w&od trail

W&OD Trail Run

Got off to a hobbly start. I wore my knee thing, with some anti-chaffing cream under it so it wouldn’t rub my skin raw!! The first half was very windy and mostly up hill. I’ve never run on this trail before, it was nice! Not as nice as Mount Vernon Trail, but whatever. I liked that there were bathrooms (don’t need em!!) and water fountains along the way.

Last half I got sooooo hungry! Should bring a gel for my summer long runs. A little pain in my knee still, but after when I did my cool down walk it was fine. My toe hurt just a little as well, but I really think the extra cushion in the boost is helping.

Next Sunday is the Parkway Classic, only 10 miles, so afterward I’m planning on running 6 to get some mileage in for my long run. 

Dealing with some *gi issues* (I feel comfortable saying that here). I think the cause was not being hydrated well enough yesterday and today, even though I drank my whole 20oz bottle today. 

Boring day the rest of today.  Not sure whats going on, although I’d like to get some sun. Then GoT viewing at my co-workers.

And 690 miles to go for the year!!

What a progression run tonight. I hit the W&OD after work and as usual headed out from Reston towards Sterling. When I started I still felt tight from last night’s coaching run at Life Time, which I followed up with some lower body strength work. I kept it very easy and let my body get into the flow. Slowly but surely I got a little faster, all while keeping it easy. Then with a mile to go I picked it up to what I hoped would be half marathon pace. And I nailed it. The best part was that it didn’t even feel particularly hard in that final mile. Finished up with a half-mile cooldown. 

It’s always nice to get a great fitness benchmark. And I know I can still get better before September 13. 

I decided to commute home the really old fashioned way tonight. And I made it a tempo run to boot. I hit some nice splits in miles 2-4 when I could go uninterrupted on the W&OD to Vienna. I took a mile recovery then started up again but those splits don’t look nearly so impressive thanks to being back amongst street traffic as darkness began to fall. Those miles were more like random fartlek miles. Finally with about 2 to go I shut it down for a cooldown. All told it was a pretty good run.

The only catch is I have to get back to work - and where my car is parked - tomorrow morning. That “commute” will certainly be at a more leisurely pace.

Chicago-Hansons Week 11/18: Mid-Week Check In

(with bonus mini race recap!)

Not to self: STOP WITH THIS POSE. 

I think a summary of the “big” runs of the past week could just be, blargh. 

I ran a race over the weekend, the Leesburg 20k. And okay, I went into it having spent two days at the beach with friends, getting very little sleep, and a little too much alcohol. It wasn’t the ideal prep for race day. 

The race started bright and early at 7:30am but it was already HOT. I was so not prepared for that. Luckily, almost the entire course was on the W&OD trail which was nicely shaded! The course was also an out and back…with the out going up and the back coming gradually down.

The race was very quiet. That’s the only way I can think of how to describe it. Since it was all on a bike path and pretty early in the morning, the only spectators were the aid station volunteers. They, however, were totally awesome. A ton of aid stations (since they were there on the out and back) and so many people and so loud when I came through!

I did pretty well all things considered but I’m not going to lie, my effort felt so flat somehow. I think it was a combination of the previous few days and also just general exhaustion from training.

The other problem was that I am TERRIBLE at pacing myself. Seriously. I wanted to hit between 7:50-8:00 for my miles but everytime I looked at my watch I was too fast or too slow and then I would panic and try to compensate and I have no chill, basically.

I also totally miscalculated the distance I had left at the end. I tried kicking for the last .25 but it ended up being more like .45 and uphill and ohmygod my poor legs. My poor poor legs.

Official results: 1:37:25. 28th female. 6th in AG (the 5th place girl in my AG was at least four minutes ahead of me which actually makes me happy. If she had finished just a minute or 40 seconds ahead I would be thinking of all the ways I could have been faster overall).

Since I raced on Sunday, I made Monday a recovery day and ran an easy 6 miles. Nothing happened.

Tuesday was a rest day!

This morning (Wednesday) I was back on with an eight mile tempo run. It’s the first time I’ve had to do it in Gaithersburg (where my office is) and I was not thrilled about it because I had to get up even earlier than usual to get there and it’s all on sidewalks with road crossings, etc.

It sucked. I really failed the pacing thing again. First mistake:I realized  I’m using my tempo runs as speed work. They aren’t supposed to be! They’re supposed to be race pace practice. This is why I can’t maintain pace. 

Second mistake: general overcompensation every time I look at my watch. Too fast, too slow, I could not settle down at all. It was hard and I ended up feeling pretty cranky about the idea of running 26.2 miles at race pace. LUCKILY, Chicago has a pacer for the 3:30 and we are going to become BFFs.

Anyways, they can’t all be good but I’m hoping my aha moment about tempo runs=race practice will really help me improve over the next few weeks because race day approacheth!

Rocking my old school DC Roadrunners Club singlet tonight on the W&OD near work. It was progression run time, a good old fashioned McMillan “thirds” run: 20 minutes easy, 20 minutes moderate-easy, 20 minutes at marathon pace effort. The MP segment was solid, averaging about 7:19/mile. Cooled down for about 6 minutes afterwards for 8.3 total miles, 7:52/mile average pace. I’ll take that.