Monthly Archives: March 2008

Birthday Run

Start Time: 3/26/08, 7:50am
Location: Arlington Boulevard Trail (and friends)
Distance: 3 miles
Average Pace: 8:35min/mile
Total Miles For March: 44 miles

Last pre-race run and it was… eh. Splits were 8:32, 8:57, and 8:14. Not bad at all, don’t get me wrong, but I just have a bad feeling about Saturday.

Never did find any Easter eggs

Start Time: 3/23/08, 1:00pm
Location: Arlington Boulevard Trail (and friends)
Distance: 4 miles
Average Pace: 8:56min/mile
Total Miles For March: 41 miles

I unfortunately wasn’t able to get my last group training run in—I had for plans the night before and getting up that early just wasn’t happening—so on Sunday I went for a spin around the neighborhood that felt rather “eh”. On the bright side, I did take some interesting detours, running north up Washington Boulevard from Route 50 back to my place. So the change of pace, at least, was night.


Start Time: 3/19/08, 7:50am
Location: Arlington Boulevard Trail (and friends)
Distance: 3 miles
Average Pace: 8:59min/mile
Total Miles For March: 37 miles

That run stunk. Stomach was feeling less than great, plus a lack of energy overall. I finally terminated the run early and headed back home. Sometimes the smart thing to do is to quit while you’re… well, hardly ahead, but at least not too far behind.

The Things We Do To Ourselves

Start Time: 3/17/08, 6:30pm
Location: Custis Trail
Distance: 4 miles
Average Pace: 8:48min/mile
Total Miles For March: 34 miles

Sometimes I really wonder about my sanity. The original plan was I’d leave work and go over to the W&OD Trail, knock out 4 or 5 miles, nothing too big. But I left work a little later than I’d hoped, and as I did so I began to think that maybe instead of taking half an hour to drive to the 3.5 marker on the W&OD, I could just head home and be at the Custis Trail in 15 minutes.

You know, the trail that goes straight up and down, and kicks my butt every time I run it? Ho ho ho.

That said, it wasn’t a bad run. Just a tough one. Considering I expected my pace to drop down into the 9:30 range with those hills, I’d say it was pretty good—doubly so when you keep in mind that back when I used to run this every Tuesday and in Alexandria every Thursday, my Tuesday Custis Trail pace was always a solid 30 seconds per mile slower than Thursday. So, victory. (8:44, 9:05, 9:00, 8:25)

A little better

Start Time: 3/15/08, 1:00pm
Location: W&OD Trail
Distance: 8 miles
Average Pace: 8:50min/mile
Total Miles For March: 30 miles

When I ran my 10-miler eight days earlier, I was… less than impressed with my effort. It had admittedly been the longest I’d run in quite a while, so a lackluster performance was almost a given. But still. I promised myself that this run (since I’d overslept and missed speed training in the morning) would be better and also run smarter. Thankfully, it was just that—I took the first half at a reasonable pace rather than heading out too fast, and then let myself pick up a little bit of speed for the second half. (9:08, 9:07, 8:57, 9:08, 8:42, 8:31, 8:39, 8:23)

If I can do something like this in two weeks for the half marathon, I’ll be quite happy.

The Frighteners

Start Time: 3/12/08, 6:45pm
Location: W&OD Trail
Distance: 4 miles
Average Pace: 8:31min/mile
Total Miles For March: 22 miles

The plan was to step out for an hour and go run five more miles on Wednesday; while it would be the same stretch of trail, instead of running downhill for the first half (from marker 5 to 2.5) and then uphill back (2.5 to 5), I would start in the middle of the strech and vary the course a bit. (Downhill one mile, uphill 2.5 miles, downhill 1.5 miles.) What actually happened was that while it wasn’t a bad run, per se, it wasn’t one where I was feeling great either—I just still haven’t re-found my groove after skipping far too many runs this winter. So, I decided I’d turn around half a mile early (at marker 4.5), just run 4 miles, and call it a day.

