Yesterday, I met up with our group in Crystal City as usual, and we made our way out to the Mt. Vernon trail, this time, taking the trail south, toward Old Town Alexandria.
Most people prefer running north on the trail, seeing the planes take off, and looking at DC from across the river. That, in turn, bores me to tears, probably because I passed that same route, twice a day, when I was commuting by bike in the last two years. So that part is just not exciting for me…
I started the run chatting with Blair, who is MUCH faster than me. She was slowing her pace so I could keep up with her, I was going faster so she could keep up with me, and in the end, I finished my first mile at 10:07 pace, probably my best mile ever. She dropped me shortly before that, so I tried to keep pushing myself to complete the whole 50 minutes.
I did realize one problem with having runs by time, not mileage: the whole time I kept thinking that the faster I ran in the beginning, the more I’d have to run on the way back. So not much incentive for running faster, is it?
I did slow down considerably after she dropped me, and I basically hit my wall shortly after that. I had to concentrate really hard to keep going — it’s one of the problems of getting used to running with company, you can’t really get out of your head when you’re running alone, sans music. I even walked for about a minute on the way back to Crystal City.
It was a hard run, I was thirsty (it’s getting warm enough that I should get better at hydration before and during the runs), and I was just TIRED. My only motivation was that it was a short run, I had to be able to do this, and I had to push myself to go a bit faster than my comfortable pace.
At the end, I finished the 4.57 mile run, at a 10:58 pace, probably my fastest yet (the only time I went faster than this was on a 5k last year, when I finished with a 10:20 pace — I got the awful burns on my legs the next day, which undid any good training I had built).
I felt miserable during the whole run, but as always, felt great as soon as it was over. When we get back to our building, we hit the gym a bit for some weights then finally headed home for dinner.
My foot? Still hurts. But the pain is not so bad to the point that it makes me stop. As long as it’s not getting any worse, I think I can deal with it…
I can’t wait until Karl’s knee is better to go for some short runs around the area so I can use the Five Fingers…
This week, I’ll be missing on the Saturday run as we have engagement pictures to take — not nearly as exciting as it sounds (does it even sound exciting?). A friend of mine is taking our pictures around the Mall (ack, the tourists!!), so we’re not sure if we’ll be done in time for the run. So far, I’m planning on running with Sherry on Sunday morning. We only have a 5 mile run schedule — yay for Cherry Blossom taper!