A week after Bull Run Run 2007 I come down with a horrible cold and cough, accompanied by audible wheezing from my lungs. It's probably a bronchitis that's going around the office. (I don't blame most illness on exercise — I believe in the Germ Theory of Disease!) After five days of hacking and a few hours in the Kaiser clinic waiting room I meet Nancy, an extraordinarily smart and helpful and funny physician's assistant who prescribes inhalers of albuterol (beta agonist) and beclomethasone dipropionate (corticosteroid) plus a short course of antibiotic pills. I'm definitely illegal for the Tour de France and the Olympics now! The meds seem to do little or nothing for me, so after another visit to Nancy I stop taking them and continue to slowly improve. On Friday I start running again, and as usual overdo it. Log entries follow:

2007-04-14 - Bull Run 50 Miler

50.4 miles @ ~14.8 min/mi

see Bull Run Run 2007 and Bull Run Run 2007 Photos

2007-05-04 - Test Loop

~4 miles @ ~11.3 min/m

Today I've got tons of excuses as I leave home for my usual short neighborhood circuit (Seminary to Forest Glen, Linden, Woodstock connector trail, Ireland, south on Rock Creek Trail, then home via Capital Crescent and Warren Street). It's the first run in 19 days, the course is hilly, I don't take walk breaks (other than a minute when my son calls me as I pass under Rock Creek Trestle), I've been sick, it's too hot, my socks don't fit me, I hurt my fingernail bowling earlier today, etc., etc.! But a video of the 1954 Commonwealth Mile, Roger Bannister vs. John Landy, inspires me to press onward. (2008 note: it's no longer available --- why not?) An unseen woodpecker taps a staccato beat, and cyclists on RCT wish me a happy weekend. The county is resurfacing the CCT near mile 0.5 with nice new crushed bluestone, so I have to crawl around barriers blocking each end of that trail segment. The Nike "Free" shoes I'm wearing feel good for the first 3 miles, but then I start to get pains on the bottom of my left foot. Perhaps they aren't made for street running. My heartbeat is 160 when I arrive home, but after a few minutes it's down to 130. Whew!

2007-05-05 - Lost and Found on the CJT

9+ miles @ ~13 min/mi

I'm crusing the freeway at 5:40am, the radio is blaring "Touch of Gray", and I'm singing "I will survive" with the Grateful Dead. Caren Jew and I are meeting at dawn to jog part of the Cabin John Stream Valley Trail for an hour or two before today's MCRRC 5k cross-country race. I hear the cellphone ring over Jerry Garcia, but it stops before I can fish it out of my fanny pack. When I get off the highway and pause at a red light I check voicemail and discover that the call is from Mary Ewell, who missed the turnoff and needs directions to the park. Caren and I talk her in, and a bit after 6am we set off.

The CJT is ill-marked north of Tuckerman Lane and the three of us get lost repeatedly, but eventually we wend our way to the end of the trail (cf. LateOctober2005JogLog, 30 Oct 2005, the last time I was here). Ken Swabarrives at the parking lot, phones, and heads upstream to rendezvous as the trio turns south and misses the creek crossing. We pause to take pictures of each other crossing a slightly-scary and definitely-rickety bridge over the Cabin John Stream.

(photo by Caren Jew)

As we backtrack to the last set of blue blazes Caren spies Ken on the opposite side. We shout to get his attention and soon join up. Mary and Ken set a brisk pace, so Caren and I hang back, talking and walking. We loop around, chat with the volunteers setting up the race's aid station and when we arrive back at the start/finish area convey their message to Race Director Tom Temin that they need more water. Then it's time to register and shake the dirt out of my shoes. I join Christina and take photos of the little kids at their fun run, and then we line up for the 5k "Hills of Cabin John" XC. Christina leads at a stiff pace, by my standards, on the lovely but challenging course. Our splits are ~11:50 and ~12:35 for the first two miles, that latter including a pause to clamber over a big fallen tree that blocks our way. We finish together in just under 38 minutes, then eat, walk, and talk for a while. I take a short nap after I get home, and waken to find my legs sore and stiff. I will survive!

2007-05-06 - CCT Speedwork

10 miles @ 10.9 min/mi

"Too fast!" I begin complaining as soon as Ken and his fellow Congressional staffer Dina set off in front of me. It's about 9am and we're at the 3.5 mile post on the Capital Crescent Trail in downtown Bethesda. Dina and Ken ignore me and, to my considerable surprise, I'm able to maintain a nearly-11 pace for 10 miles. Maybe I'm distracted by the chance to bore a new pair of ears with my old stockpile of anecdotes? Dina is comfortable trotting along without walk breaks, but as a concession to me she walks perhaps a minute every mile. We chat about our families and jogging experiences, and both agree that Ken is genetically much more talented a runner than we can ever be. (At least, that's my excuse!)

Jim Cavanaugh meets us early during the run and I salute him for his great Promise Land 50k result last week. Ken is planning his first 50k, Capon Valley, next Saturday. I consider the possibility of going with him, but odds are I'll come to my senses before I drink the Gatorade. In compensation I offer Ken my usual "Voice of Doom" unsolicited advice on ultramarathon race strategy. At the Arizona Avenue trestle we see Michelle Price, who has run Capon Valley several times and who will likely be there again this year. Ken pauses to chat with her but soon catches up with Dina and me.

Bicycles are constantly whizzing by. Ken and I try to give positive reenforcement to those who warn us as they approach from behind, thanking them and wishing them a good day. In the final mile of the return trip we see a crowd on the trail ahead: apparently a cyclist has hit a dog. Fortunately everybody seems more-or-less all right as we pass by. At this point I'm definitely suffering, but almost manage to keep up with Ken and Dina's sprint to the finish. After I get home, though, the old legs remind me of my foolishness every time I walk downstairs.

(cf. HatBulge (23 Oct 2006), InnerGoat (12 Nov 2006), SharperImage (10 Dec 2006), All Good (13 Jan 2007), RacyJetsam (4 Feb 2007), AggressiveResting (17 Mar 2007), NotSoDifficultRun (10 Apr 2007), ...)

TopicRunning - TopicPersonalHistory - 2007-05-06

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