Sunday, December 21, 2014

Winter Comes to the Red Fox

On Monday, I ran a very easy 6.5 miles never dipping below 7:00/mile.

On Tuesday, I was short for time so I pushed the run, just a little, and got in 9 miles in and around the Rock Creek Trail.

On Wednesday, I ran down to Tilden and worked myself up and down the hills in the neighborhood. I wanted to push the last two miles and ran the first, a gradual uphill, in 5:41, and the second, a gradual downhill, then a gradual uphill, in 5:17, which is the fastest I've closed in a training run in awhile. I was pretty beat. I got in 9.5.

On Thursday, I ran an easy 7 down to, and around, Rock Creek.

On Friday, I ran around the NIH. Last time I ran around the NIH I was joined by a young man who darted across the traffic light while I waited for my signal. This annoyed me, so as soon as the signal changed, I ran him down and stuck to his heals. I covered every move he made, but strangely we never said anything to each other...or looked at each other. In any case, the man was nowhere to be seen today. On my way back to North Bethesda, I took to the hills of Parkwood. Hills are definitely getting easier. I got in 8.

On Saturday, I met Sam Luff and Jerry Greenlaw at Old Angler's Inn. Outlaw recently debuted in 2:31, a remarkable marathon regardless, but even more impressive since it was his first. Luff hadn't run for days, because he had recently ended his season after racing clubs in Lehigh. Needless to say, both were taking it easy. I was itching to run quick, especially on the flat, fast towpath, but alas, we stuck to the trails, which was fine all the same. I got in about 9.5.

On Sunday, I met Dix and Charlie up at Sycamore Landing Road. I've said it before, but I'll say it again - I love it up here. We opted to run the roads. I really wanted to get in some hills and I told the party I was going to try to pick it up near the end. We started easy, but quickly got down to 6:25 pace. Charlie stopped to use the bathroom at some point, but all and all it was easy going. By the time we got to River Road, we started to pick up the pace, but nothing crazy. Charlie used the bathroom again. Around 9 miles I declared my intentions - 3-4 miles hard starting at mile 10. Dix let Charlie and I do our thing. The particular stretch before "the hills" on River Road was longer than I remember so the entire first mile of our tempo was rather flat - 5:34. Shortly after GPS beeped, we began to attack "the hills". Charlie let out a groan, which wasn't peculiar, because had you not run this section before, and not known what was coming, it can literally take your breath away. Our pace plummeted, but our effort probably doubled. This stretch of hills lasts about 2/3rds of a mile and when I got to the top, I ran a 1/4 of a mile down until my watched beeped (6:10 - without a doubt the fastest I've ever run these hills before) and then turned around. Charlie used the bathroom. Although there are at least 3 or 4 solid uphill bumps on the way back down the hill, it was most certainly in my favor. I hit mile 3 in 5:10 and then attempted to stride out my last mile on the flatter section of River, but I was pretty spent and could only muster a 5:44. I cooled down with Dix and Charlie back to the cars. We got in 15.5.

I got in 65 miles for the week, same as last week, which is definitely my sweet spot right now. That's an average of 58 miles a week for the last 8 weeks. Nothing to write home about, but solid training based on where I was earlier this fall. I'm most certainly getting stronger and the confidence is starting to return.

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