Sunday, October 23, 2011

In and Out on the Capital Crescent Trail

While I do not design my own training plan, I have racked up enough workouts that I normally know what to expect.  Cross training 3 times a week, some sort of track workout on Tuesday, a tempo run on Saturday, and a long run on Sunday. The workouts vary a bit, and certainly so do the times I am expected to hit, but I generally know what is coming.  But, I had a new workout to do on Saturday that I had been looking forward to trying out:
2.5 mile warm-up: The purpose of this workout is to do continuous mile repeats with no break, with one mile being a harder effort and the following mile being a “rest” effort.  You will do 4 “In and Outs” for a total of 8 miles (One “in and out” being one harder effort plus the rest mile).  The goal is to start the first mile at around 7:05, the rest mile in about 7:45, the third mile in about 7:00, the rest mile about 7:40, the fifth mile in 6:55, the rest mile in 7:35, the seventh mile in 6:50 and the rest mile in 7:30 or so.  The rest miles should feel “moderate” the hard miles should feel difficult but not all out.  Your times may vary a bit because you will be off the track, and the times that I have listed are just general guidelines.  2.5 mile cool-down: Total=13 miles
So, I went to the Capital Crescent Trail, which goes from Georgetown to Silver Spring.  I had been on it one time before, but it is just a little hard to get to.  But this workout needed good mile markers and no road interruptions.  I was fortunate enough to get a ride from my roommate to Bethesda, so I was all set for this new workout.
I had a great time!  It was really hard, but I loved running on the trail.  There were a couple of times when the trail intersects with a road and I had to cross, but other than that, no interruptions!  And it was one of those perfect fall days - the weather running was made for.  So many people were out and about.  I loved it.  I did not get the workout perfect - I did the 8 miles in 59:20, with the hard/in miles in 7:05, 7:01, 7:02, 6:55.  But it was really hard to ease up in the "out" miles - they were still a bit fast. And I gave it my all in the last "in" mile - was just trying to catch this guy in front of me.  I couldn't get him - he stayed 20 feet in front of me, but he stopped at mile 7.  I yelled "I've been trying to chase you!" and he just laughed - I guess he was done though, because I kept going for the "out" mile and he just caught his breath.
Anyways, it ended up being a 13 mile run and I totally loved it.  I do think I should try to do some tempo runs on it.  Yeah, it stinks to have to pay for metro fare to head out for it, but it can certainly be a once in a while treat.  During the cooldown, I took a couple of pictures:

Beautiful, right?  The trails also reminded me a little of the trails in Santa Cruz.  
Today, I did a long run around the city, and even ran through the National Zoo!  So fortunate to live in a place where you can run almost anywhere in the city and it will be a beautiful route!
4 days to go until comps begin!  I am keeping my head on straight and just continuing to hunker down. Will be toeing the starting line soon enough!

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