Sunday, March 6, 2011

2nd Highest

I went to DC to run with Pat this morning. It was supposed to be raining all day, but as I drove up to his house it wasn't too bad. Sitting in my house right now it sounds like people are throwing buckets of water at the windows though. He drove us up to his office at Reagan Airport and we started running on the Mount Vernon Trail. I stopped several times within the first 2 miles-- to tie my shoes, pee, fix my socks, wait for Pat to pee, but it was a laborious first two miles. There was a little drizzle, but I'd barely say it was raining.

Right around 2 miles, we were at the end of one of the runways at the airport. I stood there while Pat peed and watched a couple planes take off. Then we started and he pointed to the left and there was a plane coming in for a landing right above us. It was surreal. I almost felt like I could have touched it if I'd wanted to. Of course while running and looking up, I ran into Pat. That's why you can't text and drive at the same time.

[Editor's Note: While writing this, I have just been informed that the 2011 Chicago Marathon is closed. So much for my fall marathon plan that lasted all of a week.]

We went into DC and ran around the Tidal Basin and through the mall. We did a loop around the mall from the Washington Monument, around the Capital Building, and back. On our way back we started looking for water fountains that would work. Not expecting them to fail, I took my GU. Then I tried 3 water fountains and none of them were working. So we went into the bathroom at the Washington Monument bookstore or something and drank from the sink. That's what homeless people do! Also I'm sure my hands weren't clean and I was drinking out of them. Gross. Just recycle those germs back into my body where they came from. Not a problem. We finally found one that worked behind the monument near the reflecting pool, which was sadly under construction.

I was hoping to see the Vietnam Memorial, because we saw a sign for it, but I guess it was hidden or something. We ran by the Lincoln Memorial briefly and the Kennedy Center to Georgetown. There was this little dirt path along a dried up canal in Georgetown that we ran on and got pretty muddy. So that was sweet. Pat would push the pace and I'd just hang out behind him and let him do what he wanted. I wasn't in a hurry to get anywhere, nor did I know where we were going. He'd occasionally take turns and go in directions that I wasn't prepared for. He was enjoying himself.

We almost went by the Georgetown cupcake store that's on TV and very popular. I saw the Georgetown Running Company. I went in there once this summer and have to say that it's vastly inferior to VA Runner in all aspects except for quality of running team. Going over the Key Bridge (I think) to Rosslyn,  we passed the first person who looked like he was fast, and the first person who looked like they were comfortable in running clothes. They weren't the same person. I swear half of the people we passed were women wearing black pants and a black jacket. They were acting like it was 30 degrees and raining! It was a lot closer to 60 degrees and not raining at that point. I'd taken off my gloves 5 minutes in, and Pat and I left our hats somewhere around 3 miles in. He'd taken off his shirt at the water/bathroom stop, and I was very comfortable in my t-shirt. But finally we saw one girl wearing a tank-top and shorts. At least there were 3 smart people on the roads.

In Rossyln we went around Roosevelt Island. That was a nice little wooded trail where we ran a 7:02 mile. I hadn't been paying too much attention to the watch since leaving the mall when I thought we were running 7:20 pace. So I was a little surprised to see that split. We also stopped for water in the park twice (one failure). It started to drizzle some while we were on the island as well.

Coming back out, it was my time to do the leading and let Pat hold on for the ride. I looked at my watch at one point as it started to rain pretty hard and saw a 6:35 pace. So I backed off. But then he passed me! I told him why I'd slowed down and he said he didn't care, so I went back in front of him and ran 3 miles in a row at 6:34-35 pace. I looked back a lot to make sure he wasn't gone. A couple times I'd gap him and look at my watch to see sub 6:15 pace, so I backed off. At that point, the rain was soaking me and my hands were getting cold. The wind picked up too as we got closer to the airport. I stopped to get our hats while he kept going and I definitely had to run under 6-minute pace to catch him. He wanted to hurt apparently.

We finished up at the parking lot of his building and stretched under the awning of a building that he says VIPs go through to get to their private jets. I took my shirt off in front of a security camera, and heard comments about it from both the guard at the desk and a roaming security officer (both of whom Pat knew.) It was a pretty solid run. Before I finished stretching, my heart rate felt almost normal. I wasn't tired, and I feel less sore now than I did before starting. So it's all good! The run was over 18 and a half, giving me just over 83 miles for the week. That's my second highest ever, second time over 80+. I thought I'd be lower this week. Oh well. Aside from Wednesday, things are feeling good.

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