Illness and icy conditions have kept me from jogging as much as I hoped to do for the past month, but I've managed to get out for a semi-longish ramble every week or two. Herewith, snippets from my entries thus far on Brian Tresp's shared space (see RunningBlogs):

Comic Relief

(13 Jan 2004)
Brian invited me to post some logbook entries here, but since I'm 50% slower than everybody else I presume that it's meant to provide some chuckles, or maybe "There but for the grace of [insert favorite deity] go I" cautionary notes to those who don't train enough ... but in any event, on Tuesday I took a few hours off work to schlep my daughter to U.Md. for a violin lesson and had a nice 5+ mile jog along Paint Branch trail ... 56 minutes, walk breaks ~1/10, from the College Park campus northward to Cherry Hill Road and back ... between mileposts 2.5 and 3.5 on the trail I went 'fast' (for me!) and achieved a 9:54 mile outbound and an incredible 8:19 coming back ... the wind made it quite chilly compared to Saturday at Hillandale (which I'll report on later, knock on wood) ... desolate lunar landscape after the tornado of two years ago ... scared a heron (or crane? --- blue-gray, long-legs) which took flight at my approach ...

Icy Semi-marathon

(24 Jan)
Ten days of zero mileage, due to cough/cold/sore-throat ... winter snowstorm due to arrive tomorrow ... so today must be my day to run, in spite of residual sniffles! ... up at 5am, go to laundromat where I wash a week's worth of family dirty clothes, back home before 8 and find everybody else still abed ... put on wife's tights, two pairs of shorts, three shirts, mittens over gloves, and a hat on top of it all, and start out at 8:30am ... temps in low-to-mid-20's, dusting of snow on ground, sporadic flurries ...

Result: comfy 13.2 mile jog along Rock Creek Trail ... total time 2:26, average pace ~11 minutes/mile (including ~15% walk breaks) ... icy patches between milepost #3 (Mormon Temple) and #7 (Ken-Gar) ... many groups of runners, a few cyclists ... followed a pretty lady in bright red tights from Cedar Lane to turnaround at Ken-Gar ... fastest splits measured along trail: my miles #8 (a blistering 9:15) and #10 (9:47) ...

Almost slipped several times but didn't fall until shortly after the 8th mile, when during a walk break I stepped on a patch of ice and suddenly found myself on my back (no damage, thankfully) ... got quite tired after mile 11 ... found unopened package of GU ("Vanilla Bean" flavor) lying abandoned on trail and shamelessly ate it, but to no avail ... all water fountains frozen ... "birdless silence" until near end, when a flock of chirpers materialized ... my left ankle got slightly sore, otherwise no problems ...

Moustache Icicles

(31 Jan)
18 miles, back and forth along Beach Drive in Rock Creek Park ... from the parking lot north of Wyndale Rd., 4.5 miles downstream to the end of the blocked-off-to-cars intersection at Beach & Broad Branch, then return ... did it twice ... pace fairly steady, elapsed time 3h35m (= ~12 min/mile) including a potty break and a pause at the midpoint to change into a dry hat, put on a windbreaker, and grab a full water bottle from my car ... residual runny nose and intermittent cough, not too troublesome ... left ankle pain after first few miles ... walked ~1 minute every 5, ate 1.5 Clif Bars, drank 2 pints H2O ... bottle contents froze after ~90 minutes ...

Temperature ~15°F at the start (0945), warmed to ~20°F by the end ... felt excellent except when the wind blew, which made things suddenly chilly ... no wildlife seen, but great winter scenery and many friendly runners plus a few cyclists and inline skaters ... met a fast walker ca. mile 13 and chatted ("Mark", in his 60's; he did a sub-3-hour marathon once, has had knee pains for past 15 years) ...

This time I will spare everyone my splits on the segments between pavement-painted "P-P" markers (^_^) ... suffice it to say that the fastest mile was ~10:45 and the average ~11:50 ...

