Have Dental Floss, Will Travel

Mapping the world, one waxy strand at a time…


You know it’s going to be a good day when you start it off with a 3+ hour trail run in the beautiful spring-is-finally-springing Wissahickon Gorge.

Brent and I tackled the loop half a dozen times last spring, and each time it felt like one of those key workouts that really helps you gauge where you are in terms of training and conditioning.

But it’s been nearly a year since the last time we got all the way around, and with the ups and downs of the past several weeks, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I met up with five friends at the parking lot of the Valley Green Inn this morning at 8:00 AM. (I meant to take pictures at the start and throughout our run, but my phone never made it out of my pack.  Shameful blogger.)

There was Laurie and Bill and Val, all racing together in two weeks at the Rev3 Epic race along Skyline Drive (yes, my friends still wanted to run with me today, even after I bailed on them earlier in the week).  There was Val’s friend, Natalie, who’s done her share of running and triathlon-ing, and my GOALS Girls Gone Wild teammate, Sue, who’s gearing up for an “old ladies” outing at the 2011 24-hour Cradle of Liberty next month.  And then there was me, trying to recall the route, without the benefit of my Santa Claus-of-a-husband by my side.

With the sun shining and the temperatures climbing, the Wiss. was crowded with runners, hikers, and bikers as we made our way over the leaf-strewn rocks, logs, and roots.  Aside from a little gash on Val’s knee and a 1/2 mile-ish detour when I lost the loop, our run was relatively uneventful.

The group ran well together and we chatted away the miles, dropping members gradually after the first couple hours as folks peeled off with places to be and kids to pick up.  The pace was comfortable and sustainable.   Just your ordinary Sunday morning long run.

Except that it was glorious.

My body felt strong and my spirits were high.  My right IT band got a little grumpy for the last third of the run, but otherwise, my muscles felt fresh the whole time.  And throughout the entire 15-16 miles, I didn’t have a single down moment mentally.

Not a single one.

I’m not sure that’s ever happened to me before.

It was a bit hard to gauge progress, because every time I’ve run the loop in the past it’s included an additional mile and a half in getting to and from the trails from our front door.  Still, when Laurie and I got back to the inn, we were about half an hour ahead of my projected finish time, and I still had plenty left in the tank.


I love meat.


15 responses to “Loop-di-Loo

  1. denise April 3, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    meat? do you think?? either way, sounds like a great day out there and there’s nothing like a good mental day!! it was beautiful out this wknd, glad you enjoyed it!!

  2. Kim (Book Worm Runs) April 3, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    That is great, Abby!!! 🙂 Those are the best kind of runs and the reason we keep getting out there! 😉

  3. Natalie April 4, 2011 at 5:00 am

    that’s great – glad you had a good run!

  4. Johann April 4, 2011 at 5:09 am

    Well, I for one believe in the meat thing. Great run and nice to have everything so positive. Have a good week!

  5. Kari w/ Jogging with Fiction April 4, 2011 at 9:02 am

    “except that it was glorious” 🙂 Awesome! Meat definitely seems to agree with you!!

  6. Julie April 4, 2011 at 9:21 am

    Glorious is good! I love glorious long runs or rides or anthing that makes me feel glorious 🙂
    Loved hearing about how great you felt during this run…this loooong run!
    Meat does a girl good!

  7. Emily April 4, 2011 at 11:46 am

    3 miles of trail running is no joke. and no single moment of negative thoughts? bad ass.

  8. Shelly April 4, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    I am so jealous. My weekend of trail training went out the window with Hubbs needing to do Army “work” this weekend. So thanks for allow me to live through your 3 hr trail adventure. I know I’ll be back out there soon.

  9. Val April 4, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    Truth is, I got the gash (ok, bloody scrape) on my knee because I was too busy/distracted admiring your calves.

  10. Mallory April 4, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    Haha you’re too funny!! I hope it continues to give you that high!

  11. Elise April 5, 2011 at 2:06 am

    Sounds like a fabulous run! I love those — the ones where you either chat, or think away the time without too much thought as to what you’re doing. If only that was every run 😉

    Glad you love meat…meat lovers can be few and far between in the blog world. I love it too, but in serious moderation.

  12. Tasha @ Voracious April 5, 2011 at 9:08 am

    Hahaha! I am cracking up because you sound so much like me. I could not believe I felt so much better just from eating meat. I was like…seriously? SERIOUSLY? But yep, still going strong after all these months and that is all it took. Isn’t it amazing?

    I noticed in your last post you asked about soups. One of the best things to do is make your own broth, with chicken pieces that have the bones, or beef bones, so you can get all the amazing nutrients that cook out of the bones. So tasty and SO nourishing. I’ll be posting broth recipes on my blog soon, so stay tuned!

    I’m really glad you are starting to feel better. I know that feeling of relief you are probably feeling, enjoy it!

  13. Julie (A Case of the Runs) April 5, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    Awesome that you were focused and enjoyed yourself. I don’t have many runs like that, but then again, I’m not tackling trails. Stretch that IT band…

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