Saturday, March 15, 2014

Seven Miles

This week I ran five days and went 25 miles.  That's the furthest I've gone in a week for at least nine months, maybe for two or three years.

My running is in a sweet spot right now.  I've been keeping my chronic left ankle injury in check (an "extra bone" in my foot which abrades the tibial tendon) and have been slowly, very slowly, pushing my total miles each week out past about twenty miles per week.  I have permanently reduced my pace.

I've also dipped out of the Clydesdale class, hopefully for good, after several years of being so overweight I was approaching obesity, brought on by two years of not running when I developed a cumulative injury in 2009 after nine wonderful years of running "fast" and "far" (it's all relative).

Today I ran seven miles on the W&OD Trail with a friend from work, the furthest I've run since late 2011 when I topped out at an eight-mile run and a nine-mile run before falling back to long runs of under six miles for the next two years.   In the good ol' days I could run 12 miles in the morning and throw down a 24-minute 5K race in the early evening.

I picked up my running buddy and put the top down in my newly purchased used convertible which another friend from work laughingly calls my "roadster."  But it only has 11,500 miles on it and it's sharp so I love it.

And I like my running buddy too because we can talk shop on our runs, she's smart and she offers me advice on things.  She doesn't know American pop culture in the same sense that I "know" it because when I say things like, "What we have here is a failure to communicate" or "We need a bigger boat," she doesn't know what I'm talking about, but I think that's an age thing because those are movie quotes that go back a long way.

We drove to MP 3.5 on the trail and set out for its eastern end as my friend's getting ready for a HM in six weeks and her schedule called for a 7-mile LSD.  That's apparently within my conditioning, and hers, as the run went fine.

The W&OD is flat, being a paved-over railroad bed, although I found a couple of short, sharp hills (spurs off and onto the trail) for us to run on.  We huffed and puffed along and reached the turnaround in Shirlington at MP 0 in 36:50 which included at least two 30-second stops at intersections.  A ten-minute per mile pace was more than satisfactory.

We lost a minute on a water break at the turnaround and then came back the hard way after being held up for a minute or more at at least two more intersections, by cutting across Four Mile Run (a creek) to the Four-Mile Trail, which runs parallel to the W&OD across the way.  That trail is much narrower, rarely used and extremely hilly.  My workmate doggedly kept on going up hill and down dale, and we finished our seven miles in 1:21:38 after a detour to peer into a parked classic VW Beetle and a water break after a killer hill.  She's a good sport and didn't complain about my "diversion" to the "far side."

It was far from a negative split but I think it was an excellent, adventurous run which is what I love about running.  As for me, I'm thinking about doing a HM in the fall.

No comments: