Monthly Archives: April 2009


Start time: 4/28/09, 8:00pm
Location: W&OD Trail
Distance: 3.2 miles
Average pace: 8:56min/mile
Total Miles For April: 71 miles
Total Miles For 2009: 261 miles

I was going to run in the morning today but when I woke up, my muscles were slow to warm up; so, instead, I postponed until the evening once the temperature began to drop back down again. (It was in the 90s today, but by waiting until 8pm it was only 78 degrees.) Just a quick 3-miler, nothing terribly special. Well, aside from the horrendous pollen. It’s supposed to rain tonight, hopefully that’ll help matters a bit.

(The running of “3.2” miles instead of just 3 is a little joke that is hard to explain… it’s for Laura’s benefit more than anything else. Although it really was 3.2 miles, I should add.)

8:50, 9:22, 8:47, 1:38

Taper and Melt

Start time: 4/26/09, 8:15am
Location: W&OD Trail
Distance: 8 miles
Average pace: 9:31min/mile
Total Miles For April: 68 miles
Total Miles For 2009: 258 miles

Oof! It sure was unseasonably warm this weekend—up into 90s and it’s still April. Being no fool, I decided that I’d get up as early as possible and do my 8-miler before everything began to sizzle and crackle on the pavement. We had plans on Saturday night, though, so it wasn’t until 8:15 that I got out and running. Probably an hour later than I should have, but hey, it wasn’t too bad.

Since it’s part of my taper before next Sunday’s race, I wasn’t too worried about pace, doubly so since it was kind of warm. A mile downhill, four uphill, three more downhill and that was that. Just get the distance and call it a day. I was feeling a little bleah for the first half, but fortunately things righted themselves before too long. Also ran into my old running group, which was working on mile repeats. So glad that wasn’t me in that warm weather!

(9:27, 9:39, 9:51, 9:51, 9:59, 9:25, 9:12, 8:47)

Getting Ready to Eat

Start time: 4/24/09, 5:00pm
Location: W&OD Trail
Distance: 5 miles
Average pace: 8:47min/mile
Total Miles For April: 60 miles
Total Miles For 2009: 250 miles

I’d hoped to get this run started a little earlier (went to work super-early and everything) but the office conspired against me. Ah well. So, instead of 6 miles, I went with just 5 and that was good enough, right? I’m still getting used to warmer weather; when was the last time I was running in 80 degree conditions??? I deliberately dialed it back a bit on mile 4 because it was uphill and I was feeling like I was going to fade. That worked pretty well since I got to make it up on the next mile and not feel like crud.

As an added bonus, I ran into Alma on the trail! Yay! She’s training for a triathlon in June and is trying to convince me to sign up for it… hmmm…

(8:42, 8:47, 8:35, 9:12, 8:40)

Up and Early

Start time: 4/22/09, 6:30am
Location: Thomas Jefferson Community Center
Distance: 4 miles
Average pace: 8:38min/mile
Total Miles For April: 55 miles
Total Miles For 2009: 245 miles

Originally I was going to run on Tuesday—but thanks to tooth pains all Monday night I was really not feeling it at all on Tuesday. I had a training class on Wednesday morning, but just enough time to get over to the gym and run four miles on the indoor track. Indoors was the right call for Wednesday, since it was occasionally spitting rain and hail that early in the morning. Eek!

(9:08, 8:35, 8:24, 8:23)

Clouds of Pollen

Start time: 4/19/09, 10:45am
Location: SW Waterfront, National Mall, Rock Creek Park
Distance: 12 miles
Average pace: 9:50min/mile
Total Miles For April: 51 miles
Total Miles For 2009: 241 miles

When you can see huge yellow clouds of pollen hovering over the National Mall? And can actually taste it? Something has gone severely wrong. Gah. I’m hoping the severe pollen levels in the area is why I was feeling sick to my stomach the last three miles of the run, because otherwise… complete mystery. Getting back up to speed now, plus Charlie was getting over a cold, so we didn’t worry about pace and just out and ran, although even then it wasn’t quite the pace I’d hoped for. But that wasn’t the point, right? I need to keep that in mind.

A little worried about my marathon in 14 days. This was a rough run.

