"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

Thursday, April 14, 2011

I love two things about myself, and both are my European haircut

Given the 10 miles I had run about 12 hours prior, when I woke up at 7 am Sunday, I decided to wait a little for my long run, canning my original plan to run down the Mt. Vernon trail to Alexandria to watch the end of the silly Pacers race. If I raced on the George Washington Parkway, I would rather it be farther north, near Langley. Around 10 or 10:30, I finally got going and decided to check out and extend the Brook loop in eastern McLean. I had last run it in early February, with snow everywhere, so it felt in a way like I was running it for the first time.

It was much easier this time because where there once was snow, I now saw paved paths, taking me off of the road, save for a half mile around the fourth. It made the run a lot more comfortable, not having to squeeze onto whatever shoulder had remained in the snow. I consciously held back, but still averaged 6:29 through my first nine. It was more prudent than my 6:10s the last time I ran it. After crossing the beltway, I started to head up and down some hills, especially once I hit the neighborhoods bordering Pimmit Run Stream Valley Park.

When I got out, they got worse. My fatigue, hunger and the hills on Birch beat the crud out of me, but that was nothing compared to Lorraine, which I had only run once, and I barely recalled it. At 15.5 miles, I hit a 20% grade that lasted about a tenth of a mile. I came down the long, gradual decline not particularly fast, but let letting my body go and my legs carry me, because I was just beaten. The last two miles were unremarkable. Despite the hills and feeling pretty cruddy, I averaged 6:40 on the nose for the last nine.

Monday gave me a preview of the mild summer days ahead, with a muggy 82 degrees when I got home from work. I planned on 3x8 minutes hard, but was ready to adjust it the second I got going. After a quicker-than-necessary warmup, I started my first set on Shreve Road, a rolling paved trail. I was able to cross Lee Highway without too much trouble and make it to Fairview Park Drive, for a 5:15 pace. I took a four minute jog that took me to the bridge over Route 50 and started my second surge, but the wind was ridiculous and dissuaded me without much argument. I decided to wait until the Fairview Park trail, but once I got there I was pretty tuckered out. I ran to the quarter-mile path around the pond and did four repetitions- 78, 74, 72 and 70, trying to keep myself relaxed. I jogged home and was happy to have that over.

Tuesday I just ran six out and back on the W&OD past Vienna, but the rain I expected didn't transpire. I tried to keep it easy, but I hit 6 miles in under 40 minutes. Luckily I had the wind at my back, so it slowed me down on the return trip.

Wednesday I felt bloated when I hit the track at BCC with Murphy, Nugget, Brian, Dangerous Dave and some dude named Victor. We ran 800s, 2:30, 2:32, 2:28, 2:26, 2:25, 2:23, 2:21, then I ran a 70 with Dave for his first lap and a 68 on my own after a little break. I didn't feel light at all, but I didn't have to push too much to hit most of the times. I felt pretty lethargic.

I'm going to improvise a 75 minute run this afternoon and then do another 10/10/10 tomorrow morning, though I will find some additional checkpoints to make sure I don't go too fast too early again. If I do the workout right, it will be a good way to get ready for a race 48 hours later.

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