"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, February 3, 2012

My legs wrote a check my lungs couldn't cash

Friday morning came and I stayed in bed. That evening I did a Steelers loop, pretty easy.

I had hoped to do a Spider workout Saturday morning at the outdoor track at the PG County sports complex's outdoor track before watching some indoor races, but overnight snow and ice denied me that. Instead I sat inside and watched our boys (and girl) run the 5k and hang out with McGrath, Tender, Coach Jerry and the guys who raced. I went home and took a two-hour nap, then headed out in hopes that the ice had melted enough for me to do a workout. I tried to sneak onto George Mason's track, but though better of it. I ran over to the Greenwich Mile, which I had long neglected, but major portions were dangerously slick. It was getting dark, and it wasn't going to get any better. I tried out McLean, but the track was a downright bad idea, even for an easy quarter. So, I headed back on Sea Cliff and finished up a Westmoreland, then added a bit on the W&OD before heading home for a 12 mile run that gave me a chance to demonstrate my flexibility with making contingency running plans.

The next morning I woke up early (but after four hours of sleep) to do my long run, an 18-mile CBR. Ice still covered a lot of the side roads, so miles two and three were a frustrating ordeal, but once I got onto Idylwood, my footing improved dramatically. There were few cars on the road, the norm for Sunday mornings in northern Virginia, so I took advantage of the empty lanes. I came through eight miles in 50:30, averaging a little under 6:20, which surprised me, given how slowly I had to run before Idylwood. Chain Bridge Road was delightfully empty most of the time, and I never really felt too taxed by the climb up Glebe. Richmond Street was kind of rough, but once I got on Old Glebe, I was rolling again. I almost went the wrong way on Dittmar, but turned out to be okay, then went after the hills on Williamsburg. Heading south is a little harder, because the steep downhills hurt in a bad way.Once I got to West, I jumped on the W&OD to take to Shreve, which ended up being mostly ice, and turned around on the gravel parallel trail and headed back home for 18 miles, averaging 6:21.

It warmed up Monday and a lots of the ice melted, so I headed out to Vienna on the W&OD, did a loop, then came back for 11 miles. There was ice on the bridges, but otherwise, it wasn't too bad. Definitely came back faster.

I got up to run a Steelers loop before work Tuesday, and for the first time in a while, I felt awful during the run. Maybe it was the short rest after the run the night before, but I just felt like garbage.

I was feeling kind of tight for Wednesday's workout, but I ended up being okay. We did 2x1.5 miles, then 3x1200. Dangerous Dave and I alternated the lead and kept it pretty consistent. 1.5 mile repeats in 78s and 77s, then 1200s in 75s, 74 and 73s. Intestinal distress made the last ones uncomfortable, but I succeeded in spite.

When I left the house to run to work Thursday, I felt downright awful. I even wondered if I should go back. Once I got to Route 29, I was feeling better. I checked a few splits and realized I was going 6:30 on the Custis Trail. While passing the White House, I saw Sarah Morgan and Sarah Burnham within 15 seconds, which was funny. That evening, Karl wanted to run in Vienna, so I joined him for a while, we ran to the east, and he turned around at Virginia St and I went home for a total of 19.5 miles.

I slept in Friday and did a fartletk after work around Hains Point, one-minute intervals and rests. The wind was favorable on the west side, adversarial on the east side, and pleasant on Independence. Did a total of 11.5.

The next morning, I joined Elyse and Will and the Girls on the Run training program. I ran eight miles slowly with them, from Logan Circle through Dupont and Georgetown to the waterfront and Memorial Bridge, over the 14th street bridge and back to Logan, so I could stick to 90 miles.

I was exhausted Saturday, so I vowed not to set an alarm when I went to sleep and let my recovery dictate when I would do my long run/workout. I kept putting it off, until almost 2 in the afternoon. I headed out on Great Falls to Swinks Mill, the first time I had given that road a shot. It was a steep down and up, but pleasant. On the way back on Old Dominion, I managed to catch Mawflower this time, and I was glad I did- it was a nice quiet neighborhood with rolling hills that were a pleasure to run. Dolley Madison was clear when I crossed, so that was a nice touch, and I rolled up to McLean's track with time to spare before 50:00, meaning I averaged faster than 6:15 for the eight mile warmup. I was a little tired, but ready to go. It was pretty windy on the back stretch, and the flags on the goalposts were pretty much horizontal. My pacing was pretty much right on early on- 5:24 for the first mile, 5:22 for the second, 5:26 for the third and I was on my way to another 5:26 when I hit 20 minutes. I jogged the recovery very slowly at first, but felt better quickly. As rough as it felt during the first segment, I thought back to the same workout in October at BCC and how I felt a lot better in the second segment, so I hoped for that to happen. I also realized I was pretty tired, but this is what I wanted- to get 12 miles into the workout, feel beat and have another hard 20 minutes to go- this is where I would break down the mental barriers and push myself. I started out alright, 80 seconds for the first lap, but when I hit the wind on the back stretch, I had to push an awful lot- I hit 600 in 2:00 and realized I was breathing way too hard for the pace I was trying to go, and gave up. I was disgusted that I only lasted two minutes and missed most of the point of the workout- running at my goal half marathon pace when I was tired. I also though back to doing a similar workout without the 8 miles of fast warmup and that I fared better this time, so at least I am improving. I just wasn't at the somewhat arbitrary point where I wanted to be. I felt a little better after I added some distance to my "cool down" by heading out Old Chesterbrook to Old Dominion and back through New Virginia Manor, up the hills, to run 19 miles, my longest run since October. Coming up Massachusetts, I started to feel the cumulative effect of the mileage, but I also felt like I earned the sensation of submerging my face in a basin of cold water afterward to wash off the salt that had collected.

Monday evening, Karl and I ran out to Sunrise Valley on the W&OD and back for 12.5 miles.

Tuesday, I went back to Old Meadow, which I hadn't run in months. 11.25 miles at 6:47 pace.

I skipping my morning run Wednesday in favor of making steak and eggs for breakfast. I had been toyign with doing the faster workout paces, but ultimately decided to wait until after my 5k next weekend to judge if I am ready. This week, I wasn't. I felt great as we did 1.5 miles at 5:12 pace, 2k at 5:08 and a mile at 4:56, but two laps into the 1200 in 72s I started to feel my lose my feel for my lungs, so I dropped. Same thing after half of an 800, splitting 69. I was okay running 65 for the 400, but was dejected to not be able to push though the last lap of two of the intervals. It was the same feeling as Sunday, that I just wasn't as comfortable running those paces as I would like to be.

I wisely cancelled my morning run with JARRIN, then managed to sleep through two alarms, so whatever run I would do would have to be after work. I got home and headed out on a Rose and Fern and promptly ran it too fast. 5:55 pace through five miles, 6:01 through 10 and 19:59 for 5k after that.

I need to replace my camera, so I can include actual photos in these posts, and not just screen captures of Google Streetview scenes of places I run.

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