To truly understand the journey our beloved homemade singlet undertook during its glorious existence we must start from the beginning.
Chapter I – The Canvas
The date was February 16, 2018. The location was Thousand Oaks, California. I entered a running store with my aunt and mother called Roadrunner Sports. My aunt lives in California and she decided to celebrate my first time visiting her out there with a trip to this store. She told me that she would buy me a pair of shoes and a clothing item of my choice. First, I scoured the shoe display searching for something with decent support and cushioning for longer mileage. Eventually, I settled on the Brooks Levitates. (I used these shoes through out indoor and outdoor track that year. They were ok, but I hear the Brooks Levitate 2s aren’t the same.) Next, I began to rummage through the clothing isles waiting for something to catch my eye. I thought perhaps a new pair of split shorts or tights would be in order. After a few minutes of searching I saw something that interested me – a simple navy-blue singlet. My high school singlet was the only one I owned at that point, so I decided picking up another one wouldn’t be a bad idea. I ended up using it in one road race, but it was quickly replaced by a different singlet and collected dust in my closet until I brought it to Maryland with me.
Chapter 2 – The Paint
The date was September 1, 2018. The location was College Park, Maryland. I entered a convenience store with my roommate called North Convenience. I had recently moved into my dorm and my roommate and I decided to buy some masking tape to hang things up in our room with. We quickly found the isle containing all the tape and settled on a roll of white masking tape. Despite my protests, he ended up paying the entire cost. However, the tape was ineffective at sticking to the wall and the roll ended up at the bottom of some drawer.
Chapter 3 – Rendition One… The Birth of a Meme
Shortly after joining the running club, we ordered apparel that included an official club running singlet. However, the apparel was not expected to arrive until a couple of weeks before nationals. There was the option to rent a singlet from the club, but for an unknown reason this did not appeal to me. As the first meet of the season approached, I decided to use my original navy-blue singlet. Quickly, I realized that it had absolutely no Maryland spirit, so I bought a pair of Maryland flag shorts from Amazon. The day before Paul Short while I was packing my bag, I decided that the flag shorts were not enough, and I had a Eureka moment. I searched through a drawer until I found that reject roll of tape that failed to stick to the walls, and I applied a simple masking tape “M” to the front of the singlet. After stepping back and admiring my creation from afar I decided to add a line under the M. Once I finished the line, rendition one of the homemade singlet was complete.
The reveal of the first home-made singlet at the start line of Paul Short went well. Overall people seemed to like it. However, Mitch informed me that It looked like a Michigan singlet. This observation was valid as Michigan also has navy blue singlets with an M on the front. The realization that I had unwittingly represented the wrong team weighed heavily on my soul throughout the race and the weeks that followed. I was determined to return to the next race with an improved version.
Chapter 4 – Rendition Two… The Sting of Failure
Throughout the two weeks leading up to the second meet of the season I reflected on the lessons I had learned at Paul Short. I thought long and hard on what I could do to improve the singlet every day. Many ideas crossed my mind such as printing out a picture of the Maryland flag and taping it to the jersey. However, this idea, and all the others, were tacky and stupid. Before I knew it, the night before Princeton had arrived and I had no ideas. I decided to scroll through pictures of college team singlets for inspiration and saw multiple designs with words going down the back. This was quite aesthetically pleasing so I decided to implement it into rendition two. I started the creation process with the same “M” with a line underneath on the front. Next, I made a “MARYLAND” running along the back of the singlet vertically by cutting strips of tape in half. It took a few tries to get the placement and sizing right, but the result was beautiful.
I wore the second home-made singlet to the meet and revealed it right before the warm up. The reveal was a huge success as everyone was a big fan of the MARYLAND addition. Pride and happiness carried me through a great warm up. However, when we returned to our area after the warm up I was informed that all the letters on the back were falling off. I looked down at my chest and noticed the M was failing as well. Shock and despair filled my mind and heart instantly. I had no choice but to remove the MARYLAND. Elliot helped my repair the M with some safety pins and more tape. Unfortunately, we had to sacrifice good looks for structural integrity. While we were standing at the start line Briggs looked at what had become of the singlet. I cannot recall his exact words, but the general idea was that I was a disgrace to the University of Maryland and the team. Each kilometer of that 8k race was dedicated to one of the letters that fell off my back.
The night after that race was hard. I wondered if I was cut out for making singlets. I questioned what I was working towards. Was this a dream that I was chasing, or just time that I was wasting?
Chapter 5 – Rendition Three… The Singlet Stronger than its Creator
During the week between Princeton and NIRCA Regionals tragedy struck. I felt a pain in my left shin and would find out a few weeks later that it was a stress fracture, but at the time all I knew was that it hurt way too much to run on. Despite not being able to run I accompanied the team to regionals for moral support. The day before regionals I decided to create a singlet and bring it just in case. However, the pain from my recent failure was still fresh and I only put the M with the line on it.
While I was talking to Brian at the meet, he told me that he did not have a singlet. I happily gave him rendition three of the homemade singlet to use. Although I had succumbed to injury, my creation was going to continue to cross the finish line. Brian did not warm up in the singlet, and the tape ended up staying on fine. Through this meet I learned why I had failed at Princeton. The sweat from warming up in the singlet weakened the tape before the race even started.
Chapter 6 – Rendition Four… The Game Changer
A few days before the UVA meet I was discussing the homemade singlet with Mike (DiDonato). He told me that he wanted to wear it, and I happily agreed to create another one. I was eager to apply what I had learned at regionals to rendition four of the singlet. The night before the meet I once again meticulously created a MARYLAND down the back.
The morning of the race I made sure that Mike did not warm up with the singlet. This day was the most fun I have ever had while spectating a cross country meet since nearly everyone was making a meme of it. I ended up giving a hype up speech, handing a slice of bread to Dan, Brian, and Elliot mid-race and handing a whole loaf of bread to MT. However, deep down beneath all the memes I was slightly nervous about the performance of the singlet. Heading to the start line, it was in perfect condition. The gun went off and I scrambled to my bread hand off positions throughout the course. About two miles into the race I saw Mike run by and was happy to see the MARYLAND was still intact. Next, I stood at about 500 meters to go and continued to hand out bread. Shortly, Mike came into view with someone in a unicorn costume in pursuit. As they passed I caught a glimpse of the MARYLAND still fully intact. I was nothing short of overjoyed. After a failure at Princeton that made me question everything, this victory was huge. Also, Mike out kicked the unicorn so we all won that day.
