2012-03-18 - Metropolitan Branch plus Speedwork with Clair

~12 miles @ ~11 min/mi

It's 5:45am and I'm feeling heavy (the scale reads almost 150 lbs.) as I start out on a cool foggy morning from home to downtown Silver Spring and thence along the Metropolitan Branch Trail. Single-passenger buses and empty taxicabs dominate the traffic as the sun rises. The GPS trackfile reveals how I lose the trail and zig-zag quasi-drunkenly along Longfellow St NE and 1st St NE. At last I find my way to the Ft Totten Metro and rejoin the right route. DC's street-naming convention is a runner's delight: backwards down the alphabet from three-syllable names (Tuckerman, Sheridan, Rittenhouse, ...) to two-syllable (Kearney, Jackson, Irving, ...) to one-syllable to single-letters. That's progress!

At Catholic University I pause to read aloud and voicemail myself the words inscribed along the top façade of the Columbia Law School building: "Conscience Honesty Learning Integrity Service Community Fairness Liberty Justice Equality Truth Compassion Fidelity Wisdom Charity Trust", reading right-to-left. Lovely and inspirational — one hopes the student-lawyers occasionally look up. My thumbs are numb as I text a progress report to Comrade Clair to make sure that arriving half an hour ahead of sched is OK.

We meet and then it's six quick laps around the track at McKinley Technology High School near her home: 400m intervals, commencing with 1:47 and descending to the last at 1:42. Clair gets dry heaves after the fifth one, a proud sign the speedwork is not too easy. She's signed up for some 5k races coming up soon and has asked me to help her prepare. I chat at first to distract, but not so much as our pace accelerates. Then it's Metro home for me, and cross-training by helping haul the old washing machine up the basement steps and out to the street.

^z - 2012-03-29