Monthly Archives: July 2008


Start Time: 7/31/08, 7:00am
Location: Thomas Jefferson Community Center
Distance: 2 miles & 3 miles
Average Pace: 9:44min/mile & 8:03min/mile
Total Miles For July: 79.5 miles

Today’s scheduled run was a 3-5 mile tempo, plus warm-up and cool-down miles. It is still gross outside (when I left my house at 6:50, it was already 80 degrees) so off to the community center’s indoor track it was. (Sadly, the community center is closed for the next two weeks. Whatever will I do?) I was super-sleepy even when I got there, and had a feeling that I would end up more on the 3-mile side of things than the 5-mile side of things.

I honestly think I could’ve tricked myself into at least one more mile had it not been for a small foot issue. Around mile 2 of the tempo run, my right foot on the inside started to feel like something was poking at it, or perhaps a twig was in my shoe. Odd, and annoying. By the time I was finishing up the third mile, it had gone from annoying to hurting. Fearing it was not because of a stray object in my shoe, I called it quits, sat down, and shook out my shoe. Nothing. Hmmm.

All through my cool-down run, it continued to bother me and got worse. A little worried, I headed home, pulled off my shoes and socks… and there was a blister on my foot.

It’s nice to know it wasn’t some horrible internal rupturing of organs or such. Sheesh.

8:12, 8:06, 7:52

Code Orange

Start Time: 7/29/08, 7:00am
Location: Arlington Boulevard Trail
Distance: 2 miles & 4 miles
Average Pace: 10:02min/mile & 8:08min/mile
Total Miles For July: 74.5 miles

Uuuuggghhh. Today’s run was a small “make-or-break” run (2x2miles, plus warm-up and cool-down miles) and thank god it wasn’t more or I would be a smear on the pavement. The official air quality is orange, and “unhealthy for sensitive groups”. Um, yeah, I would agree. My throat actually hurts a little bit now. I think I am going to leave the car at work (I don’t need it for anything tonight) and take the bus home so I can at least feel a little better about not pumping more nastiness into the air.

Anyway, I ran this on the Arlington Boulevard Trail, which of course means that the first mile has a gradual uphill and the second mile reverses it. I was happy with my first 2-mile set, not quite as thrilled with the second but honestly I was glad to have survived without any asthma-esque problems. I did feel fat and slow as I lumbered through the second set, which really means that I was overheated and running out of gas. I must have looked like a right mess by the end, my shirt clinging to me with sweat. *shudder* And I am amused that both times the second mile was 20 seconds faster than the first.

warm-up: 9:34
2-mile sets: (8:08, 7:48) & (8:28, 8:08)
cool-down: 10:30

All Over The Place

Start Time: 7/26/08, 9:30am
Location: W&OD Trail
Distance: 6 miles
Average Pace: 8:44min/mile
Total Miles For July: 68.5 miles

After taking a few days off while starting the lung steroid (yay), the plan was to run a 6-8 mile progressive run on Saturday; start at a 9:30min/mile, then drop 15 seconds each mile. Well, that was the plan. Half a mile up the trail, I glanced at my watch and I was just over 5 minutes. A little slow. So I picked up the pace a bit, hit the mile more or less where it should be… and then my times were all over the place.

What happened to my old pacing ability? I think I somehow killed it with all that trackwork in the winter, which is counter-interintuitive since that’s what gave it to me in the first place back in 2005. I don’t get it. Argh. Oh well. I got a late start, the sun was beating down on me, and I called it a day after 6 miles. (Amusingly, my average pace is faster than if I’d hit the times where I should’ve, which would’ve been an 8:52. Heh.)

9:26, 8:43, 8:42, 8:27, 8:39, 8:28


Start Time: 7/22/08, 6:30am
Location: Thomas Jefferson Community Center
Distance: 3 miles
Total Miles For July: 62.5 miles

Aborted early due to breathing problems. Am now on an inhaled steroid for my lungs. Yay.