CHAPTER 7 – Rendition Five… The Finale
As nationals approached, the club apparel arrived, including the singlets (they are amazing). Shortly after they arrived I decided that nationals would be the homemade singlet’s last race. It had served its purpose as a place holder and was beginning to show signs of wear and tear from its journey. There was a small hole forming in the back and there were permanent stains from the clay and mud of the UVA course. I wanted the final rendition to be the best one and considered many elaborate editions. However, I eventually settled on adding color to the tape for the first time. The night before we left for nationals, I spent a concerning amount of time drawing the Maryland flag design on the line of tape beneath the M with red, yellow, and black sharpies.
The night before nationals I was discussing the singlet with some guys and both Briggs and Craig offered to wear it. As it worked out during race day, Craig would be the one to take it across the finish line for the final time. I enjoyed watching all the races take place throughout the day, and unlike UVA I was not nervous about the performance of the singlet. I knew deep down that it would perform well on the national stage. After all it had been through, I had no doubt it would hold up.
The gun went off for the Freshman/Sophomore race and Craig set off carrying the singlet through its final 8k. It was admittedly hard to spot the singlet in the sea of runners, but we managed to pick it out in the crowd a few times. Each time we saw it everything was still intact, and this would remain true as Craig crossed the line. The singlet’s odyssey was complete. It had crossed the finish line of every race that season
Chapter 8 – The Conclusion
I find it quite poetic that a useless roll of tape and an unused singlet combined to make something so memorable and meaningful. Something that I will laugh at every time I see a roll of masking tape. Something that helped me bond with my teammates. I’ll miss spending an hour cutting and coloring tape, but this meme has run its course. Here’s to the next one.
I would like to thank the people that made this possible. Thank you to Mitch and Briggs for encouraging me to improve my singlet when it did not live up to its full potential. Thank you to Brian, Mike, and Craig for taking it across the line when I couldn’t. Thank you to Lent and Hiro for documenting the singlet’s journey through photography. Finally, thank you to the club as a whole for the funnest (I firmly believe funnest should be a word) XC season of my life.
As we close in on nationals, I decided I would finally share a post I wrote a while ago. Enjoy!
If you ask anyone close to me what they think my favorite part of college is, I guarantee you they won’t tell you all the homework, or exams, or even the ~crazy~ parties. They will tell you my favorite part of college is being a part of club running. And this answer is 100% right. Let me tell you why…
I think we need to back up a bit. Ever since I was young I have been a part of some sort of sport. For a long time it was soccer (which I still miss!) before I transitioned over to only focusing on running in high school. High school track and cross country was great. I met great friends (even my current boyfriend) and had loads of fun at meets. Because of this great experience, I was determined to keep running (especially doing so on some sort of a team) in my life on college. Enter Maryland club running!
Freshman year is a confusing time, despite what some people’s Instagram might show. If you go out of state like me, you most likely know close to no one at your new school, and you’re just trying to find ways to pass the time until class starts. Like I said, I was eager to keep a running team in my life, so through my summer research I had already found and contacted the running club at university of Maryland. From the day I arrived on campus, I was counting down the days until the first practice. Before we go any further, let’s get something straight. I am NOT an outgoing person when I first meet someone. So something I’ve loved about sports my whole life is that it’s basically a bunch of instant friends! You spend hours together each day until you feel comfortable with each other without even realizing it happened. When I went to practice that first day, I was hoping I found “my people”. At first I stuck around because everyone was nice, I liked running, and I liked the structure it added to my day. I didn’t talk much, but was content just being there and listening to the chatter on group runs. Practice provides a guaranteed 2ish hours of stress relief each day. I can’t quite pinpoint when it happened, but eventually there’s was a different reason why I kept sticking around. Don’t get me wrong, the people are still nice, I still like running, and I still like the structure it adds to my day, but there’s more now. I truly understand club running now. This wonderful sport manages to combine the best aspects of running with the best aspects of club sports to produce (in my opinion) the best activity you can participate in, and here are my top 5 reasons why:
It’s FUN: A few weekends ago we ran a race, and it was one of the freshman’s first cross country races ever. I saw her cross the line with a big smile on her face and she later told me how fun the entire meet was. Despite the pain racing inevitably causes, it really is fun to push yourself to your limits and see progress throughout the season.
Nobody takes themselves too seriously: Club running meets are never short on shenanigans. Will people be running in costumes? Yep (I once witnessed two girls run an entire race in the RAIN in dinosaur costumes, that’s some serious dedication). Will one of your races be started by a didgeridoo? You bet. Will your team get a pumpkin full of candy for placing in the top few teams? Only if you’re lucky! (and yes we’ve been lucky enough for that). And finally, yes. You might just catch someone cheering with a loaf of bread in one hand and an ear of corn in the other.
The competition is there if you want it: Even with all of the fun, NIRCA (the National Intercollegiate club running association) is still extremely competitive if that’s your thing. If not, no worries! You’re more than welcome to hobby jog in the back of the pack. But for those looking to see how much faster they can go, club running has the competition to push you to a new personal best.
Fun trips with your friends: Sometimes to find the competition you have to travel a little bit, which means… overnight meets! Yes, basically a big sleepover with your friends with some running on the side! Okay, maybe the running is the main event but sometimes the stay in hotel is just as fun. Where do we travel you might ask? Last year we traveled by van all the way out to East Lansing Michigan to compete in the NIRCA cross country national championships. Oh man was it cold, (or hot who for those who caught on fire… ask Shannon for details) but it was SO worth it. We got to compete against clubs from all over the country, cheer on our teammates, run some fast races, and have a fun weekend not worrying about school.
The people: My 5th and most important reason is the wonderful people. First, the people from other teams. They’re supposed to be the competition, right?? You might be racing each other, but we all still encourage each other during races and congratulate each other on a race well run. I will never forget when I lapped a girl from another team in a track race and she cheered me on BY NAME as I ran by. If that isn’t true sportsmanship, then I don’t know what is. Now about my own teammates. My teammates have become my best friends (some even my roommates). They’ve taken me on my first backpacking trip, introduced me to the world that is bubble tea, and showed me how to be genuinely excited for each other’s triumphs and be supportive them when they fall.
I hope you get the point because I think I’ve gone on for long enough. In short, CLUB RUNNING IS THE BEST THING EVER.
