2011-04-23 - Oh Deer Gate

~15.6 miles @ ~10.6 min/mi

http://zhurnaly.com/images/running/Rock_Creek_Sligo_Creek_Loop_map.jpg"Watch out!" I warn Cara Marie Manlandro as we enter Brookside Gardens and suddenly find ourselves treading on narrow pipes set several inches apart on the roadway. It's what I call a "deer gate", aka cattle grid, designed to keep hoofed creatures from invading and eating all the flowers. For CM and me it's an adrenaline moment, as we must step carefully to keep feet from slipping through and causing ankle damage or worse.

In general, CM is quite dangerous for me to run with, and vice versa. We each push the other a bit hard, in both pace and distance. At dawn this Saturday morning with intermittent light rain falling we set off from my home and proceed up Rock Creek Trail, reminiscing about other long runs along the way. After ~7.5 miles we turn east and follow the sidewalks beside Randolph Rd. I find a shiny penny on the street near Georgia Av. My warning, "Too fast!", has no effect as our average pace drops below 11:00, below 10:45, and then below 10:30 min/mi. But we slow down a bit later, and lose additional time at major road crossings. Previous solo journeys I've undertaken on this route were all at 11+ min/mi pace (cf. 2004-05-16 - Rock Creek and Sligo Loop, 2004-12-04 - Sligo - Glenmont - Rock Creek Orbit, 2006-05-07 - Up Rock, Down Sligo, 2006-09-02 - Ernesto Mist)

Achy left heel plantar fasciitis is my annoyance today; CM suffers from quad and hamstring twinges. My weight is moving in the right direction, down ~1.5 kg when I get home, due mainly to dehydration of course. In recent weeks the digital scale has shown me numbers under 150 lbs with increasing frequency. I hope to continue pushing the poundage slowly downward. Alas, it's probably the only way I'll get any faster. (cf. NeedForSpeed) |

The Gap of Shame

CM's plan is to do 14-16 miles today. I'm not sure of the exact length of the loop when we start. "Will you kill me if this turns out to be 17 miles?" I ask. CM hints that she might. But as we approach my home the GPS reads only 15+ and I begin to breathe easier.

At the final short steep hill CM proposes a cooldown walk. "No, we must run up," I contend. "If we don't there will be a Gap of Shame in the trackfile!" But I'm overruled, so I hit the "Stop" button on the GPS. On this magnified view the green marker shows where we started. The red is where we finished, ~50 m short. I blush. | http://zhurnaly.com/images/running/Gap_of_Shame.jpg |

(cf. trackfile) - ^z - 2011-05-01