Monthly Archives: May 2008

Red-Faced Running at Pacers

Start Time: 5/29/08, 7:00pm
Location: Clarendon & Custis Trail
Distance: 5 miles
Average Pace: 8:37min/mile
Total Miles For May: 51 miles

Phew! It’s been a couple weeks since I tackled the hills of the Custis Trail; I clearly need to do this a little more often. I ran with a new woman, Stacy, who is from Boston and is super-nice. She definitely pushed me through those hills of death, which is a good thing on the way back! (7:23, 8:25, 8:59, 9:13, 8:50, and 2:53 for the .3 mile) I’d forgotten just how hard those hills are, to be honest, and I’m always relieved when it’s over. What doesn’t kill me really does make me stronger, in this case.

Also, I finally decided what I’m going to do with my MarathonGreg website; I’ll turn it into a WordPress site as well and have a good front page that links to the appropriate races and photos and such. That said, it’s going to take a long while to do so. But at least a decision has been made! Once it’s converted, I’ll add all of these entries into it, but it’ll still echo any new posts over here as well.

Make or Broken

Start Time: 5/27/08, 7:00am
Location: Arlington Boulevard Trail
Distance: 2 miles & 4 miles
Average Pace: 10:01min/mile & 8:14min/mile
Total Miles For May: 46 miles

After my previous two make-or-break runs were mostly downhill, or on a flat track, I decided that I needed to be a little tougher. So, the plan was to run on the Arlington Boulevard Trail, where the first mile of the 2-mile repeats would be uphill (as well as the cooldown run), while the second mile of the 2-mile repeats (and the warm-up) would be downhill. And… oooooof. That kicked my butt, big time. Specifically, the uphills; I could just feel myself running out of energy. Each time. I’m glad I did it, though, now that it’s over. Clearly I need to add hills back into my running life. Here’s how the breakdowns ended up:

warm-up: 9:52
first 2-miler: 8:23, 7:48
second 2-miler: 8:47, 7:59
cool-down: 10:10

Beautiful Sunday

Start Time: 5/25/08, 11:00am
Location: W&OD Trail
Distance: 2 miles & 4 miles
Average Pace: 9:51min/mile & 8:23min/mile
Total Miles For May: 40 miles

Fred had warned us that yesterday’s run might leave us a little sore today. I wasn’t feeling too bad—my glutes are a little sore, but other than that I was feeling a-ok, which is good because the schedule has a run scheduled for today. I headed out onto the trail, which was clogged with fair-weather runners and cyclists, and did a warm-up mile (9:54) before picking the pace up a bit. It went well; I was a little tired towards the end, but I think I kept pace pretty good (8:35, 8:11, 8:22, 8:23). That said, I sure was glad I was only running 4 miles at that pace instead of 5 because I was a little bit tired. (Some leftover from yesterday afternoon/evening’s super-heavy tiredness?) I did my cool-down mile (9:48), stretched for a bit, and went home.


Start Time: 5/24/08, 7:00am
Location: Washington-Lee High School
Distance: 1 mile & 2600 yards
Total Miles For May: 34 miles

After our warm-up, Fred had us run an exercise he called “stinkers”. The idea is that we would sprint 50 yards down to the middle of the field, then head back briskly to the goal line, then turn around and do that 4 more times. Five total equals one “stinker”, and we were to do five total. Emma wasn’t there, but Paul (who ran a couple of times in the winter program) was and he is blazingly fast. He could almost always beat me in a sprint, but on the way back he was a little slower and that meant I was ahead of him at the end of some of the stinkers. The one downside? In the second “stinker” I miscounted and because I was ahead of him and everyone else, didn’t realize it! So I actually ran 26 reps instead of 25. Oops. After that was some stair work, and strange jumping exercises. A gorgeous morning for exercise!

Make or Break, Track Edition

Start Time: 5/20/08, 4:00pm
Location: Thomas Jefferson Community Center
Distance: 2 miles & 4 miles
Average Pace: 9:52min/mile & 7:50min/mile
Total Miles For May: 31.5 miles

It was pouring on Tuesday when I woke up, so I decided to postpone my “Make or Break” run until after work. I actually ended up leaving a little early, but there were still dark clouds overhead. More rain? I decided not to chance it and instead ran on the indoor track (ho hum). It went well, though. 9:50 warm-up, then two good sets of 2-milers (7:56 & 7:55, 7:45 & 7:43), then a 9:54 cooldown. Of course, when I left? Not a cloud in the sky. Argh. I hope everyone else who enjoyed the good weather appreciated my sacrifice!

(No run on Thursday, I instead set up and used my Wii Fit for about 45 minutes. Fun!)

Up and Down Capitol Hill, Again

Capitol Hill Classic 10K
Start time: 5/18/08, 8:30am
Location: Washington DC
Distance: 6.2 miles
Finishing time: 52:30
Average pace: 8:28min/mile
Miles for May: 25.5

I missed the Capitol Hill Classic last year; I had an injury that had prevented me from running anything. So I had a lot to really prove for myself, because this was my first 10K since May 2006.