Hullo!!! For those of you that don’t know me I am Rylan as in maRYLANd, one of the current co-treasures, runner extraordinaire, the cream of the corn of Virginian type on this here team, fan of all things Nascar, occasional bike enthusiast(but most certainly not a traitor) and most recently the proud owner of liquid entertainment to aid in the vital construction of this eloquent blog post(If anyone guesses the correct brand they win a high 5 next time they hand me 5 dollars). I’ve decided to dedicate today’s blog post to everyone’s favorite Briggs…… Briggs! While I may be a bit biased(As he may or may not have sponsored this post) he certainly is my choice as number 1 webmaster. When I was but a lowly freshman I will tell you like let me be 89% honest I had no clue what the difference between a Clewley and a Briggs was. Over time however, as I discovered Barefoot Briggs(and honestly what the heck where’s the Oscar?) and began to know the real Briggs better I began to realize wow what a cool guy. Btw freshman Rylan I finally figured out what Brigg’s real name was(Who could have guessed he would’ve been named after that :0) Ok(or is it okay?) Okey so the “liquid entertainment” has really started to kick in I’ve if I could nominate Briggs for an award surely it would be for the what a great guy award because tbh what a guy. But also I might nominate him for the wow what a great guy award because what a great guy. Anybody that can successfully be as dedicated and cool as Briggs should be well commended(Sorry this got out of hand my mind keeps wandering off to Joey Logano the greatest Nascar driver of all time). Anyways I promised puns and that is what I shall dedicate the second half of this beautiful baby of a blog post to. Welllllll as I am fast realizing puns are hard to think of of a random Tuesday. It’s not like they’re just running through my mind. Honestly they’re hard to keep track of. I guess if you were a table you’d understand. But for all of those people reading this blog post I do apologize for you see I have continued to write well into a corner. And while I don’t mean to be sharp we must all look at this from the right angle and think am I really that acute? Ok or okay or okey? or k(I was told only to use this while I’m mad but for as crazy as I sound I might as well be) congrats y’all for making it to the end of Sophomore Rylan’s blog post ttfn!!!!!!! I’ll see y’all on Wednesday please ask how my night went!
Ps: I just watched the Vox video on ok vs. okay highly recommended still think Victorian people are dumb tbh goddamn get a real bike and child free workspaces for heavens sake
It’s about that time of the year when I have to bring the blog back to life, so here are some new routes! As always, I highly recommend looking at the maps of the routes and/or bringing your phone so that you don’t get lost!
Cherry Chill Loop (4.9 miles): Fun fact: Cherry Chill can be looped by running through Hollywood! Once you get past the second bridge on cherry chill, take a right and cross Route 1 and head up Hollywood road. Once you reach Rhode Island Ave, take a right and head towards Greenbelt road and back to campus.
Greenbelt Metro (7.1 miles): This route starts the same as the cherry chill loop, except you go through Hollywood to the Greenbelt Metro station, and back through the new neighborhoods. Just be cautious when running through the metro station, as you will literally be running right by the turnstiles people use to get to the platform. Wouldn’t recommend this one with a large group of people.
Semi-Historic Berwyn (4.75 miles): Have you ever wanted to run around all the historic sites in Berwyn? Me neither! But here’s a route in case you had the sudden urge to do so. There are a couple gates on this run, but they have pedestrian entrances on the sides of them, so be on the look out for those. Disclaimer: There aren’t THAT many historic spots on this run.
Cemetery Loop / Hills for days (9.9 / 6.2 miles): This one just sounds like torture, and to some degree it is, but it is also home to some of the best places to run (in my opinion). There is a shortcut to get to this route behind courtyards, which I have shown on the map. This route can be an out and back, and it’s 6.2 miles if you turn around right at the cemetery. If you decide to run through the cemetery, you can reach the northwest branch trail, and take that back to campus. There are lots of hills, so don’t blame me if this route kills you.
Greenbelt Lake Loop (9.5 miles): Take a trip down memory lane back to the time trial at the beginning of the season and run to Greenbelt Lake! This route is pretty nice for a long run, and incorporates some trail running which is always nice. The map is pretty easy to follow.
Sligo Creek (10+ miles): I’m 90% sure I’m the only one who has done this run, but I 100% recommend it for a long run. Take University Blvd to the power lines, and then take those to the Sligo Creek trail. From here, head north for however long your heart desires. It’s about 3 miles to the trail, but once you get there it’s beautiful.
Stupid Neighborhoods (6.35 miles): This route was completely improvised because PG Plaza couldn’t be done, and it ended up being a big mash up of routes, but I kinda liked it so I decided to add it to this post. Look at the map before you run this one, or I guarantee you will get lost!!
As of Friday, May 4th, at 9:20:55.13 PM, my 2018 track season has come to an end. It has ended, thankfully, by choice and not by any other externality I am habituated to, namely injury. My dual Achilles rupture* in April 2015 (Spring, junior year) at the end of the Lumberjack workout not only shaped my running years to come, but was also serendipitously documented by Dan Russo’s GoPro operated by Abby on a bike, and can be found within the depths of YouTube given enough sifting. There is no one moment where I could tell my Achilles were going down the can, but as I tried to cooldown, it was unmistakable. The following seasons, years were wrought with running injuries of various identities and anatomical locations stemming from those ruptures. I can only blame myself, as I still tried to run Hopkins-Loyola, Widener, and the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler in the following weeks after the injury because I refused to believe I was finally injured after 6 years of avoiding it, and while in the shape of my life, to boot. I have re-ruptured each Achilles one other time since, both times in early 2017.
*Although Achilles ruptures are usually thought of as complete tears, mine were a collection of simultaneously occurring minor tears in the main tendons combined with larger tears in the sheaths of the tendons, causing the interstitial tendon fluid to leak and cause major swelling.
Dues Ex Machina
Fast forward through the on-off cyclical hell that was recurring injury and we arrive somewhere along the Madison County Transit Nature Trail in Edwardsville, Illinois the day after Christmas, 2017 (record scratch, freeze frame – “yup, that’s me”). It’s 20 something degrees and a light flurry is dusting the Great Plains a soft white this quiet, still winter afternoon. I am home for winter break at my parent’s home on a low-effort morning-after-christmas-dinner burnoff run, hobbling along because my left Achilles had not loosened up since NIRCA nats, where it became not just stiff, but painful and inflamed due to the race. I had struggled with my Achilles all season, so I can’t say I was surprised, but I wanted to help out the GRC team as much as I could while I was there. The inflammation waded over time, but the stiffness was something I was slowly trying to work through via combination of days off and days on jogging 2-3 miles as well as biking. As I ran along, there came a slight hill in the path. I usually tried to keep my heel on the ground for uphills to avoid stressing my Achilles, but, for some reason, I decided to go up on my toes this time around. Halfway up the hill, my left Achilles gave out. It felt as if it were a strand of cooked spaghetti that was pulled apart via tensile force, snapping in half. I stopped immediately. I hopped off that foot and was terrified of putting it back down. “That’s it. I’m a goner,” I thought, while saying completely different words out loud, “my running career is over” … but I then noticed there was no pain. I realized, while it felt like it snapped, there was somehow, just somehow, no pain. I put my foot down gingerly, stood, walked, and then started to run again. Faster. And Faster. The pain and stiffness had gone and stiff scar tissue had likely torn, thus marking the rebirth of my Achilles and my running career, albeit with cautious optimism. I was confused what caused this, but knew for sure it felt like I had new feet. A week passed of running with no pain or stiffness and I made the decision: it was time to begin The Process.
