On Saturday I met Hanson, Karl and Max at the Store for the Ernst Loop. The towpath and Glover Archibald trails were slick with mud and the air was cold, which left our black tights caked in mustard brown. For the most part, we kept the pace pretty calm but, as is usual, pressed Ernst Hill -- simply because it was there. I got in 10.
I met Karl at The Line on a very frigid Sunday morning. It was the coldest run in recent memory as the "feels like" temperature hovered around 5 degrees. A light snow covered the forest floor making Rock Creek look both beautiful and peaceful in the mid-morning light. The trails weren't slick and the going was quite pleasant, but it was cold...damn cold. After about 30 minutes of trekking, we met Patrick Murphy somewhere along the creek. We then proceeded towards the National Zoo...and then we proceeded up Zoo Hill. The zoo was mostly empty aside from a few brave moms and dads pushing baby strollers. Some animals rolled in the snow while others simply stared. Patrick left us once we got to Connecticut and, since Karl had already run 5 miles in 27:20 before even starting this adventure, I decided to press a couple miles solo once I got on rolling Ross Drive. The hill was slick in places from white snow and black ice, but for the most part it was solid running. I dipped down to 5:35s and hammered my way to "Three Mile Bathroom" at which point I caught back up with Karl again (who had stuck to Beach) and jogged the trails back home to The Line. I got in 14.
It was a 67 mile week and I was quite happy with that (especially considering the shape my stomach has been in). It's my best week of mileage since summer 2010, my first double since summer 2010 and my first workout in months. My IT band still gets sore after I run north of 12 miles, so I need to take precautionary steps to prevent this. But, all in all I am cautiously moving forward in the right direction and that makes me happy.