Hot hot hot

Start Time: 7/19/08, 6:30am
Location: W&OD Trail
Distance: 14 miles
Average Pace: 9:16min/mile
Total Miles For July: 59.5 miles

It was going to be a hot day today, so our running coach had said he was cutting our planned 14-miler short a bit, suggesting everyone break it up into two 7-milers. Did I do that? Bah! Instead, my plan was to get up early and go to the run site about an hour early and knock out 6-7 miles before they got there (and the heat got bad), then run the other 7 with them and all would be good.

Weeeelll, except that I got a late start and instead of having an hour beforehand, only had half an hour. Still, I knocked out 4 miles on my own, then got back just as they were about to begin. So, I ran 7 miles with Laura and Donna, then pushed through another 3 miles on my own. Victory! It wasn’t too bad, aside from the fact that the last three miles had no shade whatsoever. I could really feel my strength sapping, especially in mile 12, which was the worst of it. Oof! Uphill and in the hot sun! But all done now, so hurrah for that.

(9:19, 8:54, 9:04, 8:55, 9:09, 9:13, 8:58, 9:17, 9:07, 9:16, 9:28, 9:52, 9:26, 9:19)


Start Time: 7/17/08, 7:20am
Location: Highland Street, Arlington
Distance: 4.7 miles
Total Miles For July: 45.5 miles

Today I finally went out and did a “just hills” workout; I jogged up to Highland Street (with its oh-so-apt name) and then ran down it from Hancock St all the way to Lee Highway, then back up, and repeated it for a total of four times. I was up for more, but I had gotten a very late start this morning (just couldn’t wake up!) so I called it good enough and headed back home. It was a nice little run; non-timed, just powering up and down the hill while passing people on their way to work or out walking the dogs.

28 more minutes of hell

Start Time: 7/15/08, 6:45am
Location: Thomas Jefferson Community Center Half Mile Loop
Distance: 2 miles & ~2.85 miles
Average Pace: 9:46min/mile & ~9:49min/mile
Total Miles For July: 41 miles

It had been a while since I’d run “28 minutes of hell” so I gave it another stab this morning. It was actually kind of nice out at first (only 70 degrees) but just like yesterday morning’s trip to the gym (rowing and elliptical), I was yawning before I even began. I ran Sunday’s half-mile loop for the course, since it meant I didn’t have to dodge traffic at all. That’s a good thing. Part of me wished I’d pushed it up to the “48 minutes of hell” workout (where it’s 3min, 2min, 1min for the splits) but who am I kidding, I wasn’t up for that just yet. Maybe next week.

All-in-all, not bad. I’d like to push a little harder next time; I should’ve (even with 14 of those 28 minutes being walking) gotten a full 3 miles in. Ah well. As an added bonus, a lot of runners there this morning. It was nice to not be running where the only company is traffic whizzing by and people walking to work (hello, Arlington Boulevard Trail).

warm-up & cool-down: 10:13 & 9:19

Doing Things By Half

Start Time: 7/13/08, 11:00am
Location: Thomas Jefferson Community Center Half Mile Loop
Distance: 2 miles & 3 miles
Average Pace: 9:43min/mile & 7:44min/mile
Total Miles For July: 36.5 miles

Ok! On Sunday I vowed that I’d get back into my full running schedule (since Saturday’s run went well-enough). The schedule had a quarter-mile repeat workout, but I didn’t feel like going to Washington-Lee to use their track. So instead I picked the next one on the list, which was the half-mile repeats, and headed over to TJ since I’d recently discovered they have a half-mile loop on their grounds:

What’s nice about that loop is that about half of it is shaded, so when the sun is bright, you aren’t constantly in it. The schedule said to run 10 half-mile repeats, but I accidentally slept in a little too much and the heat had gotten up to the point where I had a feeling that I wasn’t going to hit that. So I ran my mile warm-up, then decided that I’d keep running them until I hit 4:05 or slower… which turned out to be 6 of them. Considering after the second one I wanted to pack it in, I was happy.