Hoya Saxa and Other Arbitrary Mantras
“Roger Bannister usually could only train during his 30 minute lunch break, so why can’t I? I won’t go sub four, but maybe sub something…”
– Me, to myself, looking at my Spring class schedule in January.
I had goals. I was healthy. I was motivated. To reach those goals, training could not be an afterthought. If there was no time to run, I made time. I didn’t know how long I would be healthy, so I made it a priority to make the most out of it, to make my athletics an ironic principle component of my final semester in academia. I had never been particularly fast, but this was my chance to try to be through all the barriers from years past that had once prevented me from doing so. What rocks those were. Hoya Saxa1.
I once remarked on my Running2Win log that classes were something I snuck in between runs and not the contrary. Regardless of that dismissive-of-academics comment, I was still a full on tryhard with school. I had achieved a lifetime high GPA the previous semester and was determined to build on it. This meant long hours studying and working on projects where, despite being paired with other Georgetown graduate level students, I was still the only one who could be bothered to do any of the work (and I, sadly and very literally, mean any). This added up and detracted from sleep time, if anything else. I skipped a handsome handful of after class happy hours to speed walk home, change, and get out the door as soon as possible so I could get back home, shower, eat, and study. Running was a priority, but academics also had to be a priority, much to my chagrin.
“Oh, sorry, I’m going to go run, first” became a common response. So common, in fact, that my classmates began referring to my only answer for leaving group study sessions of running then eating as “Dylan Things.” The many students from India were particularly perplexed by it, as I gleaned that recreational exercise, much less distance running, was not popular back home.
“We’re getting lunch before our six hour lab, want to come with?”
“Nope, sorry, going to squeeze in a run. Thanks, though.”
“Oh, I see… classic Dylan Things, then?”
“Alright, see you in lab at noon, then.”
I looked at my watch. 10:15AM. I planned the sequence as I headed towards the door to the lecture hall: 15 minutes to walk home, change, quick stretch, and get out the door. A hair and a half under 60 minutes for my 10.2 mile medium steady route. 15 minutes to shower and not forget my lab coat. 3 minutes to make the PB&J I’ll eat on the walk to lab. 8 minute walk to my building. 2 minutes to get to the lab, put up my backpack, and throw on my lab coat. At the bench 1 minute before noon. Roger Bannister usually could only train during his lunch break, so why can’t I?
Crossing the T’s and Dotting the Lower Case J’s
The training plan I followed was an adaptation of my spring 2016 UMD Club Running 5k training plan adjusted for my own goals and abilities. Since I knew I would have to give this my all if I wanted decent results, I spent significant amounts of time tinkering this plan, such as adding one rep here and adding 15s there to the rep rests and taking 5x1000m and changing it to hills and a 1k cut down. As the season progressed, I modified the plan based on how I felt and what I thought I was increasingly (or sometimes, decreasingly) capable of. This lead to a hyper-specific training schedule with the t’s crossed and the lower case j’s dotted on every line2.
There are likely some familiar blocks – such as medium steadies on Wednesdays and Tuesday/Friday workouts – and some new elements such as a more refined taper (4/15 onward). This being a personal plan meant that I could track my actual weekly mileage on the side as well as average my weekly mileage before tapering, giving myself an easy at-a-glance analysis of my season as I progressed. The overarching technical goal of this training plan was simple: stay relaxed. I am proud to say I stuck to this goal for the majority of the season with exception of the latter half of April due to outside stressors. From a developmental standpoint, I believe staying relaxed on runs and workouts was the primary underlining achievement of this season. GRC had workouts Monday/Thursday with long runs on Saturday and my class and internship schedule was just such that I could only make some Fridays (I had class Sat/Sun much of Spring semester), so I decided to stick to my own training plan yet compete with the club. Regardless, dropping in on practices here and there with them was always a highlight and I am grateful for those times, especially after being able to consistently train with them last semester.
The Up and Ups
There were several key workouts that served as significant, not only due to the quality of the run, but because of the confidence they gave me.
1/26 – 5 mile tempo that served as my unofficial new 8k PR (from 26:54 at NIRCA regionals at Princeton, Fall 2015 to 26:44 en route on the Mt. Vernon trail). From my R2W log: “26:53 for 5 miles, 26:44 ish at 8k. 5:29, :28, :26, :18, :16. I don’t know, man, I just felt good.” Nothing serves up some fresh confidence like negative splitting like that after only 3 weeks of training.
2/14 – 10.08 mile medium steady in 57:18 (5:41/mi). From R2W: “don’t get me wrong, I fucked up this med-stead. Maybe it’s no workouts for the past 6 days, but I hit 5:35 uphill with a 5:5x effort.” The day after a 17.7 mile double I drop the hottest “medium steady” of 2018. Beat my 2017 Cherry Blossom 10 Miler time by a minute and a half on this run which I took excessively hard for way too little reason aside from feeling good.
2/20 – 14.3mi OTD easy/hill repeat double. This showed me how much effort in a day my legs could take and still go on to feel comfortable in a medium steady the next day.
3/4 – 16.1mi weekly long run in 1:37:02 (5:57/mi). From R2W: “Lots on the mind today. Just let the legs do what they wanted.” And what they wanted was to split 1:17:30 for the last half marathon portion of the run, finishing with four mid/low 5:4x’s. No long run has ever felt that good. I felt like butter sliding across the hot pan that was the C&O Canal Towpath. Most other long runs averaged 6:10/mi or slightly faster for the month of Feb, but not sub 6:05 until that day.
3/6 – 10×2/2 farlek on treadmill with 1.0 incline. “on” sections @ 5min pace. The incline is what got me here and it was a struggle at Yates Fieldhouse with this one, but the tired yet satisfied feeling I ended the workout with told me it was good work.
3/30 – The Lumberjack. It was hard work. No Achilles ruptures to be found, just a good old fashioned hard effort with a 62 second last 400.
4/16 – 11x320m relays with GRC. Hit 47s/48s 300m splits en route to each 320m rep. After some disappointing workouts due to lack of sleep, it felt good to stride out again.
The Down but Not Outs
If one were to make a graph over time of the maintenance of my quality of life outside of training during the season, it would look like the silhouetted profile of a rusted serrated knife. I was only in a one year program, though, and this was just one season, so although I am complaining thoroughly in this post, I usually just had a grin-and-bear-it attitude as the season actually progressed. My advice to anyone reading this fine bit of 2AM intro and retrospection is to not do that. Take rest days both mental and physical if you feel as though you need it and remember to drink water.
