Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Big Push

Memorial Day capped off a hard three-day weekend of running. Saturday was my 6-mile HM-paced workout, Sunday was 13 miles of hills in Rock Creek and on Monday I ran one of MCRRC’s low key club member races in Rockville. The night before, while tossing back mugs of beer on the patio at my local water hole, I spied Coach Jerry walking down the street. I hid my frothy beverage behind my water glass and asked what he thought of me running the race. He relented at first, but opened up to it once I let him know how good I'd been feeling (ie - no injury-related pain). When I woke up on Monday my legs were noticeably tired, but not in any pain. I thought about bagging it, but the race distance (4 miles) seemed like the perfect test. I had received word that the first mile was down hill, the next two were essentially out-and-back on the Rock Creek Trail and the last mile was uphill (like an out-and-back "T" starting at the bottom of the letter). It seemed like a perfect workout, only I underestimated (as is usual lately) how hard it would be. I shot out quickly, grabbed the lead and never looked back. The bike path was wet and slippery after Sunday night’s storms and a 100m section of wooded bridge was deadly slick. I hit the first mile in 5:02, which seemed slow, but looking at the course (meandering bike path, wooden bridge, puddles) it seemed to make sense. I turned 180-degrees around and bee-lined right back into oncoming race traffic, which really slowed me down. Still, since I was treating this as a workout, it really didn’t matter. My next two miles were right at 5:11 (slow, indeed) and my last mile was a pedestrian 5:31, but as noted it was uphill and I had to negotiate that slick wooded bridge again. Workout complete, I joined the Chicken Tender Spectator for a 4 mile cool down making it 11 for the day.

I ran 10 miles each morning over the next three consecutive days. My legs continue to feel strong, albeit tired. I’m aiming to do run something long and hard this weekend, likely 20 up at Dual Ferries. I’ve only got about another week or so of hard running before the taper begins and then it’ll be rest, rest, rest. 

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