(9:51, 9:13, 9:40, 9:35, 9:24, 9:46, 9:52, 9:40, 9:58, 10:00, 10:22, 10:35)

Afternoon Run

Start time: 4/17/09, 4:45pm
Location: Rosslyn, Memorial Bridge, Kennedy Center, Georgetown, Key Bridge
Distance: 6.15 miles
Average pace: 9:15min/mile
Total Miles For April: 39 miles
Total Miles For 2009: 229 miles

Took most of this week off from running to see how my tendon would feel. I did do some exercise though; swam 1000m on Monday morning plus spinning class, and another 1100m in the pool on Thursday. Everything felt fine so I went for a run this afternoon; through Rosslyn, down to Memorial Bridge, past the Lincoln Memorial, up along the Potomac to the Kennedy Center, through Georgetown, then across Key Bridge back into Rosslyn and home. Good news is the run wasn’t bad (although I was dragging a bit); bad news is that my tendon is a little sore now. We’ll see how it is in a day or two… Hopefully it’ll be fine tomorrow.

Shorter than expected

Start time: 4/12/09, 10:30am
Location: W&OD Trail
Distance: 5 miles
Average pace: 8:39min/mile
Total Miles For April: 33 miles
Total Miles For 2009: 223 miles

My plan was to run 8 miles this morning, after taking a week off to let my tendon in my right ankle rest and heal. But as is all too familiar, a week off meant a lot of dragging out on the trail. Just was not feeling this run in any way, shape, or form. Honestly, pushing out five miles? A minor victory. Not pleased with doing just 5, but since the tendon is still a tiny bit sore that’s probably the smarter thing to do anyway.

(8:42, 8:20, 8:42, 8:52, 8:39)

2 x 12 = 20???

Start time: 4/4/09, 10:30am
Location: W&OD Trail
Distance: 12 miles
Average pace: 9:11min/mile

Start time: 4/5/09, 10:30am
Location: W&OD Trail
Distance: 12 miles
Average pace: 9:17min/mile

Total Miles For April: 28 miles
Total Miles For 2009: 218 miles

Normally, I’d have run a 20-miler this weekend. But more and more I’m hearing the same thing (and from a variety of sources); instead of running a 20-mile training run, you’ll get the same endurance benefit if you run two 12-milers that weekend (one each morning) and it’s less stress on the body. So, since I have no real goals other than “finish” for next month’s marathon, I figured I really need to give this a proper shot.

The first 12-miler I ran with Charlie, who was a great pacer. We ran on the W&OD Trail, first heading downhill for a mile and a half before climbing all the way until mile 7 (marker 7.5) at which point we turned back down towards the finish. It was a beautiful morning, but windy like there was no tomorrow. So windy, in fact, that when we hit mile 7, we turned around there when originally our turnaround point was half a mile further up the trail. I just couldn’t take the wind pushing us backwards, and Charlie agreed. Looking at how much our times promptly dropped once we got out of the combination of climbing and really strong headwinds? Pretty funny. A nice solid pace and even with some negative splits to boot.

Today’s 12-miler was all by myself. I ran an additional mile downhill (all the way to marker 1) before turning around and beginning my climb. Once again, I turned around a tiny bit early (mile 8, or marker 6.5) but in this case it wasn’t wind but rather severe trail congestion up ahead. Seriously, at the 6.5 marker on the W&OD I could see all the way to the bridge where marker 7 is located, and it was just clogged full of families teaching kids how to ride bicycles. Um, no thanks. So once again, I ended up turning early and once I got back to the start, ran an additional half mile before turning around yet again to finish. All on my lonesome (and with additional early downhill) I definitely headed out too fast at first, and on the way uphill I was really dragging. But towards the end I got a little bit of my rhythm back, and best of all my total time for Sunday was only 1:19 slower than Saturday.

The one bad thing is that all weekend my right ankle’s been bothering me a bit. It feels like I strained a tendon in it, so I’ve been doing all the right things (ice, elevating, anti-inflammatories) and I’m going to take a few days off to be certain and let it heal.

Will this really work in place of a 20-miler? I guess I’ll find out in four weeks…

9:15, 9:24, 9:26, 9:32, 9:36, 9:18, 9:28, 8:48, 8:51, 8:56, 8:40, 8:52
8:35, 8:29, 8:40, 9:17, 9:43, 9:32, 9:50, 9:23, 9:16, 9:29, 9:25, 9:46

Familiar Faces

Start time: 4/2/09, 6:30pm
Location: W&OD Trail
Distance: 4 miles
Average pace: 8:29min/mile
Total Miles For April: 4 miles
Total Miles For 2009: 194 miles

Today was a quick four-miler; I was contemplating going further but I was still feeling a little stiff from Monday’s 9-miler, so I decided not to risk it. It was definitely a faster four-miler than I was doing a few months ago, though, and I was pleased at my pace for the first two miles since they were going uphill. Even better, I saw Casey from spinning out on the trail (she’s training for a triathlon), and then a few minutes later, Rachel from AIDS Marathon out with a cycling group. It’s always so great to see familiar faces out there!

(8:38, 8:41, 8:26, 8:13)