Monday, March 3, 2008

Monday Night Footmall

Yesterday was a lovely day after a long cold winter. I was going to do a club 12K race mid-morning that runs on forest trails around a lake about thirty miles from my house but I got involved in projects and didn't go. Then I was going to do a long run, maybe a 16 or a 20-miler, but I didn't go out. I watched the day go by out a window.

Finally at 4 pm I decided to do a virtual 12K race to make up for the race I had not done earlier. It would be a very efficient "race" since there would be no transit or waiting around time. I went to the curb and set out.

I turned the first uphill mile in 8:18. It would have been faster but I passed by a penny and went back to retrieve it. A lucky penny, I hope.

I didn't know any more mile reference points til at 5 miles, I hit the W&OD Trail. At MP 8 on the trail, a mile from my house, I backtracked up a big hill to MP 8.5. Most satisfying, I passed one of those low-rider bicyclists on the hill.

"You need a lower gear," I said helpfully as I went by. He looked at me sharply. The tension on the trails between bikers and runners immediately came to the forefront.

"Actually I need a higher gear," he said. What the heck do I know?

Reversing course again at the half-mile marker, I ran back to MP 8, turning that mile in 8:48. I got home in 1:05:55, my 7.5 miles done at an 8:50 pace. Not exactly race pace, but good enough for a decent outing on a glorious afternoon.

Tonight after work I ran from Union Station to the Watergate where I met up with Sasha to run on the Mall. She calls this run Monday Night Footmall. We ran up behind the Capitol and back, nine miles for me in 1:26 (9:33). Sasha definitely was leading and I had to force myself to keep up, thinking I used to be faster than her. The darkness, uneven surfaces and hills were all bothering me.

Afterwards I jumped on a subway and rode to my stop. The car was too crowded for anyone to be able to move away from me in my sweaty clothes. Then I ran from the station to my house, a familiar mile even in the dark, in 7:25. That was a nice cap to my evening.

11 comments:

DawnB said...

been there been, and then you just don't get it. How can you let such a gorgeous day slip by

Rainmaker said...

I know that mile marker 8.5 well. When I go cycling, I park at the school near 8.0ish (right before the backside of that same hill). On my long rides, 8.5 is always the last hill before the car. Yesterday after 50 miles, I was cursing the thing all the way up that shallow and then not to shallow hill.

It's odd, that area between 8.5 and around 10.5 is a very messy bike/non-bike area. I don't know why, but the rest of the trail seems much happier than that little section along the flats. Non-bikers always walking 4 abreast, and bikers always weaving in and out of the tiniest gaps. Odd.

cindy said...

Way to pick up the penny!

Susan said...

What a day! Wow -- you did quite a bit.

Isn't it nice, though, to know that you were a part of Sasha's success?

Sunshine said...

Lucky penny, lucky lovely Sunday run. Keep us dreaming of spring!!

Lisa - Slow & Steady said...

Monday Night FootMALL. How funny.

ShirleyPerly said...

I actually thought to climb hills, you need a low gear, just as with cars. But what do I know ... I just ride bikes. I do know, however, that those low-rider bikes are called recumbents or just "bents."

Dori said...

At least you can't get injured in a virtual race. ;-)

I don't like running in the dark either. The older we get, the more wordly we are about danger. I'll bet you're still faster than Sasha in the daylight.

Jade Lady said...

I like your idea of monday night football much better than the real thing. And, I proclaim virtual races to be the IN THING! Speaking of virtual races - u doing Simply Stu Virtual Tri (u can bi, if u prefer, or whatever!).

Petraruns said...

Virtual races are perfect and nice time for no company (except for a narky cyclist). Thanks for the yoga tips - I'm throwing it into the mix for consideration...

Just12Finish said...

That's a nice route. I miss running in DC, but then I have you to re-live it by.