Monthly Archives: December 2009


Start time: 12/29/09, 7:00am
Location: TJ Community Center
Distance: 4 miles
Average pace: 8:35min/mile
Total Miles For December: 89 miles
Total Miles For 2009: 867 miles

I’m a big wimp when it comes to winter running. So when I heard that wind gusts would be up to 50mph this morning and it would feel like 15 degrees? Off to the indoor track it was…

(8:51, 8:34, 8:30, 8:23)

The Spine of the World

Start time: 12/27/09, 1:00pm
Location: Wilson Boulevard, Bluemont Junction Trail, W&OD Trail, Washington Boulevard
Distance: 8 miles
Average pace: 9:02min/mile
Total Miles For December: 85 miles
Total Miles For 2009: 863 miles

I headed out for another run on my new 8-mile loop, only this time I didn’t get lost. Hurrah!

There’s definitely still snow out there, but for the most part it’s not too bad. Like yesterday, hitting intersections were the worst, both on Wilson Boulevard and especially on Washington Boulevard; big piles of snow on occasion that just haven’t melted yet. There were a couple of points on Washington where I also had to step onto the road and run for half a block or so, where shade had kept any of the snow from really melting on the sidewalk. Fortunately it’s a pretty low-traffic kind of day.

On both the Bluemont Junction Trail and the W&OD Trail, it was clear that someone from Arlington County had plowed those stretches of trail. In-between where the two passes of the shovel/plow/whatever had hit, there was a small ridge of snow that snaked along the trail, mostly in the center but occasionally weaving back and forth along the pavement. It looked almost like a spine, poking up out of the asphalt and revealing itself, and it was a nice visual break from an otherwise pretty uneventful run.

Definitely need to lose some Christmas poundage, though. Oof!

Yay for rain!

Start time: 12/26/09, 1:30pm
Location: North Arlington
Distance: 4 miles
Average pace: 8:38min/mile
Total Miles For December: 77 miles
Total Miles For 2009: 855 miles

Yay! Some rain came last night and melted a lot of the snow out on the sidewalks. Not all of it, alas—anywhere it was piled up still has snow, especially at the corners of streets. So I still had to do some serious snow dodging, but I’d say 80-90% of the sidewalks were completely clear. It felt good to do a short run and try and undo some of the approximately 8000 calories I ate yesterday. (I wish that was an exaggeration.)

(8:32, 8:27, 8:49, 8:43)

Circles again

Start time: 12/22/09, 4:30pm
Location: TJ Community Center
Distance: 5 miles
Average pace: 8:36min/mile
Total Miles For December: 73 miles
Total Miles For 2009: 851 miles

Well, thanks to snowpocalypse, running outside is severely limited at the moment, until the snow melts a bit more and pathways are clear. So, back to the indoor track! Ah, the joy.

(8:53, 8:41, 8:46, 8:28, 8:14)

Early run

Start time: 12/18/09, 7:20am
Location: North Arlington
Distance: 8.3 miles
Average pace: 9:00min/mile
Total Miles For December: 68 miles
Total Miles For 2009: 846 miles

Originally I was going to run two 8-milers this weekend, but with the prediction of 953 inches of snow starting Friday night, I decided the smarter move would be to run 8 miles this morning and then play it by ear on the weekend. I mapped out a new route yesterday, bundled up heavily this morning, and headed out for the run. Three things about this morning’s run:

1) I’d forgotten how hilly Washington Boulevard is. Heck, aside from the Bluemont Junction Trail, it was a lot of uphill running today.
2) I listened to the first of Paul Magrs’s five “Doctor Who: Hornets’ Nest” audios while running, which made me snicker every time the name “Percy Noggins” was used. I have found my new pen name.
3) It also helps if you look at the map before you leave, because otherwise you will accidentally turn on Ohio Drive instead of Washington Boulevard, and run an extra three tenths of a mile in some strange neighborhood while trying to find an exit that didn’t involve backtracking.

The funny thing was in the last part of the run, every block in Clarendon I hit my lap timer because I figured one of those intersections was the real 8 mile point. Once I got home and looked on a map, I found out that I’d hit 8 miles and 8.3 miles at the following times:

8.0 miles: 1:12:00, a 9:00min/mile average
8.3 miles: 1:14:49, a 9:00min/mile average

At least I’m consistent! Also, I’ve decided my planned route looks sort of like a country. Maybe The Gambia? (planned) (actual)

Still sleepy

Start time: 12/15/09, 8:00am
Location: North Arlington
Distance: 4 miles
Average pace: 8:24min/mile
Total Miles For December: 60 miles
Total Miles For 2009: 838 miles

I have got to try and get to bed earlier. Ended up tired and groggy this morning—again—and got a later start than I’d wanted. I’d also originally planned on taking advantage of the balmy temperatures (47 degrees when I left!) and do a 5-miler, but I was so tired (and getting a later start) that I ended up just doing the normal 4-miler route. A little stiff at first but not too bad. Certainly better than Sunday!

