I left the house at 7 instead of 6 this morning, unencumbered by running partners or kids having to go to school (kids got off under some pretext; coincidentally today also happens to be Ben Franklin's 300th birthday). This gave me an extra hour of sleep and extra daylight, both of which were appreciated.
Temps were maybe a few degrees warmer today, and I made sure to bring a hat and gloves (both of which I took off about midway through the run). The run was a long BN loop, meaning I went down Baltimore, through Penn and up the Schuylkill Bike Path to MLK, and then followed the route I charted last Saturday back home. This was 13.5 miles. I split the run into 3 segments: first 3.5 miles in 29:54; second 4 in 30:52; and last 6 in 44:49. This totals 1:45:37. Run was pleasant enough, but long. I never really got anaerobic (didn't look to), and my calves were really strained the last 2 miles or so of the route. Pretty much the workout I was looking for.
I spent some time yesterday catching up on various blogs I keep tabs on. If they are done well, blogs get to be like soap operas: interesting to follow and easy to stay current on even if you only tune in occasionally. The big (relatively speaking) splash among blogs I lurk on is by a guy Mike in Tucson who has been describing his training for several months as he went book and verse by the coaching instructions of the late Arthur Lydiard. The blog is very readable and he also spends time on the trials of balancing running and family, which I can certainly relate to (although this gets easier as the kids get older). Anyway, to make a long story short, Mike's last six months of training, and his blog, culminated with his running the Phoenix edition of the Rock N Roll marathon last Sunday, which you can check out for yourself at his site if interested.
The second blog of interest in my perusings last night was by a guy Zeke who lives in Minnesota who is in the same position as me in the sense that he is ramping up his mileage currently and pushing his personal limits. Alot of that stuff I can identify with, and I was struck by some commonalities I found (he must be reading my mail!), among which the idea that when you are pushing your mileage it is best to do it in even daily increments instead of the more conventional hard-easy sequence, and more generally the relentless, all-consuming nature of this endeavor. My favorite quote on this blog is him (or some commentator, I forget which) remarking that in this up-shifting, 12 miles (as in workout length) becomes the new 8. That's exactly where I'm at.
Finally, I haven't mapped it yet but can safely say that I have made it to/through Harper's Ferry and into West Virginia (i.e., Chillag country). Harper's Ferry is of course the town where the famed abolitionist John Brown made his stand, capturing a federal arsenal in the late 1850s with the intentions of using the weapons to arm a slave revolt. Carrying out this plot turned out to be a fiasco in which two of Brown's sons, among others, were killed and he was captured and later hanged. Robert E. Lee was the commander who led the federal troops in Brown's capture.
Its interesting to juxtapose Brown's escapades onto contemporary contexts. Brown nowadays would undoubtedly be considered a terrorist, and it seems like he did the dirty work for alot of well off northern abolitionists who gave their money to him but little else. Several modern day movements claim to carry the latter-day abolition mantle, but I think the movement that best can take claim to that, in terms of their fanaticism to a cause, is the anti-abortion movement. This then leads to older questions of relationships between ends and means which I will leave y'all with and further mull over on my own, probably on an upcoming run.
And now this Chautauqua enters its third state, and I need to look on the map for places to check out. I also imagine that the going will have alot of ups and downs, which makes me glad I'm running these Mountain State miles in Philadelphia.