Monthly Archives: August 2010

Fighting the Stall

Start time: 8/31/10, 7:30am
Location: North Arlington
Distance: 5 miles
Average pace: 8:46min/mile
Total Miles For August: 73 miles
Total Miles For 2010: 465 miles

More mornings than not, I find it slightly amazing (afterwards) on just how much I am able to stall getting ready for a run. Today, it was a solid hour before I even got out of bed… yeesh. Sooo sleepy. Or something.

(8:54, 8:49, 8:49, 9:04, 8:13)


Start time: 8/28/10, 6:00am
Location: Iwo Jima Memorial, Custis Trail, W&OD Trail, Bluemont Trail, Glebe Rd, Washington Blvd, Clarendon Blvd
Distance: 12 miles
Average pace: 10:27min/mile
Total Miles For August: 68 miles
Total Miles For 2010: 460 miles

That was an uncomfortable 12-miler. I ran the first seven miles with Jim, Michael, and Steve (they were tackling a 20-miler), and with them we circled Iwo Jima before running the length of the Custis Trail. “I always forget just how bad these hills are,” Steve said to me about halfway down the Custis Trail, and I nodded in agreement. (But we did run into Katie out for her 60-mile bike ride, so hurrah!)

When we got to Bluemont, I bid them adieu, hit the bathroom, and then started heading home. It was around then that I began to feel a little sick to my stomach; with 20/20 hindsight I should’ve headed directly home (there was a 3-mile direct path at that point) but I pushed through the remaining five, never feeling terribly good at any single moment through them. When I got home I stepped on the scale and was down around 4.5 pounds due to water loss. Yeesh. Been doing a lot of rehydrating today. Also, of the three flavors of “Vita Coco” (a coconut water brand), the coconut and pineapple is the winner so far.

I signed up a while ago on a spur of the moment for the Parks Half Marathon, which is in two weeks, and also the same weekend as SPX. Was originally thinking I could still tackle it on that Sunday, but right now I am leaning towards a big ol’ no. If so, this will be an unusual record year for me, with three races I signed up for and then did not run. (The others being the Washington DC Triathlon, and the Toronto Half Marathon in October.) Even with two races I am pretty sure that is a new record, now that I think about it.

(10:12, 10:20, 10:57, 10:38, 10:51, 10:03, 10:16, 9:51, 10:32, 10:29, 10:52, 10:13)


Start time: 8/25/10, 7:15am
Location: North Arlington
Distance: 5 miles
Average pace: 8:49min/mile
Total Miles For August: 56 miles
Total Miles For 2010: 448 miles

A mile longer and two seconds per mile faster than Monday, so I’ll take that as a minor victory.

(8:49, 8:56, 8:38, 8:53, 8:49

Monday Morning

Start time: 8/23/10, 7:30am
Location: North Arlington
Distance: 4 miles
Average pace: 8:51min/mile
Total Miles For August: 51 miles
Total Miles For 2010: 443 miles

No swimming tonight (due to Scissor Sisters concert) and no spinning on Wednesday (gym is closed), plus rain predicted for Tuesday, so I ended up running this morning. Not my best run by a lot, but I didn’t crash out in the last mile or two and have to walk, so I’m taking that as a small victory. Think I need to drop about 5-10 pounds (haven’t we heard this one before?) to get back to where I was, unfortunately.

(8:43, 8:51, 8:50, 8:59)


Start time: 8/21/10, 6:00am
Location: National Mall
Distance: 8 miles
Average pace: 10:31min/mile
Total Miles For August: 47 miles
Total Miles For 2010: 439 miles

I’m not going to lie: that was an unsatisfying run.

The morning seemed to be a perfect storm of bad; John’s chest was bothering him, Bill was not feeling great, and the humidity was so thick you could write your name in it. Just about the only th ing we didn’t have was temperatures heading towards triple digits, and for that I count my lucky stars. It probably didn’t help matters any that we didn’t have Jim, Michael, or Stephanie with us, all of whom are good about getting us going again after the minute walk break. But even then it didn’t go great; John’s chest was bugging him enough that we ended up walking for almost a quarter mile at the start of mile 5, and in general it was a slow and pokey run. I don’t begrudge anyone in the group at all—we all have really bad runs, and I’ve brought my fair share to the group and they’ve been nothing but accomodating when it happens—but this run wass just unpleasant.