(8:38, 8:20, 8:30, 8:08)


Start time: 12/12/09, 7:30am
Location: 14th St., National Mall, Rock Creek Park
Distance: 20.6 miles
Average pace: 10:45min/mile
Total Miles For December: 51 miles
Total Miles For 2009: 829 miles

Start time: 12/13/09, 3:30pm
Location: Thomas Circle Gym
Distance: 5 miles
Average pace: 9:46min/mile
Total Miles For December: 56 miles
Total Miles For 2009: 834 miles

The original plan was to run a mini-Goofy this weekend with Charlie and Ryan; 10mi on Saturday, 20mi on Sunday. Only problem was, Sunday had a very strong prediction for lots of rain and perhaps a “wintery mix.” So, instead we ran 20 miles together on Saturday. The run wasn’t bad; lots and lots of Rock Creek Park, further than I’d ever run up it before. Ryan was definitely running out of energy on the way back (I suspect he didn’t have enough food) so we slowed down a bit so that we could finish it all up together. (No splits, my GPS went totally berserk and started losing signal while running down the center of Beach Drive in Rock Creek park. Not a tree or cloud to be blocking signal. And then it lost signal the whole way back up 14th Street at the end. It ended up losing almost an entire mile. Yeesh.)

Unfortunately, the rest of Saturday and a lot of Sunday involved a lot of family stuff; I ended up getting no rest and not much sleep that night. With a really inadequate recovery, I ended up just running leisurely 5 miles on a treadmill at Charlie’s gym and called it good enough.


Start time: 12/8/09, 5:30pm
Location: TJ Community Center
Distance: 4 miles
Average pace: 8:33min/mile
Total Miles For December: 31 miles
Total Miles For 2009: 809 miles

Oops, I’m a week behind now. My data for the other two workouts isn’t handy, but I do have Tuesday’s laps on my watch. I was still feeling a little stiff on Tuesday, but I forced myself to knock out four miles on the (bleah) indoor track. I really should have gotten up before work and run, but it just didn’t happen. I really need to get better about going to bed at a decent hour so I can actually wake up and do exercise. I used to be better about this. Anyway, the run started out in a “just go slow and do something” but once everything loosened up I felt a bit better.

(9:03, 8:40, 8:23, 8:06)

Snow = Slow

Start time: 12/5/09, 4:00pm
Location: Thomas Circle Gym
Distance: 7 miles
Average pace: 8:40min/mile
Total Miles For December: 11 miles
Total Miles For 2009: 789 miles

Start time: 12/6/09, 1:00pm
Location: North Arlington, Bluemont Park, W&OD Trail
Distance: 16 miles
Average pace: 10:26min/mile
Total Miles For December: 27 miles
Total Miles For 2009: 805 miles

After missing Thursday run (was really not feeling at all well), it was time for another “goofy run” this weekend. When I woke up Saturday morning I could hear the rain coming down; coupled with being a little exhausted, I decided it was wiser to stay in bed for a few more hours. By that point, of course, the rain turned into snow. I ended up running at Charlie’s gym on one of the treadmills, which wasn’t so bad. Unfortunately I should have remembered to take it slow because I had a lot more scheduled for Sunday…

Sunday’s run was supposed to be 14 miles; about four miles in, I started hitting a ton of snow and ice all over the W&OD Trail. UGH. It’s funny, you’d think that having to slow down so much to keep from wiping out would make the run easier, but I think it actually makes it harder. Your muscles tense up, you’ve got to really concentrate hard to stay upright, and it’s an unpleasant experience. Plus, of course, all the cold coming off of all that snow and ice. Brrrr. I was about three miles from home when I got a very stupid idea; I should turn around and run back one mile in the relatively ice-free area, so that I would have 16 under my belt and next week’s 20-miler wouldn’t be so bad. Wow. Stupid move. I felt like I was face-planting on miles 15 and 16. Just glad it’s done. Next week I will be more mindful about taking it easy!

(9:21, 9:05, 9:46, 9:55, 10:47, 10:46, 10:54, 10:29, 10:19, 10:49, 10:17, 10:18, 10:36, 12:14, 11:00, 10:20)

Winter blahs

Start time: 12/1/09, 6:15pm
Location: TJ Community Center
Distance: 4 miles
Average pace: 8:06min/mile
Total Miles For December: 4 miles
Total Miles For 2009: 782 miles

One of the (many, many, many, MANY) reasons why I will never be an elite runner: I lose what little motivation I have for running when it gets cold out. It wasn’t even that bad out yesterday but I still bailed and went to the gym and ran on the stupid indoor track instead. Which I am also not a fan of. After four I just had no desire to keep running, so I stopped there.

(8:15, 8:08, 8:08, 7:52)