Monthly Archives: March 2009

Running Home from Work… Literally…

Start time: 3/30/09, 5:20pm
Location: McLean, W&OD Trail, Bluemont Park, North Arlington
Distance: 9 miles
Average pace: 8:56min/mile
Total Miles For March: 73 miles
Total Miles For 2009: 190 miles

Originally I was supposed to pick up 9 miles this weekend, but my allergies were so bad on Saturday that they just weren’t going to allow it. So, after some thought, I decided that I’d finally take the plunge and try one of the “safe” routes I’d figured out where I could run home from work. The absolute shortest distance I could find would be an 8-miler, and adding that extra mile on would be fairly easy. So, I took the bus into work with a backpack full of running clothes, then at the end of the day changed and ran home: Chain Bridge Road to Westmoreland Drive all the way to the East Falls Church Metro. Then, the W&OD Trail for two or so miles to Bluemont Park, head through Bluemont to Wilson Boulevard, and from there home along Wilson and 10th Streets. (If I was running the shorter route, at the EFC Metro I’d instead have taken Washington Boulevard all the way to 10th Street and home.)

It was definitely a lot hillier than I’d remembered, and I’m feeling those after-effects now. Oof! And a couple of times on Westmoreland, the sidewalk on one side of the street would abruptly end, so I’ll need to learn the crossings a bit better. But it was a nice run, definitely. Not something I think I’d do every week, certainly, but it’s nice to have it as an option.

(8:43, 8:46, 8:37, 8:51, 8:51, 8:50, 9:19, 9:25, 8:57)

B-Day Run

Start time: 3/26/09, 5:20pm
Location: TJ Community Center
Distance: 4 miles
Average pace: 8:10min/mile
Total Miles For March: 64 miles
Total Miles For 2009: 181 miles

My plan for Thursday was to get into work early, so I could leave around 4:15pm and have started my run at 4:45pm. (We had dinner reservations at 7pm.) Time I actually got out of the office? 4:55pm. *sigh* Really didn’t have time for anything more than 4 miles, so I made them quality miles and that’s what counts.

(8:32, 8:05, 8:09, 7:56)

Vacation’s Over!

Start time: 3/24/09, 5:30pm
Location: W&OD Trail
Distance: 5 miles
Average pace: 8:26min/mile
Total Miles For March: 60 miles
Total Miles For 2009: 177 miles

After taking Monday morning off from the gym (and its usual rowing and elliptical fun), it’s back to the grind. I’d wanted to push my mid-week runs up to 6 miles this week but we’ll see how that goes; so often (like this run) it just doesn’t happen thanks to other time constraints. Still, it was a nice 5-miler; uphill for the first two, then back down for the next two and a flat final mile. I know I run on the W&OD a lot, but one thing I do like is the general lack of roads to cross. I did have one intersection to get through here, but between marks 2 and 5 there are no crossings at all—which means no continual starting and stopping. That’s something I get if I run in my neighborhood (plus car exhaust!) and it can get a little old.

More importantly, my new shoes arrived right after the half marathon. It felt soooo good to retire the old ones.

(8:42, 8:50, 8:19, 8:10, 8:12)

Better Late Than Never

Start time: 3/18/09, 5:45pm
Location: Mount Vernon Trail
Distance: 4 miles
Average pace: 8:42min/mile
Total Miles For March: 42 miles
Total Miles For 2009: 159 miles

I’d wanted to get Tuesday and Thursday runs in this week before the half marathon on Saturday—but I was feeling horrible on Tuesday, to the point that exercise of any sort just wasn’t going to happen. Instead I squeezed in a run today after work, which was better than nothing. Not too bad, nothing huge to report, just a gorgeous day outside.

(8:28, 8:54, 8:33, 8:51)

End of the Line

Start time: 3/14/09, 10:30am
Location: W&OD Trail
Distance: 5 miles
Average pace: 8:33min/mile
Total Miles For March: 38 miles
Total Miles For 2009: 155 miles

I had to run some errands out in Vienna on Saturday, so on a whim I changed into my running gear first and then after taking care of various business, went running between markers 12 and 14.5 on the W&OD Trail. I don’t make it out there very often; when I used to do all my marathon training on the W&OD, our last two longest runs would make it out to markers 13.5 and 15, so it was rather rarified territory (so to speak). It is funny because I always forget that it is just a teeny tiny downhill grade on the way out—it never seems like it until I turn around and suddenly I see that the trail is now at a slight slant. Too, too funny.

More importantly, this part of the trail (marker 12 is just on the far edge of Vienna) is much more deserted than the sections I normally run on, when it comes to other people. It’s also in vast stretches of empty space, with the end result being a quiet, peaceful run. It’s nice to jog alongside my favorite-named stream out there (“Difficult Run”) and maybe see another person every mile or so. Just me and the latest broadcast of the Splendid Table from NPR. Good time.

