Continuing an experiment of fewer-but-longer outings (see Root Mean Square Dance) I undertake three rambles during the past 10 days. Adapted from my reports in :

2004-04-17 - Big Gee

~16 miles @ ~11.2 min/mi

"Big G" in freshman physics class is the Gravitational Constant ( = 6.67 x 10-11 meters3kg/s2, if anybody cares) --- but when I go running "Big G" is the shape made by following the Capital Crescent Trail from where it begins in Silver Spring, around in a semicircle to near the Kennedy Center, and then turning north on Rock Creek Trail (RCT) to Pierce Mill where I finish the capital "G" with a short crossbar to the Levine School of Music on Upton Street. My daughter's recital there today provides a good excuse to arrive on foot. (An unfortunate "Bump in the Night" traffic accident --- I was rear-ended on the Beltway, coming home from a Friday evening orchestra rehearsal --- has put one car out of commission and keeps me from attempting the MCRRC cross country race in Great Falls this Saturday morning.)

The result: ~16 miles in ~178 minutes; weather is warm, and the trail gets quite congested in places. The first 9 miles pass by at an average pace of 10:47, rather faster than I had planned in spite of walk breaks every 5 minutes or so. No mileposts are visible for quite a distance along the Potomac, but P-P markers on RCT give me a 3-mile average pace of 10:42 past the National Zoo. I'm tired and walk much of the final quarter mile, an uphill stretch to the music school.

Amusingly enough, the only other time I tried this route was almost a year ago, 28 April 2003 --- and my average pace that time was 10:39 for the measured mile segments. Not much change, but I think I feel better today than I did then!

2004-04-20 - Wilting in the Heat

9+ miles @ ~11.8 min/mi

I'm not ready for summer --- I'm not even ready for spring, apparently! In late afternoon I set out from home via back streets ... pass the little neighborhood church in Forest Glen designed by E. Francis Baldwin ca. 1893 ... zig-zag by a school, a pool, and a retirement home ... and slant through Kensington to the Post Office where at the 2.5 mile mark I check our P. O. Box. It's empty, so I cross Connecticut Ave. and go through the Ken-Gar neighborhood to the park at mile 7 of Rock Creek Trail. I witness three trains on the Metropolitan Branch of the C&O: a MARC commuter, an Amtrak bound for Chicago, and a slow freight heading toward DC.

By then I'm melting in the heat, and even dousing my head with cold water from the Ken-Gar Park fountain has no effect. I cover miles 7 to 3 on RCT at an average of 10:54 pace, but suffer. Coming back uphill through Walter Reed Annex I follow a leg of the Inner Purple Line trail, with a generous amount of walking. Maybe I'm still recovering from Saturday's 16 miler? If this is my performance on a slightly warm day, I fear to contemplate what the Washington area summer will do to me ...

2004-04-24 - Tidy Bird Day

11+ miles @ ~11 min/mi

An orbit from home to Bethesda via the Georgetown Branch Trail, then north and east along sidewalks (Arlington Rd., Old Georgetown Rd., Cedar La.) to join Rock Creek Trail, thence home again --- the reversal of a route I took on 10 March (see ThreeNewLoopRuns). Average pace on the first four miles is ~10:20.

Thunderstorms yesterday evening bequeath big puddles to a cool and clear spring morning, along with plenty of cyclists, strolling couples, dog-walkers, and --- most eye-opening --- a variety of seriously fit birds, some traveling solo, others in small flocks (see a dictionary of British slang for further explanation). I consume a Clif Bar during the first 50 minutes of the outing, one bite per walk break, and that energizes me to fartlek dashes along Rock Creek, including blitzy splits of 9:07 and 9:38 for miles 7.5-9.5 of the jog.

(see also InnerPurpleLine (13 Apr 2004), ... )

TopicRunning - TopicPersonalHistory - TopicHumor - 2004-04-27

(correlates: 2004-11-13 - Wonderful Windy Weather, SafetyFirst, YearInIdeas2005, ...)