It was blazes hot out, and one odd thing? When I got there at 11am the loop only had a couple of runners. When I left at noon? Right around then, a whole bunch of runners (and they weren’t in a group so far as I could tell) had shown up. As stupid as I felt for starting at 11am, starting when it was even hotter seemed rather insane.

warm-up: 9:35
half-miles: 3:41, 3:47, 3:52, 3:50, 3:59, 4:05
cool-down: 9:52

Out of the Woods?

Start Time: 7/12/08, 7:00am
Location: W&OD Trail
Distance: 12 miles
Average Pace: 9:30min/mile
Total Miles For July: 31.5 miles

Well, after missing my planned runs on Wednesday and Thursday (just wasn’t feeling well, alas), Saturday morning I was back out there, and I’ll admit a little worried on if the nasal steroid was really going to help or not. Thankfully, it seemed to; my nose was definitely not as bad as the last few times and I had an easier time with my breathing. Still wasn’t at 100%, but it was a real improvement.

Laura’d had a couple of weeks off of so we decided to take it easy and stick together, letting Paul and Donna zoom off. Our first four miles were really consistent, right around a 9:30 pace. The fifth mile dropped a bit, and that was around the point that Laura decided she was going to just run 9 miles today. So, we stuck together until mile 7, at which point she turned around to run two miles back, and I kept going. It was also around there that we saw Paul coming back, which seemed a bit off (was he really 3 miles ahead of us?) and it turned out that he’d turned around too early on the second leg of the course. (Start at marker 5, run to marker 2.5, turn around and run to marker 8.5, then back to marker 5.) He went to get some water, and I kept heading on, picking up the pace a bit, although the mile after that was the return of the Hill of Doom, which meant slowing down a bit.

It was around there that Paul caught me, and we ran the rest back together, although after mile 10 I decided to slow down a bit, and offered to head back by myself but Paul said he was running out of fuel too.

Not a great run in terms of, “Wow, I was really flying” but it was good in that I did the whole thing with no issues. What a relief to be, perhaps, out of the woods.

(9:32, 9:29, 9:26, 9:34, 9:55, 9:49, 10:05, 9:08, 9:31, 8:45, 9:20, 9:24)

New Route, New Breathing?

Start Time: 7/8/08, 7:00am
Location: Arlington (Clarendon, VA Square, Ballston, Bluemont Park)
Distance: 5.6 miles
Average Pace: 8:43min/mile
Total Miles For July: 19.5 miles

I had my doctor’s appointment on Monday and I’ve been given a nasal steroid to see if that helps matters. I’ve also got some more tests scheduled for next Tuesday, and a follow-up appointment the Tuesday after that. In the meantime, though, I can feel my belly getting more and more huge with each passing moment, so off for a run I went. I changed up my normal “run down Wilson Boulevard” route a tiny bit; I started on 10th Street (less people but also less traffic to worry about) and took it to Wilson Boulevard, and then once I got to George Mason Boulevard instead of sticking on Wilson, I finally took the mystery trail that I was pretty sure would eventually take me into Bluemont Park and the W&OD Trail.

I’d glanced on a map last night and was thinking if I did that route, it would be about 5 miles. So, I strapped on the Garmin and headed out. The run itself went not too bad; it definitely heated up a lot in the time I was out there, but nothing energy-sapping. The Garmin went fairly berserk, though; I’m pretty sure that neither of my mile splits were in the 7- or 11-minute range. When I got home I mapped the route out on the Gmap Pedometer and it turned out the actual distance was 5.6 miles. A nice surprise! That averaged out to an 8:43, and I am just fine with that. Breathing wasn’t too bad, although I’m not sure if that was placebo effect or not. I know the packaging said it will take about 10 days of regular use to get the full effects, so we shall see.