Anyway, I ensured to make note of the nadirs in addition to the zeniths as they came along, both minor and major:
Week of 1/14: Some R&R at a cabin in Virginia meant sleeping in past the time I would run before a hike, reducing mileage for the week. Who am I kidding, though, I wasn’t going to run before that hike anyway.
Week of 1/28: No Thursday run. From my R2W log: “no run yesterday. woke up and achilles was slightly stiff and didn’t care to mess with that despite my training grind lately.” While I considered my Achilles healed to some extent, there still occurred ephemeral moments of vulnerability that encouraged caution. Typically, my solution to these moments was to just…. Stop. And stop I did, even if just for a day.
Per my former boss’ 102 year old grandmother, when asked how she manage to live so long: “When I felt good, I did whatever the hell I wanted. When I felt bad, I didn’t do a damn thing.”
Week of 2/4: Registration for Happy Valley Invitational 3k unfortunately botched by race coordinator, an equal parts frustrating but thankful event as my Achilles was again showing timid yet noticeable signs of restlessness. From R2W: “Registration botched for Happy Valley. Couldn’t run. Took today as an achilles health day as it has become a bit sore in the mornings.” I think, season wise, this was a fortunate coincidence.
Week of 2/18: Visited my girlfriend at the time in Philadelphia on Saturday. To do that, I had to drive 4 hours through traffic to Philly after doing my 10% weekly mileage med-stead Friday workout. Going immediately from a workout to sitting for so long was not a good look for my Achilles. It would have been my only Sunday-Saturday 80 mile week of the season (there were three 80+ mile 7-day totals, though), but the rest of the week was of exceptional quality, especially that Tuesday where I doubled with an easy run/1min hill repeat workout that set me at 14.3mi OTD. That day, workout was a mental bolster for me, as I started to understand just how much effort my legs can take in a day.
Weeks of 3/4/18 and 3/11: 4 state challenge. Didn’t regret doing it with Charlie and Ramiz. Did regret doing it mid-season. Apart from voluntarily disrupting my sleep schedule, it left the bottoms of my feet on/off sore for the remainder of the season. Some runs I would even say they were painful, likely due to hiking in six year old worn out hiking boots. From R2W: “extreme lack of sleep due to 4 state/school and internships projects affected recent runs. took off to catch up on sleep” Go to class between runs all wanted, but I couldn’t ignore class, lack of sleep, or a recent break up which all contributed to record stress levels affecting my training. Motivational running posters may tell you otherwise, but sometimes it’s near impossible completely separate the stressors of real life from the freedom of running. Regardless, adhering to The Process was a key factor in maintaining a level head during that time, no matter how much The Process itself was affected.
Finally, there was my asthma. My asthma strays from reacting to the likes of peanuts in favor of twitterpation with mile repeats and similar workouts. I was unable to do even one of three miler workout attempts without my asthma being a dominant or terminal factor in the quality of the workout. Of the 27 workouts I attempted this season (not including long runs and med-steads), I completed 21 entirely on the first try, where 23 were completed including next-day restarts. Of the 4 I did not complete, asthma was the terminating factor in 2 of them. Lack of sleep affected the quality of 4 workouts and was cause for not finishing 1 workout included in that 4. Both lack of sleep and asthma combined affected the quality of 6 out of 23 completed workouts. So, over a fourth of the workouts for this season were adversely affected by factors unrelated to my training itself. All workouts affected by lack of sleep were in April, the month where most of my exams and all of my projects and presentations were due. Not good, man, but it’s still the best season I’ve ever put forth with that considered.
The One (and Two) and Done
The One: Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run
This was the primary focus of my season. My long con was to run a fast enough time to submit for elite entry into the San Francisco marathon, which I planned to use to qualify for Boston 2019. Elite entry meant free entry. Avoiding paying $280 to run a Boston qualifier? Yeah, I could go for that. After emailing the SF marathon organizers they told me they would consider a 10 mile time equivalent if it were fast enough, though they did not tell me just how fast it had to be. My mental bet was sub 55 or 54 given the 2:40 marathon elite standard on their website, but I did not know for sure. I had not put forth a race effort since November, so I figured I could go barely sub 54, though, on paper, I could probably hit low 53. I have always struggled to translate my training into races, so I knew I all I could do was leave it all on the cherry pink tinted streets of DC and hope for the mercy of the race organizers.
Most asthma and sleep deprivation related season complications had yet to hit by the time Charlie, Cerruzi, and I took an Uber drove downtown peering through frosted windshield to the race staging grounds, so I was fresh and ready to race. The 30 degree temps with 15mph winds were put to the back of my mind as I headed to the front of the Yellow corral, jogging in place as I watched the elites (Centro, Derrick, Jablonski, Puskedra, to name a few) stride out just ahead of me. I took a deep breath as the horn went off and I was effortlessly floating along with the chase pack in about the same breath. I was already behind my goal pace of 5:20 after I slipped by the first mile in 5:26. I tried to make a small adjustment for this and hit mile 2 in 5:15, then mile 3 in 5:10. I don’t think that hurt me in terms of the whole race too much, but it was absolutely much faster than I wanted. Adjustments after that had me floating around the low 5:20s for the next 5k or so, and the next 5 miles were sprinkled with a couple 5:1x’s. A nice surge in motivation also came at mile 5 (26:57) when a wild Patrick Hanley suddenly appeared to cheer me on: “Yes, Dylan! Let’s go! Go get him! Come on!” Thanks, Pat.
I focused on sticking with a small pack of 5-6 I was with nearly the entire race before we strung out the last two miles, including someone with a blue and yellow singlet and someone with a GRC singlet and a white cap whom I was neck and neck with since mile 3. The last two miles were pretty dang windy and I had nobody around me to hide behind (a good and a bad thing as I was in the general front of the race). I think I could have cut 5 seconds off mile 10 if I realized I was slouching over and losing form sooner rather than just near the end, but that’s likely my biggest gripe about the race, which is good. 1200m from the finish I surged to gain a definitive lead on the white cap guy I’d been with all race, losing audio track of his breathing behind me for the first time in the race. 800m out I could only see two far out in front of me and a third about 20m ahead of me – the guy in the blue and yellow. I glued my eyes to his back, trying to accelerate to catch him, when about 400m from the finish he simply stopped in his tracks and puked. I couldn’t make out what it was he ate the night before, but an educated guess was pasta. Poor dude. The two who were chasing me were left in the dust over the last half mile due to what I could only imagine was my track speed, and, upon seeing 53:50 on the timer as I rounded the curve, I sprinted with all I had left on home.
