Pacers, a local running store/club, put on a 4-mile race for Dads yesterday morning from their store in Pentagon Row. Rather than drive all the way down there, and spend $40 to register, I ran a virtual 4-mile Father's Day race yesterday morning on the W&OD Trail behind my house.
I ran the same route I did two weeks ago, described two posts ago, in 39:51 back then with the first mile at 10:20 and the second terrible uphill mile where the trail climbs over I-66 in 9:56. By starting at a different spot yesterday, I put that uphill stretch in the 3d mile so I burned off the first mile on a level stretch in 8:40 this time around, even running down a couple who were two hundred yards ahead of me pushing a running stroller and running with a dog on a leash.
The time dropped swiftly as I hit the second milepost in 18:20 (9:10) and then hit the long uphill leading to Milepost 8, a slog every bit as tough as the run up Capitol Hill in the District. Whatever my time was for the third mile was ugly but the fourth mile had a nice long downhill so perhaps I made some time back.
I hit the tape at 38:39 (9:40), better than two weeks ago but still far from satisfactory. I remember three years ago, before I got hurt and took all that time off and gained all that weight, doing the same four-mile stretch with all four miles coming in at just under 8 minutes, including the uphill.