Well, there were a bunch of running groups out on the trail and they were doing all sorts of strange sprint drills (something of which I completely relate to!), zipping up and down parts of the trail in a huge pack at times, other times stretched out into a thin line. I was just under half a mile from the end when I heard someone shout… well… something right behind me. I have no idea what. At the time I thought it was a warning along the lines of “move over we’re about to run you over.” In a slight panic, I headed off the trail onto the shoulder and waited for them to pass as I kept running. And waited. And waited.

With 20-20 hindsight what I think was shouted was actually to the other runners in that pack telling them they’d hit their timing mark and they could slow down, because I finally glanced over my shoulder and I was increasing ground between me and them. I’m not sure if that’s what helped contribute to my last mile split or if it was just the tiny downhill grade, but either way I’ll take it. (8:17, 8:41, 8:53, 8:12) Maybe I need to have people chase me from now on?

Racing the Sun

Start Time: 3/10/08, 6:50pm
Location: W&OD Trail
Distance: 5 miles
Average Pace: 8:51min/mile
Total Miles For March: 18 miles

The idea was to get out to the W&OD Trail by 6pm, after work, and take advantage of the only good part of Daylight Saving Time—have enough time to get in a 5-to-6 mile run before it got dark. Instead I was stuck at work, and by the time I got out, getting in even a 5-miler was starting to get questionable. Fortunately I was able to finish up right as the sky began to get a dark purple, so that was good, at least.

Not so good was the amount of huffing and puffing. Sure, the first half was downhill while the second half was uphill, but those splits (8:15, 8:27, 8:54, 9:16, 9:22) were not good. I have got to shed those pounds of fat that are still around my belly. It’s not the number on the scale, it’s the composition of the body that’s bugging me as of late. So we’ll see.

Back on track

Start Time: 3/6/08, 8:00am
Location: Court House, Clarendon, Ballston, W&OD Trail
Distance: 10 miles
Average Pace: 9:33min/mile
Total Miles For March: 13 miles

Ok! Back on the wagon, Greg—both for running and for updating. (I just put a whole bunch of backdated entries from the past month and a half on here. Eek.) Anyway, I ran a 10 miler today; with the National Half Marathon for me on the 29th, it was rapidly approaching do-or-die time. So it was a slowish for me run, and I felt a little bit creaky, but so long as I can get running again all will be quite good. Right? Hopefully?

Hell of a lot of hills though. Especially once you get west of Ballston. Upppp and dowwwnnn and upppp and downnnnn… bleah!

(Supposedly it was a 9:33min/mile. But the GPS also said that my ninth mile was a 10:54, and to be honest I find this hard to believe. So on the bright side, a little faster. Not much, but a little.)

“28 Minutes of Hell”

Start Time: 3/1/08, 8:00am
Location: Washington-Lee High School
Distance: 1 mile & ~2 miles
Total Miles For March: 3

Fred named this one afterwards “28 minutes of hell” and I must admit that I think it’s a pretty accurate description. The idea was as follows:

Run 2 minutes (fast)
Recover 2 minutes
Run 1 minute (faster)
Recover 1 minute
Run 30 seconds (still faster)
Recover 30 seconds

Only you do it four times. Uggghhhh. On the bright side you can do this anywhere because it doesn’t require a track to mark off distance. But it was a pretty kick-butt workout, at the end I felt like I was going to drop.

Backdated Backwards Ladder

Start Time: 2/24/08, 8:30am
Location: Sidwell Friends High School
Distance: 1 mile & 1600m & 800m & 400m & 200m & 100m
Total Miles For February: 32

Fred had us run a “reverse ladder” where each distance was faster and faster. Uggghhhh. It was a little gratifying that four of the five of them had me finishing first, although that last one I was trying to just not throw up!

1600m: 5:59
800m: 2:46
400m: 1:09
200m: 29.92
100m: 15.64