I quickly decelerated and put my hands to my knees after crossing the finish line somewhat dramatically with a bit of a yell. I panted for a moment then began to walk forward with my head down, exhausted. I see three pairs of feet ahead of me, so I stick out my hand without looking up much and said, “good race.” I received a firm handshake in return and I looked up as Matt Centrowitz told me, “You too, man.” I was too tired to react to that, so I shook Luke Puskedra and Chris Kwiatkowski’s (Centro’s training partner) hands and joked to Centro that I would knock him on PUBG someday. He laughed and said, “We’ll see about that” as I walked away aimlessly, still catching my breath. I’d later learn I finished right with Michael Wardian, the many time national 50 km champion, otherwise known as the white cap GRC guy I ran with all race. He actually gave a talk at the packet pickup expo the day before, so clearly someone must agree he’s a big deal (no sarcasm). I beat him by almost 10 seconds in the finish cam video; however, the results say his gun and net time were 1 second faster than me. Not sure how that makes sense, but I’m still blown away to know that me, some grad student running between exams, was able to race alongside such an accomplished runner at any distance. I’m happy with how I performed that day and I’m especially happy to say that the San Francisco Marathon race organizers accepted my time of 53:55 as elite entry worthy, punching my free ticket to a chance at a Boston qualifying performance in late July.
A big thanks to Pat for running to the race from CP and being there to cheer me on at miles 5 and 9.8 ish, and Luanne, Dolf, and Danny for all making the trek out to support all of us running. Additionally, a big shout out to Chris, Erin, Esther, Eric, Charlie, Andrew, and the GRC folks who came out for all showing their grit in running this race as well3.
And Two: Kehoe Twilight Invitational 5k
“Adding enough 5-fluorouracil master mix solution to obtain a 500µM concentration in the wells of the bottom row of a 96-well round-bottom plate filled with fibrosarcoma spheroids has what effect on the spheroid’s cytotoxic activity? Additionally, calculate how much 5-fluorouracil is needed to obtain this concentration in the wells.”
“I don’t care,” I remember thinking to myself during this question on my first final of finals week: 3D Cell Culture and Drug Discovery.
“I don’t know and I don’t care.”
I looked at the clock at the front of the room – it was 3:45pm. I was halfway through an exam I was taking for a class I registered for long ago, before I decided I didn’t want to be a lab scientist after all which was after the add/drop period had already passed. That day, particularly, my lack of enthusiasm for the class was not helped by the fact I had to start warming up for my race at the Kehoe Twilight Invitational in a bit over four hours. By question 27 I was more concerned about not forgetting to pack my spikes than I was about concentrations of a metalloprotease inhibitor. Alas, I cleared my thoughts, admitted to myself I did, in fact, know how to answer the question, and re-focused on the task at hand:
“It takes 1µL 5-fluorouracil to reach a well concentration of 500µM which all but completely halts cytotoxic activity of fibrosarcoma spheroids.”
Another 13 questions about a tediously complex yet admittedly interesting subject and I yote out the classroom without even double checking if my bubbles on the Scan Tron sheet were neat and tidy4. It was time to grab a quick bite then hop in my car to drive to College Park.
A storm was brewing in the distance and half of me desperately wanted it to hold off until after the race whereas the other half would not have minded too much if it canceled the race. The weeks following Cherry Blossom and leading up to Kehoe served as the antithesis to my nearly flawless taper (in my opinion, of course) for Cherry blossom, as my legs always seemed to be heavy and my feet always seemed to be sore. I believe the foot soreness I adopted from the 4 state challenge was exacerbated by the race. The intermittent pain was not enough to halt running, but it was enough to make it unpleasant from time to time. I tried to do 16x400m the Tuesday following Cherry Blossom, a rookie mistake. I felt great the day after the race and did a normal 7.5 mile easy run at 6:25/mi because I hardly felt sore from the race, so I decided to continue with a workout on Tuesday. After 4x400m and a 200 in 27 seconds for prosperity, I called the workout and opted to restart the next day. The next day, Wednesday, I finished 14x400m, but was not happy with it. I felt physically incapable of going faster than 66 or 67 seconds per rep, with my final rep being a fairly strained 64. My legs did not cooperate ever since, and my running of the Crystal City “5k” a week and a half later was marred by heavy legs and a heavier asthma hit, so much so that I opted to leave the ordeal out of my definition of “races” I ran this season5.
I felt eerily alright during the mid-downpour warmup around the mall. We had a good crew for this race and in our deliberations on pacing, it was evident a chunk of us would be pacing off each other. First mile expectations ranged from 4:50 to 5 flat, but we all planned to not get too excited off the gun.
I finished my strides as I noticed some Pacers/Georgetown Running Company lads reading the “GRC” on my chest, possibly wondering if I was just a teammate they hadn’t met yet. My spikes felt firm on my feet and I felt ready to go. After a two command start and the gun, we were off.
The pack cruised through some thicc puddles to a 73 second first lap and almost immediately I could tell the pack was beginning to string out slightly. Second lap in 74 and it was me with a group of UMD Club Running chaps and a squad of GRC runners just ahead of us. We worked together through the first mile as a unit: 4:58. I remember telling everyone my goal was 4:50-4:55, but, knowing how I had felt for the past month, 4:58 sounded like a pretty good start to me. I felt labored but relaxed. My breathing was deep and I knew I had to accelerate to keep pace. I surged at about 1800m to catch the group of 3 GRC runners, passing two of them. From then until the 4800, my position was held, passing the 3200m en route in 10:04. I knew a GRC guy was right behind me the whole race, but I knew that I would lose to him in the final lap as my legs were refusing to accelerate any further. I was feeling what I had felt for the past month. My legs and going any faster were like kids kicking and screaming because they didn’t want to go to soccer practice. I was fading despite keeping a tempo. My goal went from 15:30 to just sub 16 real fast as I bent my head down to surge with 300m to go. I felt as if I went no faster than I had the previous three laps, and my kick down the final 100m must have looked like I thought it was lap 5 and not 12.5, but crossing that line was a gargantuan relief nonetheless; a refuge from the exhaustion, the pains, and the toil of a hard-fought season.
I looked behind me to see Danny finish as I caught my breath, and I glanced to the scoreboard to see “Dylan Hernandez- 15:55.13” just as it came up. I put my arms up in both relief and happiness, but only for what I did that day. In terms of the season, I did not do what I was capable of. In terms of May 4th at 9:05pm, though, I did my best, and that is the best I could ask for. It may not be by much, but I am a member of the 15 club now and it feels good to be there after years of being shackled to the 16s by injury.
