The National Half Marathon
Start time: 3/24/07, 7:00am
Location: Washington DC
Distance: 13.1 miles
Finishing time: 1:58:17
Average pace: 8:52min/mile
This part is all in my regular journal as well.
Start time: 3/20/07, 7:00pm
Location: National Mall and Tidal Basin
Distance: 5.4 miles
Average pace: 8:42min/mile
I met Del down by the Foggy Bottom station and we went for a run together; first down to the Mall and down Constitution Avenue, then we crossed over first to Independence Avenue and around the Tidal Basin before heading by the World War II Memorial and then back up Constitution and to H Street where we called it a night. Good pace, good company.
Start time: 3/18/07, 11:00am
Location: W&OD Trail
Distance: 4 miles & 4 miles
Run:Walk Ratio: 6:1 & none
Average pace: 10:31min/mile & 9:18min/mile
One last long run before the half marathon on Saturday… I headed out down the W&OD Trail with Carla, MJ, and Randy for a nice four miles. They were pretty consistent, and thanks to running through their last walk break because of a bathroom stop at mile 4, a good final mile. (10:29, 10:49, 10:45, 9:58)
They were going to run 10 miles, so I turned around at that point and dropped the walk breaks for a slightly faster four miles back. It went ok, but I was running right into an amazingly strong headwind (my hat started lifting off several times!) and I started to feel like I was struggling the further I went. Hopefully it was a matter of the wind (or just not feeling the run) and not a bad omen for the race on Saturday. (9:05, 9:20, 9:25, 9:20)
Start time: 3/15/07, 7:30pm
Location: Thomas Jefferson Rec Center
Distance: 3 miles
Average pace: 8:21min/mile
It’s raining and the temperature is dropping significantly, so instead of going to Pacers I decided to head to the gym. I worked out for a bit on the weight machines with various upper body workouts (twice in one week? What is this world coming to?) and then decided to run 3 miles on the indoor track. The track is only an eighth of a mile, so my game plan was to hit my chrono every other lap and take quarter-mile splits home with me. This was about consistency, something I feel like I’ve lost in the last month and something I’d had back in 2005 thanks to speed workouts with Rick Weber. So, here’s how the three miler broke down:
Mile 1: 8:27 (2:03, 2:08, 2:09, 2:07)
Still finding my sea legs (so to speak). The big question would be what the next two miles were like, though.
Mile 2: 8:17 (2:05, 2:06, 2:01, 2:05)
A nice surprise; speeding up a bit but not feeling like I was going to collapse, and more importantly a lot more on the mark.
Mile 3: 8:19 (2:05, 2:04, 2:04, 2:06)
Really, really happy with this. Now we’re talking.
I may have to see if I can start incorporating this into my workouts again. I’ve missed it.
Start time: 3/13/07, 8:00am
Location: Clarendon, Court House, and Rosslyn
Distance: 4.25 miles
Average pace: 8:44min/mile
It’s been a while since I’ve run this route—up to Clarendon, down through Court House and Rosslyn all the way to the river, and then back up and around to home. Then again it’s also been a while since I’ve run in the morning on a weekday. I’m now thinking I need to find a new route that doesn’t involve me plunging down into Rosslyn; partially because I really loathe that hill coming back up, partially because that’s the hill I hurt myself on in May 2006. Maybe just keep going west past Clarendon into Virginia Square and Ballston? Oh, how I wish they’d finish construction on the bridge over Washington Boulevard so using the Arlington Boulevard Trail was possible again!
Start time: 3/10/07, 9:00am
Location: W&OD Trail
Distance: 4 miles
Average pace: 8:53min/mile
So, the idea was to go run a quick 6-miler and call it a morning. I started an hour late, though, so I figured I’d have to play it all by ear. The first mile went fine (9:14) and I thought, “If I can keep this pace I’ll be good.” Well, halfway through mile 2 I ran into my 2004 pace group buddy Deborah, so I stopped and talked for about 10-15 seconds before heading on. “This second mile will be a little off,” I told myself. “No big deal.” Well, yeah… it clocked in at an 8:52. Wait a second… As I headed into mile 3 I was feeling tired and decided that it was time to slow down, and maybe even stop when I hit mile 3. (I’d planned on going a mile and a half out in each direction.) Well, the huffing and puffing was explained when I hit the marker at 8:29. Oops. No wonder I was feeling like I was going to keel over. I decided I’d run one more mile but deliberately try and slow down; that way I was at least out running for more than half an hour. It got finished up in an 8:54 (and my right foot was starting to fall asleep—tomorrow I’ll have to check and see if it’s time for new shoes!) and I called it a day.
