I wanted to love that I was running in Germany, along this beautiful river.
But it was a loooong run. My legs had hurt since I stopped running my 18 on Friday, and after getting lost on Tuesday and walking miles and miles I was set up for them to hurt all through this run as well. I wanted to be cruising along this river in a sailboat, with a glass of Riesling...not running along it.
But instead I was moving along, one step at a time.
That's not to say the whole thing was terrible! Because let's be honest...I was in Germany running along a river. Before Danielle left for work she sat down with me (and a map) to show me where to run...you know. so I wouldn't get lost again :P
It seemed simple enough! Down ONE street to the river, turn left, then a few miles along to Konz where I would cross a bridge and continue until I needed to turn around. I'd make that turn, then stay on that side of the river until I reached the Römerbrücke (back in Trier) where I would cross again and then turn back towards Danielle's. No problem.
In general, this run was way different than all my other runs. I didn't care about pace or time - when I was running I would keep an easy pace, but I was fine with walking and stopping to take pictures. You for sure are not going to see any Garmin data for this run because it's so inconsistent.
The first few miles were great. I made it to the river just fine, and was thoroughly enjoying the view. I stopped to take pictures whenever I felt like it, and then picked up and started running again.
So here are the first few miles! (All of these pictures were taken between Trier and Konz, which are 9.3k apart)
|The culprit -_-|
|Sporting my #TeamRMHC gear!|
|Looking north towards Trier (the way I came from).|
|Again with me in it!|
|And south, where the river forks. To the right, the Moselle continues, to the left it becomes the Saar.|
I reached Igel!
This is quite significant, for no other reason than the fact that my cousin Jennie is obsessed with hedgehogs...and ,,Igel" is German for Hedgehog!
So I took a few cute, touristy pictures just for her!
|I reached Hedgehog!|
|Look, another swan!|
|Seriously though, guys...keep your distance. Those birds are mean.|
And around 8 the brutality started. I just was not feeling that great. I actually walked all of mile 8, and picked up again at 9. During this same period I started to feel like maybe I was getting lost...the path diverted from the river to go around a yacht club, and it didn't seem to be rejoining the river again. It was also very sunny. By the time I could see the river again I was almost 10 miles in, and I was low on water. By 10.5 I ran out of water, and was still in full sun. At that point, not knowing when I would have the chance to stop and get water...I stopped running.
You see...this was a public path. There was lots of traffic...but there are no public works amenities. No bathrooms. No water fountains. There are benches, and that's all you get! In America we are spoiled. During 15 miles on a single path at home I would have passed at least 4 public places to stop for a potty break and/or water, and plenty of other places where I could have bought water, gels, food...practically anything.
This path was totally different. It did not go through a town, and it really only went near one or two. So for miles 8-11 I was missing home, and feeling kind of bitter about being out along the river.
The good news was that around mile 11 I finally spotted the Römerbrücke. Finally. Danielle had pointed out a Shell gas station on the map (on the side of the river I started on) as a landmark for where to turn to get back to her house, and I was SO HAPPY to know I could stop there to buy water. So at 11.5, when I was about 1km from the bridge (so 2km from the Shell) I started running again. I reached the bridge...
Having this bridge right at the end of my run when I'd already gone almost 13 miles made this view worth so much more than if I'd just walked there to sight see. In a way, it made the run worth it:
|From Trier looking south. It was breathtaking to get onto the bridge and see this on my right. Worth it.|
|I had to get a #TeamRMHC selfie too!|
So obviously it wasn't all terrible.
Distance running is a total mind game. Convincing yourself to 'just keep going' isn't always easy. But that day I struggled like crazy. Maybe it's because I'm on vacation and want to be doing nothing, because I didn't really know when I'd get to turn around, or because I had no fall back plan if I did need help (or just water)...but this run was mentally the most difficult run of the season for me. Even my 18 and 20 milers could not compare to how long this run felt.
But sometimes long runs feel like that. Long. You've just gotta get them done anyways.
And sometimes at the end you're standing on top of a bridge four thousand miles from home and you realize why what you just did was so amazing.