8:29, 8:28, 8:35, 8:42, 8:32

2 (and a half) by 2

Start time: 3/12/09, 5:30pm
Location: W&OD Trail
Distance: 2.5 miles x 2
Average pace: 8:16min/mile
Total Miles For March: 33 miles
Total Miles For 2009: 150 miles

Originally this was going to just be a 5-mile run—but I had to stop to take care of something two and a half miles in, so instead I turned it into a repeat session. It worked out pretty well; I got about 3 1/2 minutes of rest between the first 2.5 miler and the second and I was really happy with the end results. Doubly so because for the first one, 1.5 miles were downhill and only 1 mile was uphill; for the second, it was reversed and I ended up with a faster time. Yeah, I can deal with that. (Doubly so since I was home from work sick, yesterday.)

1st repeat: 8:12, 8:21, 4:17 (8:20avg)
2nd repeat: 8:17, 8:19, 3:51 (8:11avg)


Start time: 3/9/09,6:00pm
Location: W&OD Trail
Distance: 4 miles
Average pace: 8:45min/mile
Total Miles For March: 28 miles
Total Miles For 2009: 145 miles

It was such a nice day that I decided to hit Tuesday’s run after work today, instead. (Originally I was going to run it this morning, but I didn’t get much sleep last night.) It was really beautiful out, 60 degrees and cool. Actually, the last mile was a little too breezy; I was wishing right then I had on long sleeves! Best of all, though, is how consistent those first three miles were. Especially two days after running an 18-miler, no less. Yay!

I also ordered new shoes from my local store this morning; none of their locations had them in stock (I have to wear 2E wide) and while I could have ordered them online, especially in this economy it feels good to support the local economy. Doubly so when Pacers always does such a good job of organizing local races and the like! Hopefully they’ll show up before the half marathon on the 21st. The current pair of shoes have about 400 miles on them so I can certainly use them through the race, but that’s really about it.

(8:50, 8:50, 8:50, 8:29)

18 and done

Start time: 3/7/09,10:30am
Location: SW Waterfront, National Mall, Georgetown, Capital Crescent Trail
Distance: 18 miles
Average pace: 9:34min/mile
Total Miles For March: 24 miles
Total Miles For 2009: 141 miles

Oooooof. Be careful what you wish for, indeed.

After all the snow and ice of the last week or so, it seems the DC area’s collective thought process did indeed bring a warm front into the area. I’m not entirely sure, with 20/20 hindsight, that 74 degrees and humid was the way to go about it. I like to think that it was a combination of the temperature jump and new mileage that made me start face-planting by the end, but we shall see. I ran the old AIDS Marathon 18-miler course, which starts at 4th and I Streets SW, heads through the National Mall, across the Georgetown Waterfront, then on the Cap Crescent trail all the way to Maryland before heading back. It was a nice (if slightly hilly on the Cap Crescent heading outbound) course, and I haven’t run it since fall 2007. For a run that I did entirely on my own, it was comforting to have those old memories with me.

That said, once I got back into Georgetown, I was definitely running out of gas. When I got all the way to Constitution and 20th Street (finishing up mile 15) I just felt about ready to quit; so, for miles 16-18, I took a 1 minute walk break at the start of each mile, and that seemed to help a bit. At least I didn’t lose any additional ground doing so, right?

Interesting, it was the same finishing time for my 18-miler (or within an average of 1 second per mile) for 2008, which was a nice relief. 2007’s was about 12 seconds per mile faster, and in really hot weather to boot, though. Happily, I demolished 2006 and earlier’s paces…

And hey, on the bright side, the bruise on my leg didn’t bother me at all while running. Woohoo!

(8:42, 8:05, 9:02, 8:47, 9:23, 9:17, 9:21, 9:25, 9:52, 8:56, 9:18, 9:42, 9:52, 10:00, 10:53, 10:46, 10:06, 10:43)

Walking Bruise

Start time: 3/5/09,7:00am
Location: TJ Community Center
Distance: 3.5 miles
Average pace: 8:17min/mile
Total Miles For March: 6 miles
Total Miles For 2009: 123 miles

Between smashing my leg into the side of my bed late Tuesday night (why Greg, what a lovely bruise you have) and then my toe into the side of the bed this morning, I am feeling a little battered. The toe is thankfully barely hurting (phew) but the bruise on my calf is still really tender and sore. Geez. I made today’s run a tiny bit shorter as a result; I’m supposed to have a long run this weekend so I don’t want to push it too hard. Let my poor bruise finish healing, right? It wasn’t too bad while running, but I was certainly aware of its presence the entire time I ran. Fun fun fun.

8:29, 8:13, 8:12, 4:05