Monthly Archives: September 2008

Rest of September

Start Time: 9/28/08, 11:00am
Location: W&OD Trail
Distance: 3 miles
Average Pace: 9:04min/mile
Total Miles For September: 61 miles

Wow, that was horrible. I was supposed to run a 10-miler, but the humidity? Out of control. As in, having problems breathing and feeling like it was actually pulling me back. Much worse than anything through the summer itself, which was rather unexpected. Aborted the run and went home; my only consolation (hours later) was hearing how many other people had the same problem with outdoor exercise on Sunday. Still, a little distressing.

Start Time: 9/30/08, 7:30am
Location: North Arlington
Distance: 6 miles
Average Pace: 8:52min/mile
Total Miles For September: 67 miles

A slightly later start than I wanted this morning, but it all actually worked out very well. Just randomly ran all over the place; down Clarendon Boulevard and 10th Street to Glebe, then over to 50 before winding through residential neighborhoods, followed up by two more miles on 50. Nice weather, didn’t feel like I was pushing, and it was ultimately just what I needed to feel like things were starting to return to normal.

Rule #1: No Booting

Start Time: 9/27/08, 8:00am
Location: W&OD Trail
Distance: 9 miles
Total Miles For September: 58 miles

This Saturday was supposed to be like last week’s 5x3mile extravaganza, but without set 4 added in. I did the first three sets and came in under my suggested times (30, 30, and 27min) but I didn’t attempt the last one (25min) because all the way through the third set I felt more and more like I was going to throw up. Charming. I thought it was from eating cereal instead of oatmeal for breakfast, but it’s now hours and I still feel really horrible. Fun fun fun.

9:10, 9:48, 9:46 (9:35avg, 28:46tot)
9:52, 9:49, 9:33 (9:45avg, 29:15tot)
8:26, 9:10, 9:08 (8:54avg, 26:44tot)

Wasn’t Feeling It

Start Time: 9/23/08, 4:45pm
Location: Mount Vernon Trail
Distance: 4 miles
Average Pace: 8:51min/mile
Total Miles For September: 49 miles

Originally I was going to run 6-to-8 miles on Tuesday, but within a mile I knew I just wasn’t feeling it. My right lower calf was feeling a little stiff, and I decided to terminate the run a little early. Two miles in, I turned around and just headed back to start. The ankle/calf never did really loosen up, so turning around early was absolutely the right decision.

9:04, 8:51, 8:52, 8:35

10 more

Start Time: 9/21/08, 8:15am
Location: W&OD Trail
Distance: 10 miles
Average Pace: 8:59min/mile (or 9:08min/mile)
Total Miles For September: 45 miles

I will be the first to admit that after Saturday’s bomb-out, I was not looking forward to Sunday’s run. My quads were a little sore, and I was feeling… less than encouraged about the run. But I headed out anyway (because I am a masochist, I guess) and ran on the W&OD Trail; starting at marker 3.5, down to the 2.5 marker, then up to 7.5 before heading back to start.

I don’t know why I am always surprised by the trail heading just slightly uphill as the marker numbers increase, but some days it gets me more than others. This was one of those days where that tiny tilt semed just horrible. About 4.5 miles in I actually turned off my watch, sat down, and ate my gel for 90 seconds before continuing on. That helped a little bit, but the biggest thing was about half a mile later running into Alma, whom I trained with back in 2005. She was on her bike getting ready for a triathlon next weekend, and she rode next to me for a few minutes before she zoomed off. And that was what really got me going again. My spirits were lifted, and I did just fine until (finishing off mile #6) I got to turn around and start heading slightly downhill for the remainder.

My finishing time was supposed to be between a 9:00 and 9:30min/mile average, so even with that 90 second break being fully added on, things were a-ok on that front. But I was still pretty beat after Saturday’s 15 mile disaster, so it was certainly tougher than it would have otherwise been!

(8:44, 8:47, 8:56, 9:32, 9:07 (or 10:37), 9:14, 9:06, 8:54, 8:40, 8:48)

80% is barely a C+

Start Time: 9/20/08, 7:00am
Location: Thomas Jefferson Community Center half-mile loop
Distance: 15 miles
Total Miles For September: 35 miles

So here was my weekend assignment: “The workout is a 5 x 3 mile ‘make-or-break run’, with a 3-minute recovery (no more, no less) in between each 3-mile repeat. You’ll follow that with a 10-mile tempo run on Sunday. These workouts will help train you to run negative splits. The goal for this set of workouts is to run the EXACTLY as they are described in the table below – no faster – no slower.” I was given specific time goals for my 3-milers, and on paper I thought, “This will be easy.” Ha ha ha. Here’s out it turned out…

