"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, October 13, 2011

The last big month begins

Although my illness came at an unfortunate time because it took me a few days of holding back running in great, cool weather, it kept me under control last week. I took Sunday completely off and slept in every day except for Friday. Monday I was able to get through the work day with a minimum of misery and went out to run with no real plan. I wound up doing two loops of New Virginia Manor for 13 miles, right around 6:50 pace, and I felt fantastic. No breathing trouble, a little congestion, but a delightful run.

Tuesday after work I did a 10 mile loop at Hains Point at 6:30 pace, great weather there.

Wednesday evening I joined Hanson, Sam and Outlaw for their pre-Army Ten Miler workout- 1600-1200-800-400. Though the pacing (72, 70, 68, 66) was feasible for me, I didn't want to risk bombing and ruining my newfound confidence for the Great Pumpkin 5k on Saturday, I did a 1600 earlier- in 4:56, then did one fewer lap than the pack. I definitely felt like I could have done the whole thing, I felt totally under control running 3:36, 2:19, and 67, but I was left hungry for more. So I joined in for the 400 in 66, but cut loose with 200 left and ran 62, my fastest 400 since April 2007. And I still wanted more.

Thursday I did a reverse Steelers loop. Friday morning and afternoon I did Fishermans loops.

Saturday morning I felt alright when I woke up and got a ride to Reston with Fun Lizard, whose hips have unfortunately become unaligned, rendering her Lame Liz. It was cool but humid, and I felt okay when I went out for a warmup. I wasn't feeling quite right when I got to the line, though, and within about five seconds of the race starting, I knew it wasn't going to be good. I rushed off the line to keep up with two Africans and the creepiest boy in the world, but it was only a matter of time before I dropped. I could tell they were scared, because "Contagion" is still playing in the theaters and my lungs were making a hell of a racket. Within a half mile they had five yards on me and the gap only grew when we headed downhill, did a moronic turnaround and my fate was sealed on the way back up. I came through the mile in 5:04, two in 5:08 and the third in 15:24. It was a pretty boring course around Reston Town Center, and I spent most of the time coughing and blowing my nose. I saw Liz and Rich, but otherwise it was lonely. My third mile split, 15:36, was just five seconds faster than my three mile split of my half the week before, and my 5k time 16:15, was just a little faster than my 10k pace from the Great Race.

I reasonably expected to run in the low 15:20s and on my best day would have hung with 2 and 3 in the mid 14:40s. That course in no-man's land was brutal. Wind, general apathy, just terrible. I'm sure it would have been a lot more fun if I was racing someone, but when the race was over, I realized I had raced 20 out of 22 miles in the last three weekends by myself. No matter what, I'm running with someone in Richmond, even if it's slower of faster than I would like.

After the race I took a three hour nap and felt a lot better afterward. I went out and ran another 13, starting pretty fast- 5:30 and 5:15 for the first two miles of a Marymount-Florida loop. By 9.75, I had run 6:05 pace mainly out of frustration with the race and eased into finish 13 miles.

Sunday morning I ran around the Army Ten Mile course with Klim and Murph.

Monday morning I slept in, thanks to Columbus Day, and biked out to McLean High School for some quarters at 68-70 and HMDs. In the afternoon I did 11 miles on the Pimmit Run trail.

Tuesday's trip home for what I hoped would be an early afternoon run was complicated severely when a metro disruption at Clarendon stopped all traffic between Rosslyn and Ballston. After taking a train to the cemetery, which then turned and went back to Rosslyn's upper deck, I spent 20 minutes trying to get out of the station, then walked 2.5 miles to Ballston to avoid having to wait for a shuttle bus. By the time I got home and was ready to run, it was 8. I did a New Virginia Manor, 13 miles in the dark, and it was glorious. The whole time I was in the four-mile loop, I came across four cars, and three were together. Wide, luxurious, smooth roads, long hills and an almost out-of-body experience. I can barely see anything, especially in the first, second and fourth miles,

Wednesday I woke up for eight miles on the Westmoreland loop, then in the evening did a long medium workout on the track. Since I had done 400s recently, I instead opted for a Richmond classic- 20-8-20. It was entirely successful- the first 20 minutes at 5:28 pace, eight minutes easy, then 20 minutes at 5:20 pace. I ran smoothly the whole time, didn't kick or anything, and I had a maximum lap-by-lap variation of .3 seconds. It was more successful than the same workout I did several Sundays ago, and I know I could have gone on longer, which is how I guess you want all of your workouts to feel.

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