Monthly Archives: March 2010

Break’s over

Start time: 3/31/10, 7:20pm
Location: TJ Community Center
Distance: 2 miles
Average pace: 8:11min/mile
Total Miles For March: 62 miles
Total Miles For 2010: 181 miles

Ten days after the half marathon, it’s back to running! I have been exercising since then, mind you; last week ended up being ultra-busy but I did get some swimming in, and this week has already had cycling, swimming, and now a spinning/running brick. I need to try and figure out if the better move might be to break down the bike quickly and run outside next time; there’s something nice about just going 15 steps to be on the track and dash out two miles with no interruptions, but it was also a pretty gorgeous night outside. Hmmmm. Will think this one through. Anyway, it was a short run, but after coming off a tough-but-good spinning class (and ten days off of running) I’m really quite pleased.

(8:20, 8:02)

Return to Virginia Beach

Shamrock Half Marathon
Start time: 3/21/10, 7:00am
Location: Virginia Beach
Distance: 13.1 miles
Average pace: 9:18min/mile
Finishing time: 2:01:51
Total Miles For March: 60 miles
Total Miles For 2010: 179 miles

The last time I was in Virginia Beach for a race, it was 2003, the race was the Rock ‘N Roll Half Marathon, and I was much heavier than I am now. So if nothing else, I knew I would do better than a 3:14 finishing time.

That said, it was an odd feeling going into the race. With multiple blizzards this winter (and then my community center/gym being closed for weeks at a time because of said snow), I knew I was not as well-prepared as I could have been. I had a feeling that a PR was not happening, even as I kept hoping it would. After yet another pre-race night’s sleep being not very good (when will I learn to pack benadryl?) coupled with my body deciding to try and remove all moisture from itself beforehand, though, and I should’ve seen the writing on the wall.

I actually had an ok time for the first 8.5 miles, but after that I started dragging a bit, and just feeling out of energy and enormously thirsty. During mile 10 I ended up walking while drinking a cup of Gatorade, and while I rallied a bit for the next mile, miles 12-13.1 were the pits. A pity, too, because that’s when you finally get to the concrete boardwalk and it’s a pretty finish area. So, no PR, and not even under 2 hours (also disappointing) but at least the 2:01:51 was nowhere near my first race in Virginia Beach so no complaints. I’d told myself last month this would probably happen, so at least it wasn’t a surprise. You just move on and try and do better the next time.

(9:14, 17:45 (miles 2-3), 8:47, 8:49, 9:03, 9:05, 9:06, 9:24, 9:57, 9:38, 9:54, 10:03, 1:01 (.1))

Beautiful Day

Start time: 3/18/10, 6:00pm
Location: W&OD Trail
Distance: 4 miles
Average pace: 8:42min/mile
Total Miles For March: 47 miles
Total Miles For 2010: 166 miles

One last 4-miler before Sunday’s race; it was an awfully gorgeous day this afternoon.

(8:35, 8:54, 8:55, 8:25)

Stupid Daylight Saving Time

Start time: 3/16/10, 8:00am
Location: North Arlington
Distance: 5 miles
Average pace: 8:34min/mile
Total Miles For March: 43 miles
Total Miles For 2010: 162 miles

I ended up not running over the weekend due to weather, and I paid for it this morning. Or at least I’m assuming that was part of it; the other part was still being slightly off kilter due to the time shift over the weekend. I actually set my alarm for a little before 6am, thinking I’d be out there by 7am. I hadn’t counted on it now being dark at 7am, which made it verrrrry difficult to get out of bed.

Anyway, not a bad pace at all, but I felt nothing short of wiped out.


Start time: 3/11/10, 7:15am
Location: Wilson Boulevard, Bluemont Junction Trail, W&OD Trail, Washington Boulevard
Distance: 8 miles
Average pace: 8:58min/mile
Total Miles For March: 38 miles
Total Miles For 2010: 157 miles

It’s supposed to rain a lot on Saturday, so I decided discretion was the better part of valor and ran the 8-mile loop I came up with back in December. It’s funny, I ran it twice in December and then on New Year’s Day, but since then this route has been neglected. (Partially due to the route being clogged with snow for quite a while, partially for not running 8 miles on my own.) It meant I’d forgotten where the hills were, if nothing else.

Now, my watch says I ran this in 1:11:48. But here’s the thing. If it looks like I’m going to be stuck at an intersection waiting to cross for more than two or three seconds, I usually stop the watch, then start it again once I’m good. I am slightly not-convinced that I started it back up once. I probably did do it at this speed, which actually is just a fraction different than two of the three other times I ran it. But I also was seriously huffing and puffing around the midpoint when the hills began to show up in full strength, and twice I walked for about 10 seconds to catch my breath and rally for the rest of the hill. So… that was my time. Allegedly.

(On the bright side, I did look at my watch with about a mile and a half to go and remembered that time stamp, so I measured out that part of the course and checked the pace for that final portion and it was a 9:06. I know I was going much faster early on (since I do know the first two mile markers on this course) so signs actually do point to me having gotten this right.)

