Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Return of the Snakes

Spring has finally sprung in Washington, D.C....

On Monday evening I ran an easy 7 from The Line. I was pretty tired all day from both Cherry Blossom and post-Cherry Blossom festivities the day before.

On Tuesday, I ran a very easy 8 in the morning. Again, I was tired from Sunday.

On Wednesday, I had a Skype work call at 6:30am which ended up going a little long, so when I finally went running, at 7:30, I was a little crunched for time. I pushed the 8 miles at a good clip.

On Thursday, I ran the 11-mile Pig Trail loop with Luff.

On Friday, I once again ran out of time and got in a fairly quick 6.5 in/around the Cabin John Trails/Radio Tower Field. It was beautiful outside.

On Saturday, I met a bunch of folks at the GRC Store. Outlaw and I branched out after 2 miles and got prepared for a workout we'd texted back and forth about on Friday. The plan was to run 4-miles hard (2 out, 2 back) on the CCT starting from Fletcher's and going north into Maryland. The first 2 were uphill and the going was hard. My splits weren't great (5:20, 5:24), but I felt strong and in control. I flipped it and cruised the last 2 miles in 5:15 and 5:09 (donwhill). Nothing to write home about, but it was a good workout nonetheless, because I felt worked out. It was great to finally run a workout (or a run for that matter) sans shirt and by the end I was definitely craving water. 9 for the day.

On Sunday, I met Dickson at Riley's Lock. Once again, it was a gorgeous day; the sun was shining, but the wind off the Potomac kept things least for the time being. Every bird-watcher in the area was out as were mountain bikers and the like. On our way north down the towpath, we happened on a (at least) 3' long black snake who looked as if he (she?) was getting some sun. Fearing a mountain bike tire might soon put an end to its suntan, I circled back and, with a stick, tossed the serpent back into the bushes. It was heavy, limp and slow, as if it had just recently emerged from hibernation and in retrospect I likely could have simply picked it up. About a mile later, I circled back and removed a painted turtle from the trail. I mean, that's how the North Bethesda Distance Project rolls. Anyways, after saving another dozen critters from their ultimate demise, we continued on our way. We kept things fairly pedestrian for the first 7 miles or so, but then, when we hit the asphalt, we ditched the shirts and the pace lowered to 6:30. Dix wanted to get a workout in during the last three miles and I foolishly agreed to assist. Before we picked it up, we hurdled another couple of snakes (a garter and a black) then got down to business. The first mile was around 5:45 and the second was 5:30, which surprised Dickson when he inquired about the pace. Our 3rd mile was 5:24. We said goodbye (in 8 days he'll run Boston) and I continued south along the towpath towards Violette's Lock before adding another 3 miles. 16 for the day.

As I wandered around the old lock after the run, I spied another black snake that was emerging from the lock house. Come to think of it, the entire place was festooning with them.

66 miles for the week.

Despite my knee pain, I'm thinking I need to uptick the training a little bit and get above that 70-mile-per-week mark. I'm also thinking of extending my season past Broad Street, but I'll make that decision later.

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