beautiful out there.

Selfie of me in a pink tanktop on a dirt trail next to a river.
I mean...

Many of the Rock Creek Park trails converge and dump out at the DC/Maryland line, which is about two or three miles from my house. This trail did as well. The trail turns into asphalt when you enter Maryland and it is much closer to roads and also a route I run so often that I could run it with my eyes closed. You know, if I wasn't likely to trip on the first crack in the trail.

I passed another dog park, but there were no dogs there either. Fortunately, the trail to my house passes a horse stable, so at least I got to see some large mammals.

Photo of a dirt ring next to a stable. There are three horses in the ring.
They fetched nothing, however.
I also saw these ducks.
Photo of a male and a female mallard sswimming next to each other in murky water.
They are rarer than dogs in my neighborhood, so I felt pretty good about them.
That's about it. It was a pretty chill little run--one that I could see myself taking again. I do like the elevation map even though it is fairly misleading. That big drop was from the road into the park, and it really wasn't as dramatic as this chart makes it seem.
Screen shot of an elevation map. There are a couple of hills and a really steep drop followed by a short steep hill and a gradual uphill slope.
But look! I ran a mostly uphill slope and didn't complain about it! Too much.


Selfie of me in front of a Metro post that says Takoma Station

Metro station:
Line: Red Line
Distance: 6.39 miles
Time: 1:18:26
Pace: 12:16/mi
Crow sightings: One! 
Interesting tidbit: I ran into my friend Vickie partway through my run, which not only gave me an excellent opportunity to chat with her, but a nice pause in my run.

Monday, April 18, 2022

How the Half Marathon Turned Out

 It didn't.

Remember how I was all, "I'm running a half marathon!" And then I was like, "Running long distances is hard," and finally I said, "I don't think I want to run a half marathon."

Well, the week after that last statement I tried to run from my house to the West Hyattsville station, which would have been 12 miles, but I didn't make it. My legs weren't having it and I had to call Alex to pick me up. He showed up with pickles and Diet Coke and drove me home while I thought about my musculoskeletal system and how I think it needed more time to prepare for 13 miles. 

So...I pivoted, downgraded from the half marathon to the 5k distance and crushed it!

Selfie of me post-race holding my eagle-shaped medal up.
The half marathon medal was way cooler. :(
I still plan to run more half marathons and one day I really, really wanna run the NYC Marathon, but I'm going to build up a little more slowly. No fear though, I'm still doing Project Crow. I did a run last weekend and will have a post up about it soon!