Wednesday, June 27, 2012

4 Bridges in 4.5 Miles

We were very lucky in Richmond yesterday - we were blessed (and I mean blessed!) with an absolutely picturesque, gorgeous, perfect day. Temperatures were 10 degrees below normal, topping out around 80. The sky was clear and blue. There was a cool breeze blowing in from the north.

There was almost NO. HUMIDITY. That's a big deal for a June day in central Virginia.

I was chomping at the bit all day - I just couldn't wait until the work day was done and I could get out there and go running. The plan was to meet up with Siri and hit a new route that my other running buddy Greg had taken us on two weeks or so ago. He called it the 4 bridges in 4.5 miles route and it was a stunner, taking us across Richmond's Belle Isle, along the Canal Walk, across the 14th Street Bridge to Mayo Island, along the Flood Wall, and back across the river on the 9th Street Bridge.

The whole thing is incredibly scenic. Siri and I opted to reverse the route this time, starting out by crossing the 9th Street Bridge. This, it turns out, was not such a good idea. More on that later.

Things started off wonderfully. I had been a litle bit nervous about getting lost, but my worries were unfounded. With our combined brain power, Siri and I were able to recreate the route easily. She filled in my blanks and I filled in hers. We stopped along the way for me to take some pretty gorgeous photos of the Richmond skyline from the flood wall on the southside of the James River.

This one is my new banner
Along the canal walk, there is a fabulous mural of some graffiti art, which I believe was sponsored by a great local arts organization called Art 180.

This one made me laugh out loud. I'm sure it IS the James that we smell in Richmond.

The toughest part of the run turned out to be running back up 5th Street. The hill was absolutely killer and completely wiped me of any delusions of turning this loop into a 6 miler by added an out-and-back down Monument Avenue. Siri and I both agreed that the original route had worked out better... 9th Street is also a hill but it is not anywhere near as steep as 5th Street.

See that lovely elevation gain during mile 4? Yeah. It kicked my butt.

There were no protests from my ankle tonight, but strangely enough the inside of my right knee is hurting in a really strange way. It's not like any other pain that I've ever had, so it is making me nervous. I didn't wrench the knee, land wrong, or do anything else different that would've caused a sudden injury so I don't know what's going on. I probably ok, I admit I didn't stretch enough beforehand, but I'm not always the most commited pre-run stretcher anyway.

When I got home I iced it for about an hour... hopefully it was just some weird incident and the pain doesn't persist. I just managed to escape BFF Steve... I don't want to go back!

But I definitely do want to run this route again. It's not looking good for this week - the forecast is calling for 100 degrees on Thursday and 102 on Friday!

Summer. Blah.

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