Sunday, February 8, 2015
Race Ready or Not
On Monday, I ran an easy 8+ from Katie's place. It was tough going, as a result of the Super Bowl, and the beers, the night before.
On Tuesday, I ran down to Cabin John (2+ miles) and did a 5 mile loop through the trails and the ran home. It was very cold, which made it miserable.
On Wednesday, I ran the Rock Creek Trail loop and threw in 8 x 60 second (60 secs off) pick-ups about 5 miles in. I was essentially running the "ons" as fast as I could possibly could (4:30-4:45 pace) and the effort left me tired, but it was also rewarding. I even had a few endorphins going.
On Thursday, I ran the Walter Reed Annex Loop. I pushed the last 4 or 5 miles out of necessity since I was running into a cold headwind. 11 for the day.
On Friday. I ran 9 from Katie's -- the Cabin John-Cell Phone Field Loop backwards. Oh, I saw a red fox too.
On Saturday, I slept in and waited until 11:00am before stepping out the door to run. Even though it was only about 2 hours after I would normally run on a weekend, I find it difficult to get into a rhythm when I run at an "odd" hour. I notice that my breathing appears labored and I generally am out of whack. In any case, it's all worth it to get an extra hour, or so, of sleep in. I got in an easy 7.
On Sunday, I woke up early, made some coffee and oatmeal, and headed to Pentagon City to race the Run the Love Your With 5k. My goal was to put in a hard effort and see where I was fitness-wise. I know Outlaw had run fast here (sub-15:00) and, since I am in desperate need of speed, I figured this would be a good rust buster. I ran the course with Sean and Kyle as a warm-up. It is an out-and-back that has a sharp hill a 1/4 mile in and some long, rolling hills after that, but it didn't appear to be a "hard" course. My goal was to run as close to 5:00 pace as possible.
The marshal blew the air horn and I immediately found myself in about 10th or 12th place. When me made the sharp left and began our ascent up the sharp hill I slowly worked my way to the front of the pack and by the top of the hill I had taken the lead. I've been hammering hills in practice, so this didn't totally surprise me, but the pace seemed slow -- way too slow for a 5k. I attempted to surge the decline when I crested the hill, but everyone else in the race (Kevin, a pair of PACERS, Charlie and some others), it seemed, had the same idea. Now, I found myself in 5th or 6th place. I played yo-yo with Sean for the next 2 miles (5:08, 5:09), and it felt as if I was running quite quick (I didn't look at my watch until after the race). By mile 2.5, Sean had gapped me pretty good, but I hugged the curb on the downhill and made up about 5 seconds on him and Otto as we crashed back towards Pentagon Row. I took the right-hand turn in stride and did my best to continue my cadence to the finish line, sneaking past my red-headed step-son somewhere between mile 3 and 3.1. I finished in 6th and my time was 16:00, which was much slower that I thought I'd be. That said, I don't really know what I would have done differently; it felt as if I was running flat out the entire time. Still, I never want to see "16" anything in a 5k, but I suppose I have to start somewhere. Although running faster than this seems difficult right now, I think I can maintained this pace (5:09) for a couple more miles...in a couple more weeks.
Sean and I ran an 8 mile cool down, which might be a PR for me, making it 14 for the day.
Time to start getting in some speed.
67 miles for the week.