Now, off to cut my hair, shave, and get ready for Julie’s wedding. Woohoo!
(I’d say she’d kill me for taking the time out to do this, but she won’t see this until afterwards.)
Start time: 3/6/07, 7:00pm
Location: Clarendon and the Custis Trail
Distance: 4.25 miles & 0.5 miles
Average pace: 9:08min/mile & 8:00min/mile
Occasionally I run with the Pacers Arlington group on Tuesday nights, which is an extremely hilly course; my pace is always off by at least 30 seconds per mile as a result, because it seriously kicks my butt. With that in mind, here’s the rundown of the last few months of this course:
Even my fastest from back in August was a 39:44, and that was with Darryl really pushing us. So tonight? 38:48. GOOD LORD. It’s funny, because on the way out I thought I was pushing myself and Chris a little fast, but he wasn’t complaining so I decided that maybe I was just out of shape. Even on the way back I commented that I felt like I was sucking wind, but we kept going… and going… and going… A very nice surprise! It’s good to see what I can do if I really put my mind to it.
Start time: 3/3/07, 10:00am
Location: W&OD Trail
Distance: 12 miles
Run:Walk ratio: none (miles 1-9), then 7:1 (10-12)
Average pace: 9:23min/mile
Apparently everyone decided to take advantage of the nice weather today; I managed to see no less than four people I knew while out running. I saw Katie and Julie about 4.5 miles into the run as they were getting into their cars, Noel was coming around the bend a quarter mile later, and Laura D. from work was out riding her bicycle (with one of her daughters strapped in on the child seat) around mile 10. Fun!
Oh yeah, the run itself. I definitely went out of the gate too fast; it probably didn’t help that because of my roundabout route (start at marker 3.5, run to marker 2, turn around and run out to marker 8, then back to 3.5) the first mile and a half are a slight downhill grade, meaning that those got hit pretty quickly (8:58, 8:57). From there, things fell into a groove and I was pretty consistant through mile 6 (9:19, 9:10, 9:03, 9:15). Since the farthest in the past month I’ve run at this particular speed was 5.4 miles, it really shouldn’t be surprising that I then began to run out of gas. I pushed through three more miles (9:34, 9:39, 9:39) and then decided to see what would happen if I started adding in some walk breaks. I figured the first mile would go slower, but future miles would then benefit from the brief rest. Sure enough, the final three just about hit that pattern (9:56, 9:28, 9:36).
Had this been the actual half marathon? Well, if you added on another 1.1 miles and went with a pessimistic 10:00min/mile speed, that would’ve landed me a finishing time of 2:03. So still a PR, not a sub-2. I’m still mulling over various plans in my head for what to do for the race itself. If I can find someone to pace off of early on so I can save the fuel for the end, that might help. But alternately I can always just plan to shift into adding some walk breaks as need be for the second half. Either way, at this point I’m not concerned about hitting sub-2. Coming off of an injury a month ago, I’m delighted to hit the speed I am. (Still, looking back at the end of December’s 12-miler it’s easy to lament what might have been. Oh well.) Hopefully a PR is still in the stars, though!
Start time: 3/1/07, 7:30pm
Location: Barcroft Sports and Fitness Center
Distance: 3 miles
Average pace: 9:15min/mile
Well, I was supposed to go running with the Pacers group again, but it had started to rain and was supposed to keep getting worse and wose. So, instead I went over to Barcroft and used one of their treadmills. I took the first mile a little slow (9:35), then the next two at a slightly faster pace (9:05 each). I’d have cheerfully run more, but there’s supposed to be a 24-minute time limit on the cardio equipment. Since I was at 27:45 and all the treadmills were in use, I decided to be nice and stop there. (Or before someone waiting complained and got me kicked out!)
I’m not a treadmill fan, but it sure beats running in the cold rain.