Monthly Archives: October 2009

Pop-Tart Taper

Start time: 10/29/09, 8:15am
Location: North Arlington
Distance: 4 miles
Average pace: 8:14min/mile
Total Miles For October: 89 miles
Total Miles For 2009: 706 miles

Boy, it sure is getting dark out in the morning. It’ll be nice to have the clocks change an hour on Sunday. Last pre-marathon run this morning and I ended up just doing the regular loop. Today, fueled by something I haven’t eaten in years: a pop-tart. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

(8:20, 8:04, 8:24, 8:08)


Start time: 10/27/09, 6:15pm
Location: TJ Community Center
Distance: 3 miles
Average pace: 8:40min/mile
Total Miles For October: 85 miles
Total Miles For 2009: 702 miles

With bad weather and other things going on, I didn’t get to do either a swim or a run yesterday, so I ended up doing both of them today. It was a great time at the pool (still improving over time which is a nice feeling), and I knocked another 30 seconds off of my time for the 1600yd routine I do. Then, after work, it was just a short jog on the indoor track. Sunday is race day and I’m taking it easy; just enough to keep moving, but not too much.

(8:58, 8:40, 8:23)


Start time: 10/24/09, 9:30am
Location: 10th St, Wilson Boulevard, Bluemont Junction Trail, W&OD Trail
Distance: 10 miles
Average pace: 9:28min/mile
Total Miles For October: 82 miles
Total Miles For 2009: 699 miles

20 seconds per mile slower on the exact same route. The difference? About 30 degrees hotter outside, plus a thick humidity that on and off turned into light showers of rain. Plus, allergies acting up horribly, to the point that on miles 4-6 and 10, I ended up taking a walk break because I was having problems breathing out of my nose. Really wretched run in terms of how I was feeling and then some. Yuck.

(8:27, 8:39, 9:19, 9:52, 9:49, 10:29, 9:22, 8:59, 9:24, 10:14)

Memories and Hills

Start time: 10/22/09, 5:45pm
Location: Arlington Boulevard, Iwo Jima Memorial
Distance: 4 miles
Average pace: 8:29min/mile
Total Miles For October: 72 miles
Total Miles For 2009: 689 miles

Another night of poor sleep equalled no running in the morning. On the way to work, though, I saw that a lot of the set-up for the finish line area of the Marine Corps Marathon is already put together. So after work, I ran a mile down the Arlington Boulevard trail, and then ran through the Iwo Jima Memorial area and down to Memorial Bridge so I could see the stuff. Doing so was fun and brought back a lot of memories of running MCM (four times, 2002-2005) and I was definitely speeding up. Doubly so because it meant that I spent two miles running straight downhill. And then I turned around… and kind of ran out of gas. Oops. Doubly so since I was then going straight uphill the whole way back. Ah well. It was still a nice run.

(8:14, 7:44, 8:43, 9:16)

Rain date

Start time: 10/19/09, 7:30am
Location: 10th St, Wilson Boulevard, Bluemont Junction Trail, W&OD Trail
Distance: 10 miles
Average pace: 9:08min/mile
Total Miles For October: 68 miles
Total Miles For 2009: 685 miles

Originally I was going to run 10 miles on Saturday with Dave and Steve, but when it was pouring rain on Friday night with no plans on stopping and in the low 40s, it seemed like a recipe for getting sick. So instead I went for a run this morning before work. It was still cold—just 40 degrees when I left—so I broke out the hat, gloves, and pants for the first time in quite a while. The run itself was good, though; headed down 10th St and Wilson for two miles, then went onto Bluemont to W&OD for another two miles and turned around. Once I got back home, I went in the other direction for a mile and then headed back. Thanks to Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me and Evil of the Daleks episodes 4-5, the time just whipped right by.

I am starting to think about replacing my Garmin Forerunner 301, which doesn’t seem to be carrying a full charge these days (although still enough to get me through even a 20-miler), plus I’m getting annoyed about its reliability as of late on picking up signals or not. Nothing like running a route over and over again and getting a different mileage every time. Grrr.