It probably didn’t help matters that towards the end I started feeling uncomfortable because I was so sweaty and my shirt was just hanging off of me. I think if I’d been feeling better myself, it might not have been so bad, but I was just desperate for the run to end and to get back to the car more than anything else. So instead I slogged through with the group until we got to the last mile, at which point I freely admit I picked up the pace a bit. It wasn’t to be mean or try to ditch anyone, but when you’re at the final mile you can do whatever you want because the finish is in sight. I actually didn’t realize at first that I’d completely lost the guys until it was time to cross over 15th Street; Steve was actually not far behind me, which was nice. But I really just wanted to get back to my car, change my shirt, and have it all be over. That’s all I ended up having on my mind. And it did feel good to kick it out a bit and just start speeding up.

Anyway, a long story to explain why an 8-miler was unpleasant, and we had some pretty bizarre splits going on in there.

(10:07, 10:22, 11:01, 10:41, 11:55, 10:28, 10:55, 8:35)


Start time: 8/19/10, 8:30pm
Location: North Arlington
Distance: 5 miles
Average pace: 9:09min/mile
Total Miles For August: 39 miles
Total Miles For 2010: 431 miles

I have a confession to make: I not only don’t like running in darkness, I actually am slightly scared of running in darkness. I’m always imagining myself running into a hole, or tripping over an uneven edge. It’s the fear of the unknown, always going to plunge into disaster. So when I’m not only running in the dark, but also wrapped up in a thick shroud of humidity? It’s an unpleasant at best experience. I spent the entire time second-guessing every step, when I wasn’t squinting at car headlights on the road coming in my direction.

I also really need to get all my runs in each week. Lately I’ve had a knack for missing one of them (usually the Tuesday one) and that is an extremely bad habit. Bah. Not pleased.

(8:51, 8:52, 8:52, 9:31, 9:39)

Sag Slacker

Start time: 8/14/10, 8:15am
Location: Sag Harbor, NY
Distance: 12 miles
Average pace: 9:58min/mile
Total Miles For August: 34 miles
Total Miles For 2010: 426 miles

Oops! Just realized I never posted my run from Saturday… anyway, while up in Sag Harbor on vacation, I did go for a 12-mile run. I was up a little too late that night, but I pulled myself up as best I could and headed out. Temperatures were a tiny bit cooler than at home, so that was nice. I tried to plot out a route where after running through town I would be up along the water, but I missed a turn and after several miles of highway admitted defeat and turned around and ran back another way. That worked out better; I ran over a bridge onto a penninsula and from there along the water. It wasn’t a speedy run, but it was an extremely pleasant one. Not thrilled about feeling the need for walk breaks but c’est la vie.

(9:11, 9:10, 9:40, 10:15, 10:22, 10:07, 9:57, 10:09, 10:06, 10:31, 10:14, 9:47)


Start time: 8/12/10, 8:45am
Location: North Arlington
Distance: 4 miles
Average pace: 8:47min/mile
Total Miles For August: 22 miles
Total Miles For 2010: 414 miles

Heading out door on vacation — will fill in later. But boy is it humid out.

(8:39, 8:36, 8:56, 8:56)


Start time: 8/7/10, 6:00am
Location: All over Washington DC
Distance: 4.28 & 6 miles
Average pace: 10:33 & 10:21min/mile
Total Miles For August: 18 miles
Total Miles For 2010: 410 miles

Ran four miles with Steve, Jim, and Michael this morning, then we swung back around and picked up Stephanie and John for an additional six. Nothing terribly exciting; our pace was all over the place but it was a nice morning.

Storm Season

Start time: 8/5/10, 6:00pm
Location: TJ Community Center
Distance: 4 miles
Average pace: 8:23min/mile
Total Miles For August: 8 miles
Total Miles For 2010: 400 miles

I was out late last night (Charlie and I took my parents out for their birthdays), and getting up early for running just wasn’t going to happen. Storms rolled into the area in the afternoon and it was still coming down when I left the office, so I rallied as best I could and went to the dreaded indoor track for four miles. The place was on half power because of outages, so it was a little stuffy, but it wasn’t humid (except for the locker room). Still, that indoor track is awfully boring, even if it is dry and doesn’t hold the possibility of electrocution.

(8:42, 8:27, 8:12, 8:12)