Target: 30:00 (10min/mile avg)
Miles 1-3: 29:43 (10:02, 9:48, 9:53)
Miles 4-6: 29:45 (9:53, 9:59, 9:53)

Target: 27:00 (9min/mile avg)
Miles 7-9: 26:42 (8:57, 8:55, 8:50)
Miles 10-12: 26:43 (8:48, 8:57, 8:57)

Target: 25:00 (8:20min/mile avg)
Miles 13-15: 26:43 (8:16, 9:05, 9:24)

Yeah, everything was going great until mile 14, huh? Just ran out of energy, and hauling around a few extra pounds from earlier this month was not helping matters. Time to stop stuffing my face and really buckle down after several weeks of slacking. This should have been easier, and I should’ve hit all five segments easily, not just the first four. Ah well! Now I know!

Hell and Back

Start Time: 9/18/08, 7:15am
Location: Arlington Boulevard Trail
Distance: ~3.25 miles & 2 miles
Average Pace: ~8:37min/mile & 10:00min/mile
Total Miles For September: 20 miles

Another “28 minutes of hell” workout (4 repeats of fast 2, slow 2, faster 1, slow 1, still faster 30 sec, slow 30 sec), which I hadn’t done in a while. I’m not entirely convinced that I really got the fast/faster/faster still paces down pat, but I was definitely moving, and I also clocked more distance in those 28 minutes than with the others, so that’s something. I am a little glad I hadn’t gone overboard and attempted the “48 minutes of hell” workout instead, though. Maybe next week. (3/3/2/2/1/1)

Progressive Oops

Start Time: 9/17/08, 6:45pm
Location: Mount Vernon Trail
Distance: 8 miles
Average Pace: 8:53min/mile
Total Miles For September: 15 miles

Well, the plan was to run an 8-mile progressive run. Now, with 20/20 hindsight, maybe not the smartest of thing after having taken a bit of time off. But hey, points for effort, right? And it’s a starting place to work off of. Anyway, I made two big mistakes with this run. First, I got confused/forgetful and started off a little too slow. So instead of beginning at a 9:30 pace for the first mile (and then dropping 15 seconds each mile), I made the first mile’s target a 9:45. Ah well. The second mistake was that I started way, way, way too late. Turns out there are no lights on the Mount Vernon Trail, or at least the portion I was running on once it got dark. *sigh* That makes it a little harder to see the GPS and know if I’m hitting my times or not (plus running a little slower to make sure I didn’t lose my footing), although I’m not entirely sure I would’ve hit those last two regardless. With the later start, the snack I’d eaten in the afternoon had completely worn off and I was starting to run out of energy.

Still, not a bad run, and as an added bonus about half a mile in, Dontastic and I passed each other on the trail. Yay!

Splits: 9:40, 9:23, 9:11, 8:55, 8:34, 8:25, 8:32, 8:21


Start Time: 9/16/08, 11:00am
Location: Thomas Jefferson Community Center
Distance: 2 miles
Average Pace: 9:04min/mile
Total Miles For September: 7 miles

Well, the plan was to run while I was on vacation up in Cape Cod. What actually happened, though, was the first night there we played a game of Spoons — and in doing so I wacked my knee really hard on the table. To the point that it really hurt even to the touch until Monday afternoon. So on Tuesday I went for an easy 2-miler just to make sure everything was ok. Neither it nor a half hour on the rowing machine hurt, so I think I’m back up to speed for a run after work today. (Fingers crossed!)

Vacation’s Over

Start Time: 9/9/08, 7:00am
Location: Arlington, VA (Ballston, Clarendon, CourtHouse)
Distance: 5 miles
Average Pace: 9:01min/mile
Total Miles For September: 5 miles

After my last run, I decided to take a week off; I needed to shake the mystery crud I’d come down with, and I was also heading out of town for a few days. But, all laziness must come to an end sooner or later. Yesterday morning I got back into the swing of things by hitting the gym (40 min of rowing and 20 min of the elliptical) but today it was time to start running. I almost didn’t run at first—I could have sworn I heard a rumble of thunder while getting ready, and there are supposed to be storms later today—but apparently it was some sort of construction truck or something.

This morning was nothing terribly fancy, just easing back into hoofing it, so it was a perfectly ordinary 5-mile all over town. (Down Arlington Blvd, up Washington Blvd, down Glebe Rd, cutting across Pershing and Highland, then Clarendon Blvd and Fairfax Drive to get home. Wheeeee.) I felt a little more tired than I should have, but I was also on an empty stomach and had just been rather lazy. So, not bad.