As of Friday, May 4th, at 9:20:55.13 PM, my 2018 track season has come to an end. It has ended, thankfully, by choice. Not only by a choice to race no further and rest, but also by a choice to not regret anything about it. I knew this was my last collegiate season, my unexpected second and final shot to represent a university. I knew there were thus risks to take with training, such as making it so ambitious that remaining uninjured would be a stroll along a knife’s edge and that it would be a possible detriment to the very thing I was so thankful to represent. These risks, however, were risks worth taking. Training as if it were for a half marathon for 4 months and then as if it were for a 1500 for 1 month was the about-face I chose to perform in order to run both a 10 miler and 5k I was proud of, nodding to Lydiard along the way. I didn’t run the 5k I thought I was ultimately capable of, but I still met my goals. I met the goals I thought so carefully to set realistically. I met my goals I would have scoffed at myself reaching at any one point in the past four years.
The Process paid off. All it asked for was trust and that was all I had to give.
The national mall, the C&O Canal Towpath, the Capital Crescent trail, the Mt. Vernon Trail, the Custis trail, Rock Creek Park, Ohio Drive, Arlington National Cemetary, Foxhall, Glover Park, MacArthur Blvd, and so many more to choose from every single day for my routes. I have never before lived in such an aerobic haven. I am incredibly thankful to have the opportunity to explore Georgetown, NOVA, and D.C. via running and I realize my classmates did not have the same vantage point of our area that I had because of it. I feel as if running made my experience here at Georgetown more visceral and I’m glad I was healthy enough to do it. Up next is Livermore, CA for the summer, and it’s got some big route-shoes to fill.
I always wrote “AYF” – as you feel — on areas of my training plans where I wanted the athlete to do whatever they were comfortable with that day instead of subscribing to, say, an easy day or medium steady. It conveyed that, sometimes, it is important to follow your gut in the process of moving forward. I receive my M.S. in Biotechnology in three days and after that, I am truly an unattached runner. After that, it will be time to continue my running career as I feel.
I feel ready for more.
1 Hoya Saxa: “οἵα saxa,” translated from Greek as “what rocks,” referring to the stone wall surrounding Georgetown’s campus and the stalwart defense of its athletics teams at the time the phrase was adopted
2 Wayne’s World reference
3 There were many GRC runners who came out to race, but, unfortunately, I only had chances to talk with Zachary Gallin and Aneesh Rahangdale about their races that day and on subsequent trots through Foxhall – 1:12 and 1:11, respectively, if I recall correctly – some speedy lads
4 I got a 72% on this final. Fortunately, so did everybody else. Curves are a wonderful thing, especially for a class that ended up being minimally relevant to my career goals
5 The “5k” was more like 3.27 miles by multiple watches and two online mapping tools – 16:27 over the distances translated roughly into a 15:48, but I don’t think I trust the final distance or that conversion (splits: 4:58, 4:56, 5:26 aka hello asthma). Credits to Andrew Lent and Rylan Flint for not only serendipitously racing this with me, but for doing significantly better than me
For my first official blog post, I couldn’t come up with enough of my own original worthy content so I decided to dive deep into the culture of this team and explore some of the rumors that have been circulating over time. Are they real? Are they wonky? Will we ever know the truth?
Disclaimer: All conspiracy theories were submitted by active members of Maryland Club Running and have been deemed possibly true. They are posted anonymously to avoid any direct tension between members of the team. You can only fantasize about who claims such facts.
And with that being said, enjoy these conspiracy theories!
“Freshmen who don’t go to nationals get cut.”
“All the club officers are out to get the 4807 boiz.”
“Club Run is our real name.”
“Shannon is blood doping.”
“Our guys and girls teams will train really well and race super well at Nationals in the fall without other NIRCA teams thinking we could be particularly good.”
“There may or may not be someone getting iced at the beer mile….”
“Katrina’s hair is a wig.”
“It was actually hiro that broke and stole the hurdles.”
“Hiro and Luanne teamed up to change the 2017 election votes so that they would win and fulfill their goal.”
“Kehoe gets extra windy when the club team is doing a workout.”
“Mitch’s favorite band is Nickelback.”
“What do you mean? Kareem is going to take over the club by meming everyone.”
“Briggs and Ellen are the same person I mean have you even ever seen them in the same room together??”
“All the guys who ran in MoCo think they are super cool, but really they all just peaked in high school and are holding on to that forever.”
“Racing a 10k on the track is like cancer.”
“MICHAEL, AM I GAY?!?!?!”
“Ryun Anderson is not actually a single person, but rather a group of Kenyan undercover agents who have infiltrated the American distance running community. Every day we see a new Ryun Anderson, who is actually a different Kenyan runner who painted his body white in the morning. Why does Ryun not live on campus? Because you can’t fit 20 Kenyans in a dorm. Why can Ryun do 3+ workouts a day? A different runner is running them each time. Why does Ryun never need to stretch? Because after running one workout the Kenyan that is currently posing as Ryun knows that he has 19 workouts until he actually has to run another one. Why did Ryun run a 90 second leg of the 4×4 at American? Because the Kenyan had never seen ice before and was mystified by the ice on the curve.”
“Terp Runners used to haze hard until the event with Iain.”
“Mandatory easy run everyday(—that’s not a secret, I just want it to happen).”
“The team is just a front for 4807 boys to host parties.”
“Jack Wavering is secretly The Wolverine.”
“Luanne actually isn’t a busy person-she averages 12 hours of sleep per night.” “Dan and Jacob Grant are two halves of the same person.”
“Briggs is actually a nice, normal, not idiotic person but just acts the way he does to keep us all entertained and save others from being the butt of the joke.”
“Adolfo was fired from his job at Looney’s a long time ago but doesn’t want us to know so he just goes there for 20+ hours a week and sits at the bar and drinks.”
“Terp Runners was an underground society founded in the 90’s with the primary purpose making money as a bookie for PG underground foot races but CRS started catching on to our undocumented income so we had to pull strings with the University to get CRS disbanded and replaced with Recwell. Unfortunately, this didn’t happen until after CRS submitted a claim to the IRS regarding our illegal income and promotion of illegal activity. To avoid getting in trouble with the IRS. We decided to change our name to Maryland Club Running under a new tax ID and dissolve Terp Runners so they wouldn’t be be able to trace us. This name change was only to avoid legal repercussions from the government. Once the last of the Cahalan Administration graduates from this University, the money illegally obtained through this underground gambling ring will be anonymously donated to Maryland Club Running.”
It has come to my attention that a grievous error has been present in at least the past four (4) Maryland Club Running Weekly Emails. It can be seen in the most recent email I am replying to under the heading 8. Fun Stuff, sub-heading SPRING FORMAL. If you direct your attention to the first sentence in that section, you can read the following: “For the first time in Club Running history, we will have a SPRING FORMAL!”
That statement is simply not true.
