"It's a little self indulgent..." - My mom
"After I read a sentence, I get mad at myself for caring what you're doing." -Karl Dusen

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Tugboats and Foxes and Neal Hannan, oh my!

This entry contains nothing about any of the people in the title, I was just lacking anything better.
I awoke Sunday morning near Reading, Pa., unsure of
how I was even awake. I had attended my good friend and ex-girlfriend Erin's wedding the night before in Lancaster, and met her challenge to drink five White Russians. Along the way, through, I had a bottle of whiskey that I stole from the service cart on my return flight from Reno, two large glasses of wine, an Old Fashioned and a glass of Maker's Mark. I stayed at the Notorious E.L.I.'s childhood home in Wyomissing, because she had a massage appointment that morning to fix her effed up hip. I put my shoes on and headed out to explore the area, which reminded me a lot of Mt. Lebanon if it was flattened.
A light rain accompanied my run, which was a great relief from the morning before. The temperature stuck around the mid 70s, which was again an improvement. I ran a few loops of the neighborhood pretty quickly, thanks to the topography and the drop in heat misery. I explored a series of woodchiped, limestone and grassy trails and headed back after 12 miles. We drove back to Virginia shortly after.

Alex returned from his summer at camp and he started out my afternoon run with me- an eight-mile Westmoreland. He lasted 3.5 miles and I cut lose the last 4.5- averaging 7:15 pace for the whole thing. It was a good bit hotter, 85 degrees with a a reasonably high amount of humidity.

I slept in Monday and didn't run until I got home from work. I grabbed my long spikes and ran over to Lemon Road Park in McLean to do quarters on the grass field behind the school. When I got there, however, the grass on the lower part of the park was overgrown and I couldn't see the ground, so I decided to run laps of the level playing field. Without being able to measure my route, I decided to just do 80-second fartleks. I hoped that would work out to more than 400 meters at 5:00 pace, but who knows. A group of frisbee players marked off boundaries, so I ran around their setup, then out into the field around a piece of trash, then around the field again. I gave myself 40 seconds recovery, 60 seconds after sets of four. I wore my old Milers from my senior year of college, without socks. That started to work against me in the third set, when the hot spots on my left arch and right toes started to progress into blisterhood. I took a break after 12 to tighten my shoes, but the damage was done. During number 13, I felt like my feet were on fire. I threw in the towel and did a long cooldown to get
12 miles. If nothing else, I got my calves ready to race in spikes again at the Richmond alumni race and felt what it was like to run fast on uneven grass and take tight turns.
I slept in a but Tuesday, too, so I only got a 3.4-mile Fisherman's loop in the morning. In the afternoon I combined a Fairview Park with a Westmoreland, turning on Idylwood instead of Chain Bridge, and got 13.7 at 6:50 pace. It was cool en
ough I could wear a shirt, and my legs felt great. I didn't want to go too fast and endanger my workout, but it was hard. I really the last three miles of the Westmoreland loop.
Wednesday morning I did a Park-Tyson for 7 miles at 7:10 pace. Cool again, around the low 70s.
The evening was a chance for me to show my successful workout the week before wasn't a fluke. After a 2.5 mile warmup, plus some strides, we settled on two mile, 4x800, two mile. I was hoping for the other way around, to get more turnover work in advance of the Spider Alumni Race, but I guess I am ultimately training for a marathon.
Joe and Texas Paul are pretty friggin sharp, so Dickson and Karl and I hung back and planned to run our two mile in 10:30. After running 5:08 for our first mile, it became apparent to me that we would not be running 10:30. After a 5:04, I went into our 400 meter recovery feeling pretty good. I had remarked to Dirk before the work
out that my breathing didn't feel great, but it turns out I was just ready for what I would be doing shortly, and I felt great. The first 800 was easy- 2:26. The second was a little faster- 2:24. The third, well, it showed me how much progress I had made since the spring. One afternoon at Tilden Middle School, Karl and Wiggy and I ran some 400s and after intervals of 72 and 71 I was wasted. Well, I ran those back-to-back on the third interval, a little slow off of the line and catching up to the guys on the back stretch of the second lap. With the second two mile hanging over my head, and the laces loosening in my shoes, I eased off during the fourth and ran 2:25. I fixed my shoe and got started on the two mile. 79, 74, 76,76, then I started to suffer from the surge I put in to lead the second half mile. On the back stretch of the fifth quarter, I was desperately searching for air, and didn't go with Dickson as he roared past. I hit the second mile in 78,79,78,78, not quite as great as I had hop
ed, but I stuck with the workout and, I feel, had my most complete workout since I started training with the GRC. I didn't expect to run two
miles under 10:30 twice, around four 800s, all under 5:00 pace. After a deliriously fast cooldown, I had 12 miles for the evening and 19 for the day.
Thursday morning, I ran 13 miles to work at 7:01 pace, mostly downhill, with bikers speeding past me a lot of the time, forcing me into the sound wall along I-66. It was a little warmer and humid, but I survived.
After a haircut this afternoon, I will run a very slow five miles before packing for my weekend in Portersville, Pa. My childhood friend Joe Wildfire is getting married, and a slew of my high school chums and I will be camping out. This will avail me of a chance to do a long run in Moraine State Park on Saturday or Sunday, where the temperature range will be 60-80 and sunny both days, so an early run can be quite comfortable.

Next week, I sharpen for the alumni race...

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