"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, January 19, 2012

Laps on a dark track

The visually-pleasing snow Monday afternoon did not last until I got home and ran because by the time I got out there, a mild freezing rain was falling. I headed out to do an Albemarle, but the wet road reflected a lot of the light on the dark stretch, and it wasn't nearly as eerie as usual. I was pretty tired, too, my cough is back.

I had to work late Tuesday, so I didn't get home to start my run until 8, but when I arrived I saw my new shoes, which were long overdue. They were a little rigid, as was to be expected for the first run in them. I went out and did an Oak, and did a pretty good job of keeping it slow on Oak. When I got to the W&OD, I started hammering, and ended up running 5:05 for mile that I ran in 5:42 the week before

Wednesday was downright miserable, and it started long before I got to the track. The metro trip alone took more than an hour, making me late. Dickson, Shredder, Bogart and Raekwan and I warmed up on the track, but that's rarely a good idea for me, mentally, especially when I have a long track workout ahead of me, I just don't want to see those stupid lane lines more than I have to. My whole body felt like my basic balance wasn't there.

I led the 2ks- 78s and 77s, and generally kept things pretty even, though I was two seconds slow in the second 400 of the first, though I made up for it, and was a second fast for each lap of the second. I did well enough with the first two 1ks, hitting 75s for both, thanks in large part to Dave's superb pacing during the second, but I couldn't stay faster than 5:00 pace on the 2x1k that were supposed to be 73s. In fact, in the fourth, I was struggling to keep my legs cranking within the second 100m, and I dropped at 400, running 75. It reminded me I badly need to get turnover work in, after missing it Monday.

Thursday night's weather was fantastic. I was exhausted when I woke up, so I forgot running to work, but came home eager to run a New Virginia Manor in 50-degree weather. I got out to a pretty fast start- 6:07s for the 2.1 miles to the start of the loop, then I got moving. I honestly didn't feel like I was going that fast until I got to the two-mile mark and I was well under 12:00. I came through 5k in 18:03, then finished my first four-mile loop in 23:36. I took it a little harder in the second loop, was 20 seconds faster through two miles and 5k, but I was starting to feel some intestinal distress. The last mile was pretty rough, the flat parts moreso than the uphills, but I finished loop two in 23:24. I'm lucky McLean residents never realized there was a recession and also didn't stop doing home renovations, because there were plenty of portable toilets all over the place. After taking care of business, I was pretty dizzy, but managed to run home for 13.5 miles.

I felt pretty rough Friday morning when I set out to do a reverse Westmoreland++, and by the time I got to the bottom of Grove, I decided to just do a Fisherman's and just double with a five-mile loop in the afternoon. I felt no better after work, so I took the afternoon off. Instead, I doubled Saturday, with an Idylwood+ in the morning and some moderate miles in the evening, after the Olympic Trials broadcast. I ran out to McLean High School and did 5xmile, three in 5:12, two in 5:11. I kicked a bit on the last 100 of the last two, but otherwise, I was consistent with my pacing, and I was pretty pleased with it all and the 80 miles I tallied for the week.

Sunday morning, Raekwon picked me up and we met at Difficult Run with LTO and Dave, Tex and Shredder, Murph, Dangerous Dave and Yukon Jack. We started out heading out to Leesburg Pike and back, on the way back, I managed to twist both ankles pretty badly. My right ankle was so uncomfortable for a while that I wasn't sure if I could keep going, but within a few minutes I stopped limping and was back at it. We crossed over the washed-out portion and the terrain almost immediately improved. Much like my last trip to Difficult Run, the sky was completely clear and the view from the ridge was magnificent. The falls were raging, thanks to days of snow and rain. We ended up with 14.5 miles, and headed back to my place for brunch. I had a few mimosas while cooking pancakes and omlettes before having my own meal, and by the time I sat down, I was pretty much useless. I took a nap and got an easy Fisherman's loop out of the way before dark.

The next morning, Outlaw came to get me to go back to Difficult Run. We met up with Karl and Hanson, but this time stuck to the Great Falls side. We wandered into Riverbend Park and came back on the Bootlegger Trail and got in 11 and change. The falls were once again fantastic, Outlaw got a kick out of the pole marking the river's high water points. Two days in a row running there was pretty fantastic.

Thursday night was wonderfully warm, close to 60, and I felt loose when I headed to McLean High School for another workout in the dark. Since the Spiders were coming up to GW the next night, I moved the GRC workout up a day- 8x800. Given the trouble I had sustaining high speeds with a group last week, I took it easy to start off- 2x2:34, but I was eager to get going, because the next two, 2:30, 2:31, just kind of happened. The next, 2:30, was problematic because I felt my efficient digestive system once again get the best of me, and McLean's bathrooms were inside the school, there entrance to which was a quarter mile away. After that resolution, I hit 2:29, then resolved things, again. Then 2:27, 2:26. The 2:29 went particularly well, because I was at 77 at the quarter, and kicked like crazy. That workout was the first time I noticed any troublesome wind in 2012, but I typically pushed through it pretty well. I finished my last lap with a 71, which pleased me. I knew, however, that some remedial turnover work was going to be necessary, because I didn't trust myself to run under 5:00 pace consistently for the whole workout, though I knew after my third 800 I could do so.

The next morning I ran to work, something that seems to always promise a good time, but ends up being miserable. I got going pretty fast, clocking myself at 6:10s for a few of the half miles on the W&OD. I eased up when I got to the Custis Trail. The cyclists weren't too bad, though they were pretty constant, toward the end. When I passed the Kennedy Center, more than 10 miles in, I felt like I had been running forever. I ended up getting to work after 1:26, for the 13 mile trip.

Thursday morning, I got up at 6 to meet Hulk Logan at Galaudet for my badly-needed turnover work. It was about 20 degrees when I woke up, which usually isn't too bad, except that I encountered it after about 6.5 hours of being almost completely still. The metro had not yet warmed, so the trip into the city was rough. So, too, was the reception at Metro Center- a delay on the red line that put the next trail 13 minutes away. I wanted to get a long warmup before turning it over, so I walked to the office, suffered through a quarter mile on the treadmill, then headed out to the track at the quietest football stadium around. Hulk showed up and we got to work on some 400s, four, then six 300s and seven 200s. None were extraordinarily fast, we got down to 31 for two of the 200s, but it did the job- got me used to moving my legs that fast again. I subtly moved from moving a little faster than I thought I could sustain to cranking it in the middle 100 of a few of the 2s. It's a foundation from which I can build some speed and resistance to self-doubt and weakness.

With my Friday run planned for the morning, I will get four of my five weekday runs done in the morning, not a bad record for a chilly week in January.

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