"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

Friday, September 16, 2011

First day off in three months

I took Monday off, my first day off since June 12, and even though I felt like I was putting a perfectly good day to waste -- it was in the low 80s and much drier than the night before -- I really didn't have the motivation to go out. I hope by not forcing it I gave myself time to physically and mentally recover.

Tuesday morning I almost let that malaise continue, but I forced myself to step out onto my porch to see just how nice the weather was. About 62 degrees. I'd be an idiot not to run, so I did- 6:30 for 10.3 miles on an extended Oak loop. Thirsty, of course, but better than most times I have run that loop--I have usually had enough when I cross over 66 on Virginia.

That afternoon I planned to go out and run an easy seven miles on a new loop, but missed a turn and ended up going nine. It was refreshing, though- close to 80 degrees, the sun setting in the middle of the run, hills everywhere. If I didn't have a workout the next day, I could have kept going. I had never run on the segment of Powhatan between Kirby and Orland and good God, it's steep. Rock Spring Park was also new to me and although it was short, it was pleasant.

I slept in again on Wednesday and was, again, feeling pretty cruddy on my way to practice- it was much muggier than usual. I decided to forgo the 800 workout to do 400s with Tex- he planned to do 20 with 35 seconds recovery, which at some point was communicated to me at 30 seconds recovery. I led the first two, 70.00 and 69, he led two more, 69,69, and as we started the fifth I realized these half minute breaks were not doing it for me, so I started alternating the quarters to give Tex a break from going alone. I ran six more in 69 until he had enough, then joined some guys doing 800s for their first lap (66) and then did a 66 on my own. It ended up not being a terribly long workout, but I needed turnover and I think I got a good handle on it there.

I had a much improved Thursday morning from last week. I did the same first seven or so miles as before- Williamsburg and Military Road to the trail and up to Marymount, but this time I took George Mason to Lee Highway and back to Great Falls. I also took a squeeze bottle with me and drank a little bit throughout. Also, no passing out on the way to work. I did an easy 6 after work on the Seaton loop in weather that was perfect for distance running- chilly enough that I had to keep moving to stay warm. This is the kind of weather in which I feel like I can competently run.

I planned to do the 6x mile workout Friday morning that I had been unable to finish last week, thanks to my breathing episode. I reserved a Zipcar a three minute walk from my apartment for 5:30, which would give me time to drive to McLean High School's track with my flats and water and warm up in time to start the workout at 6, which I could finish and cool down for by 7:15, then get the car back by 7:30. I woke up at 5 to drink some water and get my bearings before the workout, and headed out. I saw no car. I waited a while, nobody showed up with it. I went back to my apartment to ascertain what happened, and after calling the support line, it appeared a Zipcar employee took the cars to be cleaned or something, and just never put them back. Even if they had a car there, I wouldn't have had time to do my workout before heading to the office, so I gave up there. With 45 minutes of being awake under my belt, I was hard pressed to be able to fall asleep again, so I went out and ran a Park Plus for a morning 7- not the way I wanted to split the mileage today, I was hoping to be able to relax after work.

For the workout, I ended up going to the Gallaudette track, not far from my office, which Breezy recommended. Unfortunately the football team was practicing, so I would have to deal with obstacles on lane one and carpets spanning the track in three places. Luckily, the team moved most of the crud off of the first lane and was happy to let me coexist there. A few guys even called out arbitrary splits as I ran by.

The workout itself did not go too well. I didn't have a good handle on my pace early and opened with a 70, about seven seconds fast for the first lap, and I was expecting to be 10 seconds slower-- a reversal of the impeccable internal clock I had recently. I slowed down, but still ended up running 5:03. The next one went a bit better, opening in 2:30 and finishing in 5:02. During the third, the 5:00 mile, two players started rolling up one of the carpets on the far stretch, so I swung into lane 5 to avoid them, which worked, but tired me out. I ended up running 4:59 but feeling in control.

The fourth, however, was just a disaster. I lost whatever sense of pace I had, came through the 200 in 35 when I thought I was going to be slow, and I just called it off. This was a situation where I really could have used some help pacing, but at the same time, I had been up for 12.5 hours by this point and felt like it. I did a long cool down, to the Metropolitan Branch Trail and up to Brookland and back, and I was depleted when I finished that. After I showered, I felt like doing nothing but sitting at my desk in my office, at 7:30 on a Friday evening.

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