I made one small mistake this year; I ran into Emma early on and stuck with her until about mile 2.5. As Emma is normally faster than me, it meant I was starting to run out of gas. Fortunately I realized the error of my ways and slowed down a bit. It went well after that, aside from a misplaced Mile 4 marker that made me really wonder what the hell was going on, and running completely out of gas and walking for about 30 seconds up the long, steep, Capitol Hill. UGH. Not proud of that. But otherwise it went well, and I got to see a whole bunch of my old fellow AIDS Marathon staffers—Rick W, Rick C, Karen K, and Emma. Good times, good times, good times.

(8:19, 7:52, 8:14, 10:17, 7:11, 8:55, 1:33 for the .2. And yeah, that marker was definitely off for that fourth mile!)

And hey! Check out my age group placing!

2005: 315/386 (81st percentile) (30-39 group)
2006: 166/233 (71st percentile) (30-34 group)
2008: 98/192 (51st percentile) (35-39 group)

Make or Break?

Start Time: 5/13/08, 7:00am
Location: W&OD Trail
Distance: 2 miles & 4 miles
Average Pace: 9:43min/mile & 7:55min/mile
Total Miles For May: 19.5 miles

Today is what Fred calls a “make or break” run; run a mile warm up, then run two sets of 2 miles at a good clip, then a mile cool down. So, off to the W&OD and its handy mile-markers, plus a lack of crossing any roads once I’m there. I had a good easy warm-up (10:08), then kicked it up a notch for two good miles (8:17, 7:47) for an average of an 8:02. I wasn’t entirely sure how long one should rest, so I decided that normally we walk around the track once and that takes about 4 minutes. Then it was back off again for two more good miles (7:39, 7:55) for a solid 7:47 average. Finally, the cool down on the way back went a little faster than planned (9:18); I just find it hard to slow back down if I still have some energy, even though I keep telling myself that I’m supposed to be taking it easier…

It was a little windy and cool at first, but it turned into a really beautiful run. I’d put this one in the “make” category. And now, for lunch, I undo all the good the run may have done with a trip to Elevation Burger. YUM.

Wetness and Confusing Directions

Start Time: 5/10/08, 7:00am
Location: Washington-Lee High School
Distance: 1 mile & 200/400/800/600/400/200m
Total Miles For May: 13.5 miles

I didn’t end up with my Tuesday or Thursday runs this past week; one of my calves was mysteriously tight on Tuesday, which made me scrap any running plans, as well as Wednesday’s spinning class. It actually was feeling about 99% better on Thursday morning, but I decided to not push things and held off there as well.

It was a wet, nasty morning on Saturday, and it honestly took a lot of willpower for me to actually get up and go. Fortunately, the longer we were out there, the less it stopped raining. And as an added bonus, no running up and down the bleachers (for fear of slipping and falling).

We ran meter-repeats again, and the originall schedule was 200/400/600/400/200m. However, after the 400m, Fred told me, Emma, Laura, and Tracy that we were going to run 800m next. What? No 600m? Why was he torturing us so? *sigh* Sometimes it doesn’t pay to go fast.

Except, what Fred apparently REALLY meant was, “You’ll run 800m, but only after you run a 600m, so you won’t be running it next.” Which none of us got from his statement, unfortunately. Oops! Ah well. It went well enough, although all four of us were amused that after the 800m we all were of the opinion that we didn’t feel terribly good.

200m: 0:41
400m: 1:24
800m: 3:13
600m: 2:20
400m: 1:24
200m: 0:37

(No run on Sunday due to monsoon rains. Darn.)

Lessons were learned

Start Time: 5/4/08, 4:00pm
Location: Rock Creek Park
Distance: 3.5 miles & 0.5 miles
Average Pace: 8:31min/mile & 9:08min/mile
Total Miles For May: 11 miles

Another “2-4 mile progressive run” attempt! However, looking back, I did a lot of things wrong. Got up early Sunday morning after a late night, so not enough sleep, coupled with a lot of work at Artomatic before going running. I also had a not-huge breakfast around 10am and then… nothing else before going running at 4pm. Smart. And I went out on a warm, sunny afternoon with the deck stacked against me. That said? It wasn’t bad, but I ran out of steam big time with about half a mile to go. Still, well within the range of the distance it was supposed to be, and after I caught my breath (and walked for a few minutes) I actually jogged in another half mile heading back towards the car.

Here’s the funny thing—when I ran this route last week? Butch drove by and honked. This week? Rick Carter drove by. Who will turn up if I run this again next week? I’m dying to find out.

(8:56, 8:40, 8:10, and (for the half) 4:02; the extra half mile later was 4:34.)

Oh, g’wan…

Start Time: 5/3/08, 7:00am
Location: Washington & Lee High School
Distance: 2 miles
Total Miles For May: 7 miles

I got to this morning’s workout a tiny bit late and missed a bit of our warm-up, but as it turned out… I made it up later. After the warm-up run (plus some stairs, ugh) it was time for four 400m runs—as always, each faster than the previous. Emma wasn’t there this morning so I ended up taking the lead, which was both good and bad. It feels good to be up in the front, but at the same time with no one to pace off of… well… Here’s how those four went: 1:44, 1:31, 1:28, 1:21.

Yeah, that jump between the first and the second? A bit daunting. But I kept it up, and really went all out on the last one. So that’s when Fred casually said, “So, who wants to run an extra one?”

Huh? Really? Then someone said they would… and the next thing I knew, six of us had lined up for a last one. And the end result? 1:20. Phew! The difference of a second could have just been clumsy fingers, but hey, I’m taking it as a victory.