Monthly Archives: July 2007

Melting in the City

Start time: 7/29/07, 8:00am
Location: National Mall
Distance: 7 miles
Average pace: 8:45min/mile

Well, the good news about Sunday’s run is that despite some pretty warm temperatures we stayed slightly above pace for our tempo run. The bad news is that it was supposed to be 8 miles. Erica and Cassie zoomed off (per usual) and did all eight. But of the rest of us…

Aaron: Stopped after two miles, turned around and walked back
Dave: Walked one mile and skipped one in the middle while we headed out and back.
Paul & Devora & Me: Toughed it through seven miles and called it quits.
Laura: Toughed it through seven miles a tiny bit behind us, then after walking for about two minutes or so decided she was good and ran the rest of the eighth mile.

A tough day! It was hot, it was super humid (the bigger problem), and we all decided we had nothing to prove.

Upstairs, Downstairs

Start time: 7/26/07, 7:15am
Location: W&OD Trail
Distance: 8 miles
Average pace: 8:51min/mile

Uphill: 9:09, 8:53
Downhill: 8:38, 8:41
Uphill: 8:57
Downhill: 8:49, 8:51
Uphill: 8:52

Dear W&OD Trail,
Is it really too much to ask for a nice flat 2-to-4 mile stretch of trail near my home? If it could also not cross any major roads that would be an added bonus. Thanks a zillion.

P.S. As a tempo run, a bit of a wash, unfortunately.

New LTR Distance

Start time: 7/24/07, 5:30pm
Location: McLean High School
Distance: ~4.75 miles
Average pace: 9:20min/mile & 7:00min/mile

Tuesday’s LTRs extended the number up from 8 reps to 10. I was of the, “We’ll see how this goes” mindset, but happily reps 9 and 10 were right on pace at the 7min/mile time. Hurrah! The funniest part, though, is that at the start and end is a mile warmup/cooldown at a nice slow pace. Lately when I’ve been doing them with Laura, we end up somewhere around a 9:40min/mile pace for those. (Which is exciting when I think that last year my regular pace was a 9:30.) So I’ve finished up all ten LTRs, I’ve started my cooldown, I feel like I’m going slow, but the quarter mile loops on the track seem a bit fast according to my watch. Sure enough? 8:55. Heh. Proof that those LTRs really do work!

Ka-boom Ka-boom

Start time: 7/22/07, 7:00am
Location: National Mall & Cap Crescent Trail
Distance: 16 miles
Average pace: 8:59min/mile

That was pretty nice; a pretty strong 16-miler with Dave, Laura, and Paul. We all stuck together through the first 8 miles, and then Laura began to slow down a bit. (Considering she’d been in a car accident on Friday and I don’t think she should’ve even been running (although I understand why she did), she was doing a rockstar performance.) The three of us stuck together all the way up until right before hitting the end of mile 12, at which point I slowed down a tiny bit to eat a gel and the guys zoomed off. I caught them at mile 14 (having been trailing them by about 20 seconds all the while), but Paul was feeling great and he and Dave zoomed off at that point at an 8min mile pace. Conversely, I was feeling a little crampy in my left quad, so I took a 40-second walk break at the start of both mile 15 and 16, which did wonders for feeling better. A strong, strong run for the most part.

(8:57, 8:03 (oops), 8:53, 8:43, 9:03, 8:20 (oops x2), 8:52, 9:10, 8:55, 9:04, 9:10, 9:13, 9:01, 8:59, 9:43, 9:41.)

Starting Over

Start time: 7/20/07, 6:00pm
Location: McLean High School
Distance: 3.25 miles
Average pace: 9:30min/mile & 6:15min/mile

I seem to be doing just dandy at only attempting every other VO2 Max run. Problem is, I’ve been feeling like I’ve been starting over each time. At least this time I got all four reps initial in, and only the fourth was slipping off of the prescribed 6min/mile pace. But, four is better than none, right? I’d have liked to get the prescribed distance in (eight!) but next time I will push up to six and we’ll just go from there. Or at least, that’s the idea. I don’t mind starting over on the VO2 Max runs if I actually stay on track from now on.

