Monthly Archives: October 2006

One last long one

Start time: 10/28/06, 8:00am
Location: Downtown Washington DC to Bethesda MD (and back)
Distance: 23 miles
Run:Walk ratio: 5:1
Average pace: 10:37min/mile

This past Saturday was the final long run for the Florence Marathon training program—a 23-miler. Stephanie, Tod, and I did it together (no Katie, alas!), and were joined partway through with Sarah who was running an 18-miler after having to take some time off. After spectacular 18- and 20-mile training runs, the 23-miler was mostly good but not great. The first 20 miles went well; we were aiming for an 11min/mile training pace and looking at our splits for the first half they ranged from 10:09 to 10:45. The second half had a bit of a slow down towards the end when my legs felt like lead, but once I took an Advil (which I’d forgotten to bring with me… Tod to the rescue!) our pace actually picked up a great deal.

It was a fun final long run… good company and spirits kept everyone moving, and at the end was a big celebration with balloons and what have you waiting for us.

Finish Line

I’ll miss having my long runs with Stephanie (she’s running Honolulu); she’s been a fantastic running partner.

Somewhere different

Start time: 10/24/06, 7:00pm
Location: Old Town Alexandria
Distance: 5.4 miles
Average pace: 9:38min/mile

I decided to give the Pacers Alexandria Tuesday run a whirl—it was an interesting route, through a lot of neighborhoods, and this was a lot of learning the route and following other people. One slow big hill, so not quite as tough as the normal Tuesday route I hit. Still, it was nice to see a change of pace.

Close enough

Start time: 10/22/06, 8:00am
Location: Downtown Washington DC
Distance: 10 miles
Run:Walk ratio: 6:1
Average pace: 9:48min/mile

Ok, it was actually (according to the Gmaps Pedometer) a 9.85 mile run. Close enough for government work, that’s what I say. It was a nice run today; a little slow at first as Stephanie, Tod, and I got our frozen muscles to start moving (another cold cold day), but by the end we were definitely zipping along. Definitely a good day for running once you really get going. Meanwhile, Emma and Site Assistant Stephanie are off in Chicago getting buffeted by 14mph winds as they run the Chicago Marathon. Oh, and there’s a chance of snow. Yikes.

Back in the ‘Hood

Start time: 10/18/06, 6:30pm
Location: Tanglewood Park, Glencannon Park, Peterson Lane Park, and parts of Vienna VA
Distance: 3.75 miles
Average pace: 9:15min/mile

The last (and first!) time I ran in my parents’s neighborhood was back in 2001. It was two miles and it just about killed me. (This is back when I was running—and I use that term loosely—a 16:30min/mile.) It was fun to take the area for another spin; all these roads and trails through parks that I grew up with. Certainly a bit faster a pace since the last time I was here, too. It wasn’t a great course; the paths were a little narrow and I managed to do another “step off the trail and roll my ankle” move (oops) but I felt fine, and strong despite the rolling hills of Vienna that were killing me so much five years ago. Sure, I could’ve run over on the track by the high school and had a nice flat course, but since I didn’t hit the Custis Trail this week I needed my hill work in there somewhere…

Bundle up!

Start time: 10/15/06, 8:00am
Location: Downtown Washington DC
Distance: 10 miles
Run:Walk ratio: 6:1
Average pace: 9:30min/mile

Sunday was a 10-mile recovery run, just me and Stephanie again. It was almost ideal weather for running, though. Nice and cool, in the mid-40s. Two layers on top and a pair of shorts and I was good to go. This is a big deal because this is in theory the weather we’ll be having in Florence for the marathon so it’s good to know that this is just what I should be wearing. (Other than that, nothing really to report!)


Start time: 10/12/06, 7:00pm
Location: Old Town Alexandria
Distance: 3.5 miles
Average pace: 9:29min/mile

When I make the Thursday runs, I normally run with Chris, Darryl, and Sonia. Except Chris and Sonia weren’t there, and there weren’t other runners interested in our pace, so just the two of us headed out together… Except Darryl’s coming down with a cold and is also running the Baltimore Marathon on Saturday. “I’m going to take it a little slow,” he said, “and do just a little bit. So don’t be afraid to leave me behind.” We stuck together because I like the company and wasn’t feeling up for a huge run anyway (those gale force winds were a little daunting) so we just did 3.5 miles. What amuses me is our mile splits: 10:03, 9:36, 9:06, and an 8:56avg for the last half mile. So much for us trying to take it slower than normal. Somehow I suspected it wasn’t going to last…

A Half Marathon… and 6.9 more miles added on for fun. Or something.

World Wide Half Marathon Challenge
Start time: 10/07/06, 8:00am
Location: Downtown Washington DC
Distance: 13.1 miles
Run:Walk ratio: 5:1
Finishing time: 2:10:41
Average pace: 9:59min/mile

Start time: 10/07/06, 8:00am
Location: Downtown Washington DC
Distance: 20 miles
Run:Walk ratio: 5:1
Average pace: 10:00min/mile

What a morning.

Today was my scheduled 20-mile training run for the Florence Marathon at the end of November… but it’s also the weekend of the World Wide Half Marathon Challenge, in which over 500 people around the world registered to run a “virtual” half marathon either today or tomorrow. No prizes, but we’ve all got race numbers, a results board, even a (PDF) goodie bag. Now, I wasn’t planning on try to beat my PR for a half marathon today (2:06:08) but I figured it was a fun thing to throw in there. After all, I’d be running the distance anyway.

The next bit is also in my regular journal, for those who read both and want to skip it…

“Um… where are we?”

Start time: 10/05/06, 7:00pm
Location: Old Town Alexandria
Distance: 5.5 miles
Average pace: 8:54min/mile

Tonight was another new course; now that it’s getting darker out, it’s not safe to run the other course on Thursdays so this new one sent us through Old Town Alexandria, as well as some industrial sort of wasteland along Eisenhower Avenue. Only the the thing is… we weren’t sure where we were supposed to turn around. We were told the course was five miles, and given a landmark… but where was it?

When we finally did hit it, we turned around and decided to come back on the other side of Eisenhower Ave. Only there wasn’t sidewalk for a stretch of the highway. And oh yeah, a big metal fence along the edge of the road. And an 18-wheeler heading right for us. Whoops! (Don’t worry, we survived thanks to hugging the fence.) Turns out it was actually 5.5 miles, not too shabby.

Afterwards I pitied any future boyfriends I may have; I was humming as I put dinner in the oven, and outright singing by the time I got into the shower. After a good run? Top of the world, no doubt about that.

“Leo needs new shoes!”

Start time: 10/03/06, 7:00pm
Location: Clarendon and the Custis Trail
Distance: 4.25 miles
Average pace: 9:37min/mile

It’d been a while since I’d run the Custis Trail! More importantly, it was time for new shoes. By my best calculations I was due… perhaps a little overdue. So, armed with (yet another) new pair of Brooks Beast ’04, up and down the trail I went. A little slow in places, but I think Chris and I were both getting back up to speed. And with the 20-miler looming on Saturday, better safe than sorry. But yeah, a good run… especially since I racked up about 8 miles on Saturday running up and down the Hill of Doom with numerous training groups tackling their own 26-miler. Woohoo!