2004-12-12 - Jingle Bell Jog and Sinkhole Sally

13+ miles @ 11+ min/mi

Pride goeth before shin splints. Do my two consecutive 30 mile weeks trigger mysterious pains in my lower right leg starting on Wednesday? Whether or not there is a causal connection, I immediately commence an aggressive policy of resting, and thus do no running for 7 days. But Sunday brings a conjunction of events: the 8k MCRRC "Jingle Bell Jog", comrade Ken Swab's birthday, and the cancellation of a planned visit by ultrarunner Morgan Windram and her friend Karen. Morgan (aka Morgana; see MorganWindram100MilerReport etc.) calls on Saturday afternoon to report that the Hellgate 100k has proved more challenging than expected, so she and Karen aren't driving all the way back from southwest Virginia to crash on the Che^z couches that evening.

Since the phantom pains have left my ankle I decide to accompany Ken on the Jingle Bell Jog. We have a good time, setting a fairly steady pace of a trifle over 11 minutes/mile which gives Ken a new personal record for the distance by more than 2 minutes. (Somehow, KS seems to be able to run without doing any significant training; I am less fortunate.) As usual the MCRRC race is superbly organized, and after noshing and schmoozing (Hi Way-No!)and riding back with Ken, I arrive at home still feeling frisky.

Rumor has it that a huge sinkhole has opened up in downtown Bethesda, so I decide to jog over there to check it out. The run goes well, average ~10:30 pace with no walk breaks and only minimal pauses at major road crossings. Alas, my extra half-mile detour to see the pit full of monster SUV debris is a disappointment; apparently the hole has already been patched. Double-alas, the water fountain near mile 3.5 of the Georgetown Branch Trail is nonfunctional --- but fortunately the weather is cool enough that I survive ~8.5 miles without a drink.