Thursday after work I started to do a Scott's Run, but changed my mind and ran to Vienna and back, with a little extra, to do 11 miles. It was nice and boring, and I kept it around 7:00 pace.
I ran to work Friday and realized just how much I dislike it, or at least the route I take. Rain was misting when I headed out and I never really felt relaxed. The W&OD trail portion is okay, but once I get on the Custis Trail I just get frustrated with the amount of bike traffic. There's a little bit of consistency with the portion on the Mt. Vernon Trail and crossing the Roosevelt Bridge, but ocne I get downtown, I'm stopping every few blocks for traffic and it leaves the run on a bad note. That said, it still is a nice way to combine a morning run and a commute, pretty much getting 12 miles done in the time it would take me to run three miles, shower and commute to work. Maybe running home would be more pleasant- I'd deal with traffic early, and not feel the long pounding downhill -- I actually prefer climbing. After work I did an easy three-mile loop.
Saturday morning, I had grand visions of the workout I would do. The weather was perfect, I felt rested, and I was ready to get faster every three miles on a 15 mile run though McLean. Unfortunately, I was so well rested because I slept longer than I should have, and didn't start my run until 10 am, which put my in direct conflict with the hordes of shoppers on their way to Tysons Corner. I had to stop about a half mile in while I waited for traffic to pass on Great Falls, then again on Westmoreland at Kirby. I responded by overcompensating with those miles, 5:53 and 5:55, where I was planning to go 6:30s. I was close on the third mile- 6:22, then once I started my 6:15s I once again dealt with traffic- at Chain Bridge Road at Old Dominion (5:45 for that mile) as I tried to cross Dolley Madison Parkway and Balls Hill Road. Spring Hill Road was once again challenging, moreso because of the twists and blind curves in the road, though the undulating hills didn't help.I think I was right on 6:00 pace though the second mile of that segment, then I slowed down to 6:05 in the third. When I hit the Lewinsville Bridge over the beltway, I had to cross through traffic to get to a shoulder, then when I got to the top of the hill at Dolley Madison, I once again had to stop at the intersection. At this point, I gave up, then headed down Chain Bridge Road to Pimmit Hills and ran home that way. Had I started the workout at 7 or 8 am, I would have been in a lot better shape, traffic-wise
Sunday morning I headed out the opposite way, up Great Falls until it became Lewinsville and got out to Brook. I usually stick with Old Dominion all the way back, but this time I took a left on Spring Hill. I found it to be a much better, and safer, segment of the road than between Old Dominion and Lewinsville. It was narrow enough that cars had to drive slowly maneuver properly, and I don't think I even saw any heading north. Georgetown Pike was another story, though. The entire 1.9 stretch west of the beltway had no shoulder to speak of, so I spent most of the constant climbing and descending switching back and forth across the road to make myself more visible to cars and be able to see them myself. Once I crossed the beltway, I had sidewalk paths, but the hills got even tougher. I thought back to the Freedom's Run Half, and how hills seemed to provoke me to run better, and how that was not happening today. I made the turn onto Chain Bridge Road at 13.25, at which point I had averaged 6:25s. I took that short road past the old Kennedy house Hickory Hill and turned onto Dolley Madison before finding the next portion of Chain Bridge. I turned onto Old Dominion and as I passed a segment of the Pimmit Run trail I guessed I had been running 1:39, looked to my watch and saw it was that time exactly. I felt pretty impressed with myself, which then deflated in last 5.5 miles. I looped through Forest Villa, headed down Carlin then up to Birch. Once again, I was climbing and dropping, and I forgot just how long that street is. When I crossed Kirby, I knew I still had work to do, because Lorraine is a bad mother. I had only climbed it once before, the day after the GMU track race, but this time I was able to focus on a walker who was halfway up the hill. The rest of the run was easy, though as I crossed I-66 a block from home, I was a little flabberghasted that I had been heading the other way 2:15 before. It seemed like days ago.
Monday I had another nice nighttime run, this time though Annandale. It was a similar to a 13 mile run I had done one morning in July, back before Oregon, but with the stark difference that I didn't worry about whether I would survive until I got home. The last time I ran it, I started with a squeeze bottle of solid ice, drained it halfway though, then had to find a water fountain so I could refill the bottle. Monday's run was much more pleasant. I'm so glad the weather is cool and I can train without fear of overheating
Tuesday night, I ran five miles out to McLean High School, via Powhatan, Birch and Old Chesterbook. I did 12 400s with 200 jog- 74,72,71,73,71,71,72,71,72,71,72,71 and ran home on Great Falls. 13 total.
Wednesday I pretty much just ran around the Tidal Basin until the GRC people showed up on the Mall for a workout, warmed up with them and then headed back for a miserable 13 miles.
Thursday I biked to McLean High School for a long workout- 6x2k. It wasn't too ambitious- starting at 80 and getting one second faster per lap in subsequent repeats. YF2K53 was there walking his laps on the outside lane in the dark. It wasn't a memorable workout, I ran 6:36, 6:32, 6:28 and 6:25, but during the third and fourth, I felt increasing gastrointestinal distress. After neutralizing the situation, I resumed the workout, but my legs felt weak. I came through the 1200 a second fast- 3:47, but slowed dramatically and stopped after a 5:07 mile. I thought about doing another 2k at 5:18 pace, but 200 meters in I just didn't have the will for it anymore, so I went for a long cooldown to total 13.
Friday morning I woke up to run before work, but felt terrible, so I slept in and only did 3.25 miles and after work got in another seven.