I know first hand that a Club Running Spring Formal was held in May of 2013 at the (now defunct) Clarion Inn on Route 1. If need be, I can supply photographs of this event that will positively identify myself attending the formal as well as a timestamp that places the formal in the spring season of the year 2013.
To read this administration so confidently assert that they are, in fact, the first to schedule a Spring Formal has, to say the least, disgusted me. I expect more from a club that prides itself in respecting its history and those that came before them.
If this error is not corrected, I will be forced to take more aggressive action against this administration. I am looking forward to your response.
UMD Club Running ’12-’16
The Aquajogger wakes up around 9:30am and immediately realizes that because today is a new day…the aquajogger has yet to get an aquajogging session in. After meandering around for a few hours, the aquajogger realizes that it is already 1:30pm and he has done nothing substantial yet except justify the necessity of eating 2000 calories before noon just to keep his body functioning. After some brief internet searches on anything a human can possibly do that is comparable (cardiovascularally) to the benefits of aquajogging (and coming up with none) the aquajogger then proceeds to look online for the aquatic center deep section time schedule. As with the day before, the aquajogger is alarmed to find that he/she only has 1.5 hours until the deep section is closed for “cleaning” (whatever that means). Rushing to get on a bathing suit and get the necessary equipment, the aquajogger makes it to the pool with exactly one hour to workout. After 10 minutes of warming up (or, more truthfully, 10 minutes of frantically thinking of a hard workout), the workout begins. 10 minutes have passed. 15 minutes have passed. 17 minutes have passed. Ah shit you just realized that you looked at your watch 25 seconds ago and the time didn’t change by 20 minutes like you expected it would. Just as you begin to wonder why the hell you are doing this when you could be watching the new Black Mirror episodes, you realize that you are at the most integral part of the workout: where the champions are separated from the wannabees. Does the aquajogger, bored out of his mind, CHANGE his workout to conclude after just 30 minutes in the pool, ending all hope of maintaining his current fitness level…or does he continue the 60 minute workout he promised himself he would complete and truly discover his potential as a runner.
The answer is that he chooses the 30 minute option and sits in the sauna for 30 minutes for a “60 minute workout.”
After sending the necessary snapchats to ensure everyone knows how hard the aquajogger is working, he returns home, triumphant and a hero. He then changes into his most comfortable sweatpants, hops on the couch and takes a nap of champions.
Hello fellow running enthusiasts! While I’m not one to brag I did a thing that I thought would be cool to share. This past year starting December 29th 2016 I decided I would run at least 1.61 kilometers or 1 mile a day for a year. I’m proud to say after 365 days of putting one foot in front of the other I’ve done it. So what does 1 year of running in Rylan’s shoes look like? My physical/spiritual journey took me to 7 states, 6 countries, saw me cover roughly 2,500 miles, destroy 4 pairs of running shoes, drink 18 gallons of chocolate milk, and burn roughly 215,000 calories (for the record that’s 860 packages of peanut M&M’s). I ran through colonial capitals, up volcanos, past giant soybean statues, and even took a stab at the now infamous historic Berwyn running tour. Looking back I’ve found these experiences, extraordinary for a reason, that surprised even myself. Every day I have been fortunate enough to wake up thinking today I’m going to go for a run. Regardless of the weather, location, people, or life situation I could be certain that I would lace up my running shoes and go out for a run. This unwavering commitment to something so small and meaningless might confuse a lot of people, but to me it opened my eyes to the wonders of dedication and passion. Such passion has led me to meet other running obsessed individuals who, even though they put my hat on the flagpole and made fun of my aqua jogging, I would consider some of my most best friends. So where does this leave you, UMD Club Running blog readers. Maybe you’re already an avid runner or perhaps I made you read this and you absolutely detest bipedal movement. Whatever your situation I encourage you to start a streak of your own whether it be running related or not you are sure to find something special from it!
Here’s to many more years of running and new streaks for the new year!
The route-master extraordinaire has returned with more new routes for all to enjoy. In this edition, we have routes of both short and long length, so there’s bound to be something for everyone. I will not be including pictures of the routes in this post in order to keep it from reaching a colossal size, but feel free to click on the links to get a better view of the routes.
Lakes/ New Neighborhoods (5.72 miles): This route takes you through a new townhouse / neighborhood type thing off of greenbelt road, around a small lake, then back along lake artemesia. Also, about halfway through this route you can take a left once you get off of the trail and cross greenbelt road to get to Berwyn, if you’re looking for a longer run. Additionally, there’s a water fountain on this route, so that’s a plus. Look for it in the neighborhood. IMPORTANT NOTE: The trail is so new that the most recent satellite pictures from google maps do not show the trail, so if you look on the map and don’t see it, don’t worry, it’s there. http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/1875411272
Greenbelt Roadkill (8.84 miles): Despite it’s name, this run is relatively safe, and there’s a beautiful lake you can run around. Pretty much a straight shot up greenbelt road, you’ll reach lakecrest drive around 3.4 miles, and once there, you can run around lake greenbelt, which is about a mile around, and on a nice gravel/ dirt trail. You can also run back through greenbelt park if you want, but that adds extra mileage to your run. http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/1875413189
Lost (8.53 miles): Brought to you by Ryun, this run starts the exact same way as greenbelt roadkill, but you cross greenbelt road once you get to the greenbelt park entrance. Then, you take a left and follow the road all the way through the park, and down good luck road on to campus drive and back to campus. Beware of hills. Route name courtesy of Dab King himself. http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/1875414515
Long neighborhoods (6.55 miles): This route is the OG “new route” I came up with last year. It’s your standard neighborhoods, but with around 2 miles added on around the university hills duck pond. You can also just do the duck pond part and head back to campus if you want to do a short run (~4 miles), or you can add on metro if you want to do a longer run (~9 miles). http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/1875416639
PG Plaza (6.98 miles): This route has been around for a while, but it wasn’t on the website so I figured I would add it to this post. Run along adelphi road as if you were going to do neighborhoods, but don’t turn on to Well’s parkway, and instead run towards a tall building you will see on your right. Once at the plaza, CAREFULLY cross east-west highway (preferably at a stoplight) and run until you find a trail on your left, which will lead you to south-northwest, which you can take back to campus. http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/1875418334
Hammock Park/ Art District (5.39 miles): This run takes you to the new hammock park in the art district off of river road. From the park, you can take many routes back to campus, ranging from simply turning around to hopping on riverdale. Also, with the completion of a bridge over the metro tracks, this route could be a loop which can loop back to south campus, but we’ll have to wait until the bridge is completed. I have it as an out-and-back on the map. http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/1875419546
That’s all for now, I’ve got a few ideas for some more routes, but I’d like to run them first to see if they are actually viable. Thanks for reading, and happy running!