Running (Trail) 2:18:38  12.5 mi (11:05 / mi) +364m 10:10 / mi
From Black Rock Mill Rd., the Seneca Creek Greenway Trail to the Long Draught Trail, to Thurgood Marshall ES, to Riffleford Rd., then back to Black Rock Mill Rd. via the Seneca Ridge Trail. I need more longer runs to be ready for the long orienteering races in the fall. I hadn't done a variation of this route since before I'd had surgery on my back. The temperature started in the mid 70s F and dropped to the upper 60s F, when I finished. It was also humid from previous rains.
Parts of the route are hilly though there are flat stretches too. Going out it was initially hilly so I wasn't surprised by slow mile times. At MD 118, a sign indicated that a bridge was out somewhere before the next road and that the way was impassable. The lack of bridges doesn't usually stop an orienteer and I knew the trail didn't cross the main creek where it could really be a problem. With the bridge out, that had seemed to decrease the traffic on the trail. The grasses had grown up making it slower, even though there was evidence of someone having bushogged the trail probably 3 weeks ago. There was water on the trail in some places but it wasn't to bad to run around. There was also a detour into the fields at one point. Where the detour returned to the main route, I found the washed out bridge and got across using 2 boards someone had laid over a gully. Slip marks in the mud showed some had trouble crossing, but I got over easily and without slipping.
As I got to Riffleford Rd., I expected to be at about 4 miles, based on my previous runs. However, my GPS was reading 3.6 miles at 44 minutes--I can't ever remember running trail that slow, so I suspected something being off with my GPS. The track for this run looks okay but the GPS track from an October 30th run in 2013 had me at over 4 miles at Riffleford Rd. I did another +2 mile loop past Riffleford Rd. so I'm calling this run 12.5 miles.
Past Riffleford Rd,, circled Thurgood Marshall ES and saw a few people. These were the only people I'd seen not in cars at road crossings, since initially starting (Some hispanic families picnicking and swimming in Seneca Creek were in areas near Black Rock Mill where I started). The trail conditions were good the whole way back. I'd mapped about 1/2 of that way so it was interesting seeing it at this time of year, from a trail running perspective again. Past where I'd mapped, the woods look quite open so I hope to add that field checking sometime. The dearth of anyone else being on the trail was almost disconcerting as my strength slowly drained away. Perhaps some combination of the socks I was wearing or my toe nails being just long enough made it unpleasant when I ran downhill--I had to crunch-up my toes to keep from smashing them and still it hurt. I was strong enough to run up all but the last serious hill, and only where it got too steep.
It was good to get this under my belt and I hope it'll help make other long runs easier. I weight-out at 183 lbs.