You must do the things you think you cannot do.
Eleanor Roosevelt

Saturday, September 15, 2012

13 Miles Through Antietam National Battlefield

I'm just a month away from my first marathon and I'm trying not to freak out!! a little nervous. My last 3 long runs were major duds so my confidence is lagging, and I was beginning to wonder what the heck I was thinking.
The second half of my marathon runs through Antietam and Sharpsburg. Today was the first day of games for the boys' flag football league and they play in Shepherdstown which is just a short hop from Antietam. Bill is going to help out as a ref at the games so it made perfect sense for me to run in Antietam and just meet them at the game- as a sweaty, gross mess, but who really cares about those things??
It's just beautiful in the morning
The nice thing about running in this area is that there are always people - walkers, runners, cyclists, etc - around so I feel much safer running by myself. And since this weekend is the 150th anniversary of the battle of Antietam there were people everywhere.
I started a little after 7, spending the first couple of miles on the towpath - race day I'll spend about 13 miles on it - and then began the climb up from river level to the battlefield.

the tower at the end of Bloody Lane
view from the bottom of the hill
I felt really good. Strangely, surprisingly good. Even on the hills. I figured I'd just roll with it and see what happened.
I told some friends of mine that while I *love* trail running, it has kept me fat and made me slow and lazy. Maybe it made me a little stronger? Some of today's hills were pretty steep, but I didn't feel completely wiped out or beat up, even at the end of the run. It was kind of nice for a change!
When I got to the main part of the battlefield near the Visitor's Center, there were activity tents and people everywhere. It was mostly Boy Scouts and Civil War re-enactors so I couldn't walk or even slow down, no way! If anything I picked up the pace and rolled like a wheel into town.
In town there were even more people, setting up vendor booths, strolling, etc for the street festival. Lots of energy so on I went, dodging old people out for their morning walk and vendors hustling to finish their work. Happy, running me.
The miles ticked off and before I knew it I was back at the car. Sweaty and tired but feeling good.
It was just what I needed, and I'm so grateful.

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