Wow do I hate treadmills

Start time: 10/15/09, 2:30pm
Location: Spring Hill Rec Center
Distance: 4 miles
Average pace: 8:41min/mile
Total Miles For October: 58 miles
Total Miles For 2009: 675 miles

It’s a gloomy rainy day, and after getting little sleep last night thanks to what I have charitably decided was a slowly dying car (I like to think someone did not lay out their horn, deliberately, for a solid two minutes at 1am, 2:30am, and 4am) I didn’t make it to the gym this morning. So I decided I’d go in the afternoon to Spring Hill (where I normally swim) and run on a treadmill there. Ugh. Hated every minute of it. There was no air circulation so I felt really badly overheated from start to finish, and some crazy lady decided that she needed to turn ALL the televisions to Fox News. Including ones right next to other ones on Fox News. Great, six big screen tvs all showing a run-away balloon soaring through the air. I was going to run five miles but after four I felt like such crap I stopped. Death to the treadmill.

Cool weather, pros and cons

Start time: 10/12/09, 12:45pm
Location: North Arlington
Distance: 4 miles
Average pace: 8:27min/mile
Total Miles For October: 54 miles
Total Miles For 2009: 671 miles

Well, the temperature has dropped big time in the DC area. I left for my run around lunchtime and it still was in the 50s. What a difference! It felt great to run in the cooler weather, and I do love it—except for that my body is adjusting to the colder weather and I was a little hacky at times. Bleah. You know things are bad when I’m having to do the runner’s spit, which I consider to be one of the grossest things about the sport in general. It was a nice run, though, even though at all three major intersections that I run through, I somehow ended up with green lights for all of them. (I know, I know, boo hoo. Normally, if nothing else, the one around the 2.5 mile mark results in a temporary catching of the breath.) Had thought about doing five miles, but thanks to getting almost no sleep at all on Saturday night (even after that 20-miler!), still a little worn down.

(8:35, 8:16, 8:30, 8:25)

Windy with a touch of rain

Start time: 10/10/09, 9:30am
Location: North Arlington, Memorial Bridge, SW Waterfront, East Potomac Park, Hains Point, Mt. Vernon Trail, C&O Canal
Distance: 20 miles
Average pace: 10:15min/mile
Total Miles For October: 50 miles
Total Miles For 2009: 667 miles

You know a run is ending badly when all you can think at the end is, “Two more marathons and one more long training run and I am done with this stupidity.” Yes, I can get huffy in my own head, about myself, when no one else is around. This was a miserable run for me; I hate running in the rain, so when they’d forcasted ran from 5-10am this morning, I figured I would sleep in (since I was all by myself) and start once the rain died down. So of course, I woke up and it hadn’t rained but was now supposed to do so starting around noon. Argh.

Within about 30 seconds of leaving my house, of course, it started raining. That was the kind of run I had. When it wasn’t raining, there was a bitter cold wind blowing on me; crossing over the bridge to East Potomac Park (and indeed all through the park and at Hains Point) the wind was so bad that I was afraid several times it would actually knock me over. Around mile 15 I really pooped out, big time; at one point I stopped to get water and ended up sitting down for a minute to take a tiny rock out of my shoe, something I’d have otherwise ignored.

The funny thing is, as craptacular as the run was, it was faster than my 20-miler a month ago. (The difference being about 9 seconds per mile, but also ending really strong and knowing I could knock out more fast miles. Here, if I had to run 6 more miles I’d have quit on the spot.) Ah well. I must’ve headed out too fast early on to have such a colossal burn-out at the end. Never have I desperately wanted lights to turn read so much as I did today on the way home.

Case of the sleepies

Start time: 10/8/09, 6:45pm
Location: North Arlington
Distance: 6 miles
Average pace: 8:53min/mile
Total Miles For October: 30 miles
Total Miles For 2009: 647 miles

The plan was to get up before work and knock out a 4-miler—but I was really super-tired this morning and it just didn’t happen. So, after work it would be, even though generally speaking my post-work runs are never as strong as my early morning runs. But it was still nice out this evening; not as cool as earlier today but still nice. So after I ran my 4-mile loop, I picked up an extra two miles as well. It sure was a beautiful night!

(8:33, 8:27, 8:55, 8:47, 8:57, 9:35)

Tiny bit creaky

Start time: 10/6/09, 7:45am
Location: North Arlington
Distance: 4 miles
Average pace: 8:30min/mile
Total Miles For October: 24 miles
Total Miles For 2009: 641 miles

I’d skipped swimming yesterday because I was feeling a little creaky after the weekend’s runs, and now I’m glad I did so. Still feeling a tiny bit creaky when I headed out this morning, although by the end I’d definitely loosened up somewhat. (Hoping to fit swimming in tomorrow mind you.) On the plus side, though, gorgeous weather, in the mid 50s. I’m going to have to dig out the rest of my long-sleeve running attire, both of the ones I’d kept hanging around are now waiting to be washed!