A Trail 6 Miler

Hello, hello!

I had a fabulous 6 mile trail run with my friend Ashley this morning!


When we had dinner on Sunday night, Ashley was telling me about this cool trail she found that branches off from the W&OD trail in Vienna, near where she lives. I was excited to check it out and we made plans to meet there this morning. It was a bit of a debacle for me trying to find the place (I got totally lost), but once I did, it was well worth it. :)


As you all know, I’m doing the Reach the Beach Relay in a week and a half, so I’ve been trying to keep my mileage up to train for that. This was the perfect training run — hilly and rocky, so the 6 miles were a lot harder than 6 miles on pavement would have been!

We had a lovely run — the trail was beautiful and we had fun chatting and enjoying the fresh air.






As you saw on my watch above, we ran the 6 miles in 56:47, for an average pace of 9:27 minute/miles. We had to go a bit more slowly than usual in some parts because of all the rocks/roots and little hills — didn’t want to face plant or twist an ankle! :)


  • Mile 1: 9:57
  • Mile 2: 9:52
  • Mile 3: 9:20
  • Mile 4: 8:54
  • Mile 5: 9:40
  • Mile 6: 8:59

Great run! My legs feel like they really got a great workout from all those small hills and the extra effort it took to keep me stable on the rocky trail. I always find trail running to be so fun and challenging — great to mix it up from the road.


And now, I’m packing a few last things, eating a quick lunch, and racing out the door! I’m taking the bus up to NYC today for a Fitness Magazine blog event tomorrow. From there, I’ll head up to Boston for a Reebok blog event. It should be a busy but really fun week. Stay tuned! :)

Are you a trail running fan? I’m thinking of signing up for my first trail race (a 10k that Ashley is doing near Richmond) just for fun — I’ve never done one before!


  1. 1

    Love the trails around Northern VA. We are so fortunate to have such natural beauty so close by and easy to get to. That is a fantastic time for the trails.. you ladies are fast!

  2. 2
    Caitlin says:

    I did the Maymont 8 Mile XC race two years ago– my first trail race since my High School Cross Country days! It was definitely challenging, but still fun! you should check it out :)

  3. 4

    Sounds like an awesome run :). I signed up for a trail run for my first half marathon and totally didn’t know what I was getting myself into! It was so hard (I definitely didn’t train on trails) but sooo much fun! It was also incredibly beautiful and I’d run it again in a heartbeat. I highly recommend running one.

  4. 6

    Hi Anne! Longtime lurker, I run on the Vienna portion of the W&OD at least 3x a week. Where did this trail branch off? I’ve been trying to find some alternative places to run especially since W&OD repaved their trail and removed the side gravel/shell portion. Thanks!

    • 7

      We parked at the intersection of Hunter Mill Rd. and Hunter Station Rd. – the entrance to the smaller wooded trails are right off the W&OD there – just past the portapotty. I hope that makes sense :)

      • 8

        Thank you thank you for this post! I have lived in DC about a year, and have really missed my California trail-running. Can’t wait to try this one out. Have you found any others? I’ve mostly only been on the Capital Crescent/Rock Creek trails. Thanks again :)

  5. 10

    What a beautiful trail. I haven’t done any trail running and need to start!

  6. 11

    I love trail running – I almost always run on the same trail. It’s just so much prettier than roads!

  7. 12

    We have lots of trails around here and they are a blast! I hike them as much as possible, but I don’t have many trail running friends yet. I have gone several times, just not as often as I would like or as regularly.

    Your trail looks awesome, especially the “bridges!”

  8. 15

    Do you wear different shoes for trail running? I’m in the market for new hiking shoes, but I was looking I thought I should maybe get trail running shoes instead. I typically run in the city, but am in need of a change of scenery and a new challenge!

  9. 17
    Shannon says:

    I love trail running! I do a 5k every year that is in a state park close to where I used to live, sadly this year it is the day after my 30th birthday (so not sure I will do it). I think I should stage my own 5k and take a ride up there for a run :)

  10. 19

    Great pics!!! :D

  11. 20

    I love trail running! It is way more challenging than pavement running for sure. You can’t just zone out. You have to be constantly aware of each step or you’ll get a face plant or sprained ankle.

  12. 21

    I’ve never gone trail running before, but it sure sounds like fun! I think my biggest issue would be not tripping over anything in the woods, I tend to be a bit clumsy sometimes! Lol

  13. 22

    The only trail run I’ve ever done was a 5K race in Michigan, right when I started to get into running! I really want to get into it though, but it’s hard when I live in Chicago without a car!

  14. 23

    I am fan and I really enjoy it! The views are simply beautiful in every season.

  15. 24

    I used to run on this trail around campus, but now I power walk! If we are really quite sometimes we can see deer!

  16. 25
    Adventurer says:

    Wow, neat trail, Anne. Well done! There sure are great paths and trails in the Washington/N VA area. Look forward to discovering them through your blog!

  17. 26

    Trail running is the best! So much more scenic than road running :)

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