Sunday, September 16, 2007

I Been Runnin'

Yeah I been running. I haven't been posting, but I've been commenting on posts. I dispense all sorts of advice to posters, who should always remember what the advice cost them before they follow it.
I've been busy at work. You know, work, the curse of the running class.

Last weekend I went to Colorado on business. After running six miles with my Ten-Mile Training Group last Saturday, which capped off a forty-mile week including a track W.O. and a 6K run home from that, I flew out to Denver and drove about 600 miles around the state that evening and on Sunday, visiting my 88 y.o. uncle (my dad's brother), my 90 y.o. aunt (my mom's sister) and three cousins. I went over Wolf Creek Pass twice and remembered how beautiful the Rockies are. (I used to live in Colorado.) I was glad it wasn't snowing, which sometimes happens in September out there. Monday and Tuesday I was doing work stuff in Denver. Way too busy to run. (Below: My Uncle Harry. He earned the Bronze Star in the war against Japan.)

On Thursday I ran during the noon hour at work. I jogged to the Tidal Basin where I ran a virtual 3K race around it in 13:58 (7:30). You see, from the Tidal Basin you can see the Pentagon, which the terrorists struck with a commercial plane at great loss of life on September 11, 2001. Every year since then I have run a memorial 3K race around the Tidal Basin on September 11th. This year I was two days late because of my travel, but I ran it when I could.

Friday evening I left my office near the Capitol at 6 pm to run the bridges, something I had never done before. I ran into Georgetown via the C&O Canal and went over the Key Bridge into Virginia. Running south on the Mt. Vernon Trail, I ran over the footbridge onto Roosevelt Island and circled it. Hurrying down the trail again in the gathering gloom, I ran back into the District over the Roosevelt Bridge, then re-entered Virginia by the Memorial Bridge. Finally gaining the District one last time by running over the 14th Street Bridge, I ran up Capitol Hill in the dark and got back to my office at a few minutes past 8 pm.

I achieved a 10 minute per mile pace for the thirteen miles that I ran, pretty slow, but my friend Bex tells me that that should be my training goal pace on long runs, because it is 90 seconds slower than my hoped-for marathon race pace of about 8:30 minutes per mile. But my feeling is, if I can't do it now at half the distance, how can I do it later at the full distance? Time will tell. (Left: Bex packing her car like a glove minutes before she drove away from the east coast for good enroute to the left coast.)

Yesterday morning I ran eleven miles in the District with my training group, covering the second through ninth miles of the Army Ten-Mile race course. We were doing 9:30 miles. The members of my group are three weeks out from their goal race and all of them are looking terrific as they get ready for Army. (I will be running Chicago on that day.)

This morning a cool crisp note was in the air, a certain indication that fall is at hand. At 8 am I found myself lining up in my village for the start of a 5K race. Talk about a hilly course! The brand new race course runs up the hill that I use for my hill workout. But the official race clock was off by more than four minutes so I had a killer time. (What, that doesn't count?) More on that in the next post.

Even as I write this, NBTR is running in the Philly Half-Marathon. Good luck, Jeanne! [Added later.] NBTR ran a strong race that placed her in the 48th percentile according to her age-adjusted grade. Congrats! (Right: Not Born To Run finishing eight miles in a recent Ten Mile Training Group run on the W&OD Trail.)


CewTwo said...

The bridge run sounded very interesting.

Colorado sure sounds like a nice place. Were the aspens turning yet?

I did my runs this weekend and spent the rest of the time working on the back differential of the Jeep and washing the dog!

I think you had more fun!

Susan said...

Excellent report, as always!

Chicago is less than three weeks away. I am so excited for you!

Black Knight said...

To run the memorial 3K race around the Tidal Basin is a very good way not to forget. No matter if you were late.

jeanne said...

a very newsy report. that's a great 9/11 tradition.

i've never understood the philosophy behind running long runs that much slower than race pace. what happens on race day, do you just magically speed up?

nice photo of your uncle. back when men were men!

and thanks for the shoutout! can't wait to read about the 5k.

Sempre Libera said...

I really like your decision to run a "virtual" memorial race. To run, freely, and sweat and breathe in life seems like the perfect counter-argument to the destruction of that day.