Monthly Archives: May 2005

Another 5-miler bites the dust

Start time: 05/30/05, 1:00pm
Location: Local Neighborhood
Distance: 5 miles
Run:Walk ratio: 5:1
Average pace: 10:01min/mile

It’s bee a while since I went running in my own neighborhood—my weekday runs have been on the W&OD Trail as of late, but being Memorial Day and all my normal group’s plans were in flux, so I figured I’d give the old 1.25-mile loop a few spins. I’d forgotten how annoying it is to have to wait for traffic (which I got zapped on the second and third loops, waiting a good twenty seconds each time for cars who’d gotten a green turn arrow to all pull through). More importantly, I ended up having my old friend “stitch-in-side” show up for about half of the run. I think I really need to pay more attention to my breathing; I focused on deep inhaling and exhaling and it was completely gone, so it’s good to know there’s an easy solution, at least.

And, as an added bonus, it was nice to hit my old “5-in-50” finishing time with the new ratio. (Well, technically five miles in 50:06, but close enough.) It’s taken me a little bit of getting used to but I seem to have finally found my way with it. Even better, this closes out May with the most milage for a month all year… heck, the most milage I’ve had in May ever, a total of 61.3 miles. Yay!

(Mile-and-a-quarter splits: 12:03, 12:43, 12:46, 12:32. Since the second and third loops had both the stitch and the traffic, I’m not complaining!)


Start time: 05/28/05, 8:00am
Location: W&OD Trail
Distance: 7 miles
Run:Walk ratio: 5:1
Average pace: 12:03min/mile

AIDS Marathon has what’s called a “designated driver” system; each week, someone in the group offers to be the “DD” and if a runner is having problems, the DD hangs back with them so no one’s out by themselves. (On really long runs, you assign two DDs and then the DDs can drop off the ailing runner at a water stop and then keep running their old pace.) I was DD this week, and alas, my services were needed. One runner was running out of steam before the fourth mile was even over, so for three-and-a-quarter miles I got to go at a slower-than-normal pace. It wasn’t until after I got back that I discovered she’d had the same problem last week. *sigh* Let’s hope this isn’t a trend.

Ah well. Being DD means that sooner or later you’re going to be taken up on it, and in five years this is the first time that’s happened for me. At least it was on a week with short milage!

There and back again

Start time: 05/26/05, 5:45pm
Location: W&OD Trail
Distance: 5 miles
Run:Walk ratio: 5:1
Average pace: 10:42min/mile

After wussing out on Tuesday (“It’s too cold, and raining; I might melt and then catch a cold.”) it was back to the trail for the Greg/Julie/Mark trio. Took the first mile way fast, but I rather liked that. It’s definitely starting to get warmer again, although popping outside an hour ago made me think that when it gets hot enough to no longer warrant “after work” runs, I might shift into some evening runs. I know that I should hit them in the morning, get the metabolism up and blasting for the rest of the day… but there’s something so wonderful about a cool summer evening. We’ll see.

Very much looking forward to July’s speed training, I must say.

Capitol Hill Classic 10K

Start time: 05/22/05, 8:30am
Location: Washington DC (Capitol Hill area)
Distance: 6.2 miles
Finishing time: 58:06
Average pace: 9:22min/mile

What a fantastic race. todc was a wonderful running partner, making me laugh at just the right moments and keeping us on track. He’s the one who first gave me the nudge to realize that all my old running times from 2004 (and before) were getting thrown out the window, and by god, that’s exactly what’s been happening. A nice steady pace despite some huge crowds, massive potholes, and crazy people trying to helpfully hose down runners. Gee, thanks… not.

Ultimately, another race to go on the permanent “races to run calendar”; I loved this from start to finish, and I loved my 58:06 even more as a result. This wasn’t a race where I’ll shake my head at the memory, but one where I’m thrilled to have been part of it.

Oops, almost forgot…

Start time: 05/21/05, 8:00am
Location: W&OD Trail
Distance: 6 miles
Run:Walk ratio: 5:1
Average pace: 11:10min/mile

Another run with the new group. Still finding the proper pace, and still trying to learn everyone’s names… always very difficult at first, especially in such a huge group as we’ve got this year. All things in time, though.