Excuses, Excuses (+ weekend plan)

(6 Feb)
Days too short, trails too icy, cars too scary, treadmills too expensive (and unavailable, and boring) --- so no miles since 31 Jan --- hope to get out for something long & slow on Sunday, probably along Beach Drive again --- meanwhile, typed my 2002-2003 logbook into Appleworks and did a couple of quick graphs --- see TwoYearsLater ...

Wimp Out

(8 Feb)
When my left ankle transitioned from ache (miles 3-12) into pain mode I envisioned running the GW B'day marathon feeling that way and decided to cut short the planned 20+ miler today ... so I declared victory and stopped after ~13.1 miles (152 minutes, ~ 12 min/mi pace) back and forth along Beach Drive in Rock Creek Park ... saw some good ice puddles along the way (crazed fracture patterns, starbursts and contour lines)

Anacostia Tributary Loop

(13 Feb)
A chance today to do one of my favorite circuits: the 11+ mile route from the University of Maryland down Northwest Branch Trail to mile 0 where it joins Northeast Branch to form the Anacostia River ... back upstream on Northeast Branch Trail to College Park Airport, then via Paint Branch Trail to the UM campus starting point. (See "AnacostiaTributaries" for GPS coordinates of the mileposts.)

So I rise at 4am to drive wife & daughter to BWI Airport and (inspired by TRT's story of his recent Capital Crescent Trail run) take the day off work, deliver #2 Son to the Silver Spring metro, then give #1 Son a lift to his chemistry class at UM. The jog begins at 9:30am and takes me a hair over 2 hours, including 20% walk breaks ... average pace of slightly under 11 min/mi, with a fastest measured mile between markers of 10:25. I realize after half a mile that I have forgotten my gloves, but ten minutes later I'm warmed up enough to feel comfortable. My water bottle and Clif Bar (aka Elvish Waybread) sustain me.

Some snapshots along the way:

A pleasant ramble --- particularly since for the first time in several weeks my left ankle doesn't trouble me. See Anacostia Tributary Trail System for an excellent downloadable (*.pdf) map; see Anacostia Watershed Network and Anacostia Watershed Society for other news of the area that the trails go through.

Corrugated Mud

(15 Feb)
If covering a mile in under 10 minutes is the difference between a runner and a jogger (or between a jogger and a plodder?) then I tiptoed across the line today ... 8 miles in 78 minutes along the Georgetown Branch Trail, west to Bethesda and back. Fortuitously, my home is almost exactly a mile from the 0.5 mile marker, so it was easy to record my pace along the way. (For more information about the route see the Capital Crescent Trail pages

Ankles and knees felt good, temperature was optimal (30ish), and except for some treacherous patches of ice in shaded areas the conditions were near-perfect. Bicycle tire tracks through muddy places along the route were frozen into a washboard of ridges. There were a goodly number of other runners out, but hardly any cars at the road crossings (7:40-9:00am). The water fountain near my turnaround point was working fine, in defiance of the cold weather. Favorite sounds: the loud echoes of my footsteps as I pounded across the high wooden trestle bridge, 70 feet above Rock Creek ...

I kept a fairly steady pace, averaging 9:48/mile with a 20 s/mi standard deviation and a net (least-squares fit) deceleration of only 1 s/mi/mi. My mental eight-track tape loop kept repeating fragments of Peter Gabriel's song "In Your Eyes" and the Ferruccio Busoni "Preludio, Fuga e Fuga figurata" arrangement of J. S. Bach's D Major prelude and fugue from the Well Tempered Clavier (sorry, but I can't conrol the playlist very well!) ... both excellent accompaniment to encourage faster turnover.

My confidence level has gotten a big boost after the past couple of runs ... and this is an exceedingly dangerous thing for someone so undertrained for the 22 Feb marathon in Greenbelt. Caveat ^z! ...

TopicRunning - TopicPersonalHistory - TopicRecreation - 2004-02-17

(correlates: DayBreak, ProtoProtagonism, BuechnerMagic, ...)