I also learned a very important lesson, if you think you need to use the bathroom one final time as you’re walking across the parking lot to get started, just go back inside. At least there’s a gas station not too far down the route that came to the rescue.


Start time: 3/9/10, 6:15pm
Location: Clarendon/Courthouse
Distance: 3 miles
Average pace: 8:34min/mile
Total Miles For March: 30 miles
Total Miles For 2010: 149 miles

I’d gone swimming in the morning, but it was such a beautiful evening that I wanted to squeeze in a quick run in-between work and dinner plans. Not really time for more than 3 miles, but better than nothing. And now… off to those earlier mentioned dinner plans!

Spring has sprung

Start time: 3/8/10, 6:00pm
Location: W&OD Trail
Distance: 5 miles
Average pace: 8:51min/mile
Total Miles For March: 27 miles
Total Miles For 2010: 146 miles

Wow, it was a beautiful day in the DC area today—almost 60 degrees! After work I went for a quick run on the W&OD Trail, which was mostly nice… well, except for the nasty, algae smell coming from Four Mile Run. Bleah. That water smells rather horrendous today. None the less, it was nice to just get out and knock out a few miles.

(8:38, 8:56, 9:09, 9:05, 8:25)


Start time: 3/6/10, 7:30am & 10:30am
Location: Hains Point, West Potomac Park, National Mall; North Arlington
Distance: 10 miles & 4 miles
Average pace: 9:59min/mile & 9:14min/mile
Total Miles For March: 22 miles
Total Miles For 2010: 141 miles

Went running with my group today for 10 miles, which is always a real pleasure. Even with walk breaks we picked up the pace a bit the last four or so miles, which was a nice feeling. I’d originally planned on running 12 miles (and tacking on two more at the end) but everyone else was heading to Starbucks and I decided that sounded like much more fun. (My old Garmin GPS is continuing to glitch, but fortunately Michael was leading the pack and his much newer one seemed to be hitting the right marks. Mine slid about a tenth of a mile halfway through and it was rather obvious; suddenly we’d magically tacked on an extra minute for no good reason according to mine, but Michael’s had us at the usual pace and was beeping at the .9 mile points. Argh. Time to replace it soon.)

Except afterwards I felt guilty from my chai latte and piece of coffee cake, so when I got home I changed my shirt and then ran my old 4-mile loop, which aside from two small sections is now finally snow-free. (I just have to run on the opposite side of the street for the start and end of the loop.) I had a stitch in my side for that (probably from the coffee cake) but I pushed through anyway. Mission accomplished!

(for the 4-miler: 9:17, 9:06, 9:18, 9:13)

Stupid Custis Trail

Start time: 3/4/10, 6:45pm
Location: Custis Trail
Distance: 4 miles
Average pace: 9:33min/mile
Total Miles For March: 8 miles
Total Miles For 2010: 127 miles

Wow, that sucked.

It’s been ages since I ran on the Custis Trail. I hadn’t planned on doing so—I was aiming to run on the W&OD Trail after work—but I got out of the office much later than I thought and it was fairly dark. Since the Custis Trail is lit (unlike most of W&OD unfortunately) I thought I’d do the responsible thing and run there instead. Only problem is that Custis Trail is one of the hilliest running courses in the area. Lots of straight up and down hills that kick my ass every time I run them. When I used to run with Pacers, on Tuesdays I’d run in Old Town and Thursdays I’d run in Clarendon on Custis (or was it the other way around?) and it was always a huge time difference with Custis.

Anyway, it clearly had been too long since I’d done some serious hill work; on the second mile there was one hill that kicked my ass so thoroughly that I actually ended up walking for about 10 seconds just to get to the top. Bleah. On the bright side, yesterday my right foot had been a tiny bit sore and I figured out the reason today, with the heel lift in my right shoe having slid out of position. (It’s there to help my right calf from getting strained.) Soon as I put it back, problem solved. Now if only the hills were that easy to slay! I guess I know what I need to do more of… unfortunately…

(8:49, 10:03, 9:59, 9:22)


Start time: 3/3/10, 6:10pm & 7:15pm
Location: TJ Community Center
Distance: 2 miles & 2 miles
Average pace: 8:12min/mile & 8:30min/mile
Total Miles For March: 4 miles
Total Miles For 2010: 123 miles

Wednesday was a bit of an experiment; I’d missed Tuesday’s run due to jet lag, so I decided that I’d try and get some running in either before or after spinning class. By the time I got there, I was too early for the 6:30 start, but too late to get 4 miles in. So instead, I ran two miles, then did my 45 minute spin class, then skipped the cool down and dismantling of the bike (don’t worry, I cleared it with the instructor in advance) and immediately ran 2 more miles. Considering I felt a tiny bit wobbly at first from the transition, I’d say only picking up 18 seconds per mile was a nice accomplishment. (Then I went back and wiped down and took apart the bike as well as did some cool-down stretches.)

(8:15 & 8:10; 8:29 & 8:31)