The first run was in Charlottesville. I failed to take a picture, but my husband who set out about an hour behind us did, so I'm stealing it from his phone:
My best friend lives in the Pantops area of Charlottesville, and after a couple minutes on suburban residential low vehicular volume streets, there's the great running trail pictured above.
But holy hills! We only made it out two miles and I knew I had to head back. And I had to walk uphill some on the way back! I feel like that picture doesn't even do it justice.
My best friend hates running and every time I visit her, I run that trail and then comment on how hilly it was. She uses it as a reason not to run, but I keep thinking what an advantage it would be. If I lived by and trained on something like that all the time? Then I went to do a race in Dallas? I could kill it!
That was my only run in Charlottesville.
In DC (well, northern Virginia technically), it was the opposite experience. It was a lovely overcast day, and less than a block away from my friend's house, there is this trail:
It apparently goes for hundreds of miles. I set out to do 6 miles (the whole "easy May" thing), and my husband decided to bike with me. That was fun and made me feel like Meb. Like I run so fast the only way someone could be with me is if that person had wheels.
I got on that trail and wanted to run forever. In the first 1.5 miles near her house, there were a few street crossings, but then it turned into something like the Charlottesville run above -- running along power lines with no streets in sight. Flat, paved, safe, beautiful, quiet.
I turned around after 4.5 miles only because I didn't have any gu with me and I was a little worried I'd crash and burn if I went more than 9 or 10 miles without any calories. Poor planning on my part! I suppose it was lucky. If I'd had gu, maybe I would have tried to run 20 miles or something and gotten hurt, but I truly had zero desire to stop.
Due to the timing of our flights, I've only got 5 consecutive mornings of waking up in San Fran and since marathon training is kind of gettting underway, I need to run at least twice, ideally four or so times.
Unfortunately for me, the hills here mean the runs will have an elevation profile far more like Charlottesville. But what doesn't kill you...