"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

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Sometimes it dries, most of the time it doesn't

Once back from Oregon, my primary focus was to regain whatever heat acclimation I had shed while running comfortably for a week. Rather than risk the logistical folly of trying to do the Dirk farewell run from Bethesda to Alexandria Sunday morning, I planned to run from home and then go to Alexandria. What I didn't count on was the persistence of Pacific Time in my blood. After the Crystal City race, I went home with the intention of being in bed by midnight. I was, but I remained alert and anxious until well after three. I don't remember if I woke up with my alarm at 7, but I definitely woke up at 11:30, so the running would fall to the evening...
The heat during the day didn't seem that bad, so when I went out for 13 around 7:30, I didn't anticipate any trouble. It quickly became apparent that even though I recognized it was much hotter, my legs did not, because my splits through 6 miles of the Double Pimmit averaged 6:20. I slowed my ass down, but it was too late. I got the water bottle I had stashed at eight miles and just ran home for nine. It became pretty clear that this would be the recovery week I had planned a week later.

Monday morning, I wasn't waking up, and when I did, I realized what my body had been hiding since Friday- a pernicious cold. I dragged myself through work and headed down to the gym to use the treadmill. The earphones I brought didn't work, so I found myself listening to the serious steps I was taking on the belt, in comparison to the walkers next to me. I got pretty self conscious about it, and without anything to really keep my focus, I lost enthusiasm quickly and stopped at three miles. I went home, had some Benedryl and went to sleep.

The next morning I did a pretty evenly-paced 10 miles on the Oak loop, ending up a little faster than 7:00 pace. I felt good for eight miles of it. That afternoon I did six easy with Will to the Memorial Bridge and back.

I didn't run Wednesday morning, then totaled 12 at practice that evening, which was delightfully dry, though hot. For 8x800, I went 2:31, 2:30, 2:26, 2:27, 2:26, 2:24, and 2:21. Though it was nice to run fast, I think it might have been more useful to just run 2x :32, :30, :28, :26 for consistency's sake, to get a better feel for the times in the heat.
The dryness was a godsend, though. I was dry by the time I did the cooldown.

Thursday morning saw nothing of the sort when I ran to work. For most of the first 10 miles, I was okay, stopping twice for water fountains. I was soaking wet two miles in, but able to keep an easy seven minute pace, mainly thanks to the gradual downhill on the W&OD, Bluemont Junction and Custis trails. To be frank, it would be a lot more interesting to just run on roads to get to work, since the trails are pretty miserable and boring as all getout. When I crossed the Roosevelt Bridge and passed the Kennedy Center, my dehydration hit me. I needed HALP.
Luckily I came across a deli near GW and bought a squeeze bottle of Gatorade, immediately feeling a difference when I had some cool fluid replacing the waterfall on my epidermis.
That evening I ran an easy five on Idywood.

Friday morning I felt like crud, and waited until after work to run on the treadmill in the office gym. I just did 20 minutes of 5:30 pace at a 2 percent incline, with a warmup and cooldown.
Saturday morning I ran another easy five on Idylwood.

I was in Hyde Park, NY Saturday for Mikey's wedding, and the weather was a bit more fair, up there, so I thought about doing a long run Sunday morning. I remembered I could do a long run any day, and this was a rare opportunity to spend with my high school friends, so I backtracked on that commitment. Instead, I just started running a little loop I put together that would hit 10.5 miles, but took a wrong turn early. I saw an opening into the woods, and thought I'd check it out. I kept pressing and eventually found a little trail, which I followed for about 15 minutes until it started feeding back on itself. I headed the other way and found myself on Roosevelt Farm Lane and its various spurs. It was shady, and certainly cooler than DC, but gigantic flies kept biting my back and shoulders. I really could have done without that. The brunch was looming, so I hurried back and ended up with about 9.25 miles.

Monday I woke up and did a Westmoreland for 8 miles, then did an easy four on the treadmill after work, slightly uncomfortable because I left socks at home.

Tuesday I slept in a bit, after getting home late from a baseball game, so I just did the Seaton 6 at 6:40 pace.

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