Saturday morning I waited for 17 hours for Wiggy to show up at the store to run. Eventually he and Ryan joined Outlaw and me for a run around Hains Point so those DC racing neophytes could check out the Veterans' Day 10k course. It was windy, of course, but I sufficed with shorts and short sleeves, though I brought a long-sleeved shirt as backup, which I used on the way back.
Sunday morning I ran with a big group at the Line, heading off for another trip through Rock Creek Park's trails. My left foot landed oddly a few times and I sprained it a bit the last time, this being my most serious running injury since I messed up my back on the Lauder/Molz floor-sleeping incident before the alumni race. Much like burning your tongue on hot chocolate, the resulting pain is constant and lingering. It hasn't affected my form, but I decided to cut the run short because my ankles were getting tired of navigating the rough trail covered in leaves. I did about 6.5 miles with Jakes Marren and Klim, Dickson and YF/Anonymous. Later in the day I went out and ran another four miles on the Idylwood north loop, but it didn't feel great.
Monday I had to get up and out the door by 5 to get to a conference in Baltimore that turned out to be useless, yet I still worked until 5:45. On my commute home, I expected to take the day off and just relax until the Steelers game started, but when I felt how excellent the mid 50s temperature felt in Falls Church, I couldn't resist. I set out on a Presidents' Loop-- Allan (Chester Arthur), Quincy, Harrison, Roosevelt, Johnson, Tyler, Jefferson, Grove(r Cleveland) starting pretty easily, 6:50 through the first mile, but before I knew it, I was moving. Checking later, I found I hit three and six miles at 6:20 pace and kept it consistent through 10.25. Not bad. That loop is great in the dark, a situation I will certainly be getting used to thanks to winter's approach.
I went to Washington and Lee's (the Fighting Pat Fishers) track Tuesday evening to do my first fast workout since September, and suffice to say it didn't go well. I was planning on 4x2k at 5:12 pace. The first one went splendidly, though my second lap was three seconds fast. After 1200 of the second, I started feeling some GI pressure, which hasn't really been a problem since April. After dealing with it, I went out for a cooldown and came back for some HMDs.
On Saturday I will likely race the Candy Cane City 5k in Chevy Chase, my first race last year after I moved. This time will likely be more successful- I am in remarkably better shape, will get to the front of the pack and will likely have my shoes on and tied when the race starts.
Hopefully after a trip to Terra Haute, I will run the five mile YMCA Turkey Trot in Pittsburgh, which is making its return after two years of road-construction-caused hysteria. I was really worried the booming participation numbers for the 5k, which served as the alternative, would keep the Y from resuming the race. They are compromising by holding both a 5k and a 5 mile. I expect that they will jut have the 5 milers take a different turn after the end of the 5k. The course isn't great- starting at PNC park and consisting of a few out-and-back stretches. It won't rival the pleasantness of the 2003-2004 course, but what will anyway?
I hope to double that morning and run the Gutbuster again, this time the four mile race. I found out, almost a year later, that I, as Gary Kline, won the four mile last year. How about that?
I wasn't sure Sunday, because I was generally feeling crummy, but I probably will do the USATF Cross Country meet in December. I will struggle to break 33, but it's not and experience I want to pass up.