Monthly Archives: March 2005

Back to earlier weekday running…

Start time: 03/22/05, 8:00am
Location: Local Neighborhood
Distance: 3.75 miles
Run:Walk ratio: 4:1
Average pace: 9:58min/mile

Ugh. It’s been a while since I got up early to go running on a weekday! (As in, not at all until today in the year 2005.) It was fun to be back out there early again, though, and watch the traffic slowly build up on Gosnell Road. (I have to amuse myself somehow.) Managed to completely and utterly be unable to find my running jacket, so I ended up pulling on the spare one that sits in the trunk of the car, which was ice cold. Brrrrrr. Halfway through the run I finally figured out where my jacket was lurking. Sure enough, under my running bag in my room. That’ll teach me to not put things away afterwards.

Another 10-miler

Start time: 03/19/05, 9:00am
Location: W&OD Trail
Distance: 10 miles
Run:Walk ratio: 4:1
Average pace: 12:00min/mile

We had a huge group on Saturday—9 people—and we started out of the gate at a pretty good clip… Well, for about half of us, anyway. The group started dragging around mile 4, so we took miles 5-8 a bit slower and then dropped them off at home base before knocking out two more miles a little faster again. If there was ever any doubt that those in the group who continue marathon training this may will be in different groups, it was certainly dispelled here. Right now I’m seeing four or five of us in one group, and the rest in a group or two lower. No shame in being in a lower group, of course; it’s all just what you’re ready for.

Race Day

Start time: 03/12/05, 9:30am
Location: Downtown Washington DC
Distance: 10 kilometers / 6.2 miles
Run:Walk ratio: 4:1
Finish time: 1:01:00
Average pace: 9:50min/mile

Today was the third time that I’d run the St. Patrick’s Day 10K here in DC; in 2003 I finished with 1:24:18 (13:35min/mile), and in 2004 with 1:22:34 (13:19min/mile). This year I was determined that I was going to hit a new PR by quite a bit.

My mental goal was “anything under 1:05” although in reality I was hoping to be able to average a 10min/mile, which is 1:02 exactly. (Under one hour was the stuff of fantasies.) When I started the race today on Pennsylvania Avenue, my plan was clear: stick with my friend Randy (who would get under an hour easily) as long as possible and then hoof it as best I could the rest of the way. My friend Pam was going for the same plan, and we had several others buddies from our running group who were all also going for new PRs. Suddenly the crowd started moving and we were off.

By the time we hit mile 2, several things were clear. First, we’d just lost Pam and it was just Randy and me. Second, we were slightly off pace for Randy to hit his goal time. And third, I was not going to be able to keep up with Randy for the entire race! Sure enough, at exactly the halfway point (3.1 miles), Randy got ahead of me in the crowd and that was that. I didn’t really mind, though. I knew I couldn’t hang with him the whole way through, and it was exciting enough to actually be in the crowd of runners for a change. Stitch in my side? Pfft! Choking on a cup of water? No problem! Running up that damn hill at L’Enfant Plaza? Well, ok, that thing kicked my ass like it does every year.

When I hit mile 5, I looked at my watch and I had an unrealistic amount of time left to hit under an hour, but under 1:02 was still in reach. I pushed through without walk breaks, and while mentally it felt good, it meant that this was the first time in as far as I can remember where I didn’t have my super-adrenaline-burst to push through the last stretch of the race. I stayed steady, which was good, but I must admit I missed having the ability to zoom towards the finish line, passing people left and right.

Most importantly? This year’s finishing time: 1:01:00, or a 9:50min/mile.

Needless to say, I’m thrilled. A little tired, but thrilled. (Oh, and super-Randy? 55:45. Wow! He’s so awesome.) This time next year, that sub-59:59 finish time will be mine!

Back on the moving sidewalk…

Start time: 03/09/05, 8:45pm
Location: Gold’s Gym
Distance: 3.75 miles
Average pace: 10:40min/mile
Time: 40 minutes

One final run before the St. Patrick’s Day 10K… a nice little jaunt over at the gym. It’s been a while since I’ve been over there and it was surprisingly crowded. What was everyone doing there? I guess Monday’s nice weather jumpstarted everyone’s exercise again.

Gearing up for race day

Start time: 03/05/05, 9:00am
Location: W&OD Trail
Distance: 10 miles
Run:Walk ratio: 4:1
Average pace: 11:45min/mile

I’ve got two short races in the next month: the St. Patrick’s Day 10K on March 12th, and the Cherry Blossom 10-Miler on April 3rd. Both promise to be a lot of fun, but I can’t help but feel like if I’m going to get really good PRs for both events (and barring disaster, I really should!) I need to get out there again. I’ve been pretty slack in February about running during the week, and I felt it on Saturday. Randy and Katie and I ran six miles together around a 12:15min/mile pace, then Randy and I kicked out four more closer to a 10:30min/mile pace. It felt really nice to pick up some speed, but I was definitely huffing and puffing at the end. Clearly, slacker time is over! Time to get moving again…