Highs and Lows

Start time: 7/17/07, 6:15pm
Location: McLean High School
Distance: ~4.25 miles
Average pace: 9:40min/mile & 7:00min/mile

It was sickeningly hot on Tuesday, yet somehow Laura and I had a really good set of LTRs. We kicked some serious butt, and I was delighted with how on-the-dot we were. This was a good prelude, then, to…

Start time: 7/19/07, 7:30am
Location: W&OD Trail
Distance: 5 miles
Average pace: 8:39min/mile

…my crappy tempo run, which doesn’t look bad until you realize it was supposed to actually be a 7-miler. I just felt run down and a tiny bit sick as it progressed, until I finally just decided that enough was enough. I’d been smart enough to weigh myself right before leaving. Upon returning? 2.5 pounds of water sweated out. Ouch. Too hot, and bad hydration equals a crappy run. I must try and keep that in mind. (How long have I been doing this?)

What Goes Up…

Start time: 7/12/07, 8:00am
Location: W&OD Trail
Distance: 7 miles
Average pace: 8:45min/mile

I was a little tired this morning, and having had little success with my last two mid-week tempo runs, I was determined to do a little better this time. Since I was giving the W&OD Trail another shot, I decided it was time to reverse my path; the entire section I use has a slight incline, so rather than my bad run two weeks ago where I ran down-up-up-down (and then pooped out at the end of the last “up”) I would reverse things and tackle it as up-down-down-up. That way there wasn’t such a long, steady uphill climb and breaking it up would do better.

Sure enough, my first two miles (up) were off-pace (9:07, 9:01) but I also don’t have a problem with taking those slower and then ramping up. The next stretch—aside from an incident that I will explain momentarily—the two stretches of “down” went pretty good (8:35, 8:26, 8:38). Even the final stretch of up wasn’t so bad; a little off-pace but nothing that I was going to worry about (8:46, 8:42). So, overall, an 8:45 average, which I’m pleased with. I’d have liked an 8:30 but I will take what I can get.

Oh yes, and the “incident”? Well, about two and a half miles in… a bird pooped on my face. This, by far, beats the infamous “Greg finds a cicada clinging to his neck” incident of 2004. GAH. SO GROSS. (Yes, I stopped and wiped it off.)

“Stop that, you’re making me giddy!”

Start time: 7/10/07, 7:45am
Location: Thomas Jefferson Community Center
Distance: ~4.25 miles
Average pace: 10:00min/mile & 7:00min/mile

After running LTRs with Julie and Laura last week, it was a little sad to be by myself today. On the other hand, it is still hot as blazes in the DC area, so given an option of outside after work at the McLean High School track, or using the indoor (and therefore air-conditioned) track at my gym in the morning? I know which one I will take every time. Anyway, 8x2min were knocked out just fine. Hurrah! That said, using an 1/8th mile track? Ugh, you get a little dizzy after a while.

Hot hot hot!

Start time: 7/8/07, 7:00am
Location: C&O Canal Towpath & Cap Crescent Trail
Distance: 14 miles
Average pace: 9:37min/mile

The DC area is a little warm right now. High of 98 degrees, which is needless to say not the most pleasant weather in which to run. Before we even began, it was stressed to us that we weren’t concentrating on time today; just focus on getting the distance done. After our speed demons zipped off, it was just four of us: Aaron, Laura, and Paul. We stuck together for about 9.5 miles, and while we were starting to slow down we were still doing well. As we hit another water stop, I noticed that Laura had refilled quickly and zoomed off. The guys wanted to walk for a minute and I decided that sounded good, so we watched Laura turn into a dot on the horizon. After about a mile and a half, though, Aaron and Paul were slowing down more and more, and then took another walk break that seemed to never end. Finally, I decided to keep running because I just couldn’t bear to be moving that slowly. (Also, I had a breakfast brunch to attend for my friend Britt.)

So, running along, I finally saw the next water stop ahead around the 12.5 mile mark, and Laura refilling as well. (Plus Julie, who unfortunately having some knee problems. Boo.) It turned out she knew that when we were back in the sun, she would start fading, so she headed off at the previous stop so she could get caught by us instead of behind us at the end. Laura and I crossed over onto the Capital Crescent Trail (shade! shade! shade!) and we finished together and strong. It was a really hard run, but at the same time it was also pretty rewarding to have finished. Phew!