In which Greg shows off his inner nerd

Start time: 05/18/05, 5:45pm
Location: W&OD Trail
Distance: 5 miles
Run:Walk ratio: 5:1
Average pace: 10:45min/mile

I think it's eating my brain!So, in the second episode of Farscape (“I, E.T.”) the episode opens with an alarm going off on Moya that broadcast so loudly it kept making Crichton’s face twitch, and one of his eyes kept squinting shut over and over again as part of the side-effect?

Yeah, that was me this afternoon while we were out running. It wasn’t because of sun in my eyes—I’ve been pretty good lately and have been wearing my prescription sunglasses on the maintenance runs because of the position of the sun this time of day—but because I was sweating like a crazy man, and all that salty gunk kept running into my eyes. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. It was really gross, and there was me without my “long run wash cloth” that I sometimes have with me in July and August. I’d say I must have looked like a big ol’ freak, but that’s nothing new, and wearing the same Cherry Blossom 10-miler shirt as Mark just really compounded it all. (At least Julie wasn’t wearing hers, too!)

But on a happier note, it was otherwise a very good run. First and last miles were both at 10:30, the middle three were all 11:00-on-the-dot or slightly under. This ratio is slowly starting to feel like home, yay! (Although for the 10K this Sunday I will no doubt use my tried-and-true 4:1 ratio that served me well for the Sallie Mae 10K. If I tackle the Capitol Hill classic smartly—start off at a 10:30 pace for the first mile, then be up to a 9:30 by mile three, and knock another full minute off by mile five, I’ll get that elusive under-59:59 that has my name on it.)

The need for speed

Start time: 05/16/05, 5:45pm
Location: W&OD Trail
Distance: 5 miles
Run:Walk ratio: 5:1
Average pace: 10:55min/mile

Julie and I did another “after work” run, and despite a slow second mile we still ended up with an acceptable average. So much was just chatter about this and that, but towards the end we were talking about the real difference between this time last year and this year in our running. Last year was ultimately “playing it safe”, and while neither of us regret the decision we made in terms of pace, it feels really fantastic to be going at a pace more in line with what we should be aiming for. “It feels really good,” Julie said at one point, “to just feel like at the end of a run cycle I’ve really moved down the trail.” It’s so true. It’s, in many ways, what was missing last year. Thankfully we had The World’s Best Pace Group(TM) that more than made up for it, and as the season grew to a close last year my maitenance runs had picked up enough speed that going that much slower than what I was capable of on the weekends helped too… but both of us are so much happier with what we’re doing now.

Like I said, no regrets about training choices in 2004—after the disaster that was 2003 I really needed a confidence-builder, if nothing else—but it’s more satisfying now.

A gorgeous Saturday morning

Start time: 05/14/05, 8:00am
Location: W&OD Trail
Distance: 5 miles & 3 miles
Run:Walk ratio: 5:1
Average pace: 11:30min/mile & 10:00min/mile

Today’s official run was a bit slow–we got caught behind another group and first tried leapfrogging, then trying to slow down a little bit to let them get ahead… finally we just had to pass them entirely. No sooner had we done that than someone needed a bathroom break, 3.5 miles in. *sigh* Ah well, my first year I know it took a little while to get hydration under control.

Afterwards, Mark and I went and knocked out three more miles. We weren’t aiming to go any faster, but as you can see clearly did. There’s a small part of me that wonders if I should’ve gone with the 10:30min/mile group, but ah well! Better safe than sorry and in agony this August.

Uuuuuugggggggghhhhhhhhhh, the sequel

Start time: 05/11/05, 6:00pm
Location: W&OD Trail
Distance: 5 miles
Run:Walk ratio: 5:1
Average pace: 11:08min/mile

Phew. Still hotter than I’m used to when doing this ratio. What does not kill me shall make me stronger, though. This one was definitely tougher, though. We lost about twenty seconds on each of the last two miles, and Mark looked like he’d fallen into a pool. (Ah, a fellow heavy sweater.) On the bright side, starting at 8am on Saturday will feel positively heavenly!


Start time: 05/09/05, 6:00pm
Location: W&OD Trail
Distance: 5 miles
Run:Walk ratio: 5:1
Average pace: 11:00min/mile

Damn. That kicked my butt. I’m not sure if it’s a combination of not being used to a 5:1 (despite being used to that speed) and it getting a little warmer or something else, but man-oh-man was I dragging. Julie was even less thrilled by the time we were done, for that matter, although our friend Mark looked ready for another five. Oof.