"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, June 29, 2011

Let's fill a bathtub full of sweat

I sweat profusely.

I will support that statement with a lot of evidence from recent attempts to run in the DC summer, which began Monday.

Monday evening was relatively dry, though pretty hot- in the mid 80s, but I figured I might as well try a long run, because in addition to being sweaty, I'm also stupid. I did, however, put Gatorade mix, as many ice cubes as I could fit, and a little bit of ice water into a plastic bottle and carried it with me on an Irvin loop, dropping it off at four miles, which I hit in 25:00. I then kept going, thinking I was loosening up slowing down. Evidently not, because I hit seven miles averaging 6:10 pace. I got a little cautious here and slowed, partially because the .9 mile stretch on Maple Street in Vienna is on crowded sidewalks. I came through 10 miles at 6:15 pace exactly, then eased up again on the climbs on Old Courthouse Road. Wolftrap Road, usually, a struggle for me, was very doable, and I felt stronger coming out of the short trail that connects two parts of the road than I ever had before on this particular loop. A block later I had my chilled Gatorade, and managed to drink most of the 32 oz of it without feeling sick to my stomach. This is a dramatic improvement from when Howard first encouraged me to practice doing that last fall. He said my body would get used to it, and by god, it did. Even though I just had the fluids for the last 3.5 miles, being well hydrated helped my recovery immensely. I ended up averaging 6:20 miles for 16, which was my longest run in two months, since the extended Brook the day after the George Mason race.

Tuesday did not go as well. I slept in to recover from the long run, then when I got home from work headed out for an easy 8-12. I figured the best way to keep it easy was to stick to the Pimmit Creek trails, but about three miles in, the lack of air movement and the humdity really got to me, and I headed back, getting only six.

Wednesday was the first time I went to the BCC since right after the Swarthmore meet. The plan was 8x800, with two at 2:32, 2:30, 2:28 and 2:26, respectively.

I was quite surprised to have no trouble running 2:31, 2:30, 2:27, 2:28, 2:26 and 2:27. After the third, however, it sounded as though I had stuffed sponges into my shoes.

A few steps into the seventh 800, I recognized I was running on borrowed energy and stopped. I was actually too loose to hope to succeed, and I had lost too much sweat to pull myself together effectively. My limbs were feeling a little loose, for lack of a more apt description, and moving them at a cadence appropriate for running 800s took more energy than I though prudent to dedicate. I was happy enough I had done six, though eight would have been even better, my marginal delight for each of those additional intervals was not worth it...yet...

Thursday morning, I ran the Park Plus, which I had neglected for a long time, and had a pretty fun time. I ditched the mp3 player, which I think makes a big difference in the heat and humidity. I am more attuned to my other senses and never get in over my head, which I sometimes attribute to being distracted by listening to something. And it kept me from inadvertently shorting it out with sweat. In the evening, I made up a loop taking 26th street to Marymount and coming back on Old Dominion and Little Falls.

Friday I slept in and planned to reintroduce myself to the treadmill in the afternoon, but it was 88 degrees and pretty dry, so decided I should go out and use the opportunity to acclimate myself further to the heat. I ran six miles out past Catholic and decided to run at a moderate pace as long as I could, and managed 5:20 pace for 17 minutes, a but more than 5k.

Saturday morning I finally wore my Chicago Marathon shirt, which really is quite nice, very thin, but the memory of the race and my poor performance made me hesitant to wear it too much. I did a morning run of nine miles on my New Virginia Manor loop, then an afternoon run of seven miles on my Timber loop to total 85 miles.

Sunday morning I just wandered along the trails following the Pimmit Stream for 90 minutes.

Monday I just ran in the evening- 11.5 miles as part of a Fairview Park loop.

Tuesday morning I did a five-mile Idylwood loop and in the afternoon finally reacquainted myself with the treadmill in my office basement. I absolutely hate it, but the reality is that given how much I sweat and the consistently formidable humidity in the DC area, I need to be ready to do a workout on the treadmill if going outside would be unproductive, so I bought a box fan to keep in my office to at least make the conditions reasonable in my office's fitness center and help me avoid disgusting anyone else with a lot of sweat flying off of me. I did eight miles while watching the middle of Jerry Maguire and an interview with Dennis Kucinich.

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