Sunday, January 29, 2012

Peaceful Tempo on the Capital Crescent Trail

Today ended week 3 (hardest week of a 4 week cycle) of my first cycle back.
Monday: 2000 yard swim, strength/core training
Tuesday: Track workout: 2.5 mile warm-up; 2k cut-down (8:40); 2 lap jog; 4 x 1200. 5:15, 5:12, 5:02, 5:12 500 meter jog between each;  2.5 cool-down. Total=10.5 miles
Wednesday: 3 miles AM, 6 miles PM - 9 miles = first time doing doubles in a long time!  
Thursday: 2000 yard swim, strength/core training
Friday: 5 miles
Saturday: 9 mile run with 4 miles of tempo
Sunday: 12 miles
Total: 45.5 miles
Highest mileage in a while!  The whole week went pretty well.  I have been keeping all of my 2k swims under 45 minutes, so I am glad to be consistent with that.  Not looking to do anything with those swims right now, other than to supplement my running, but I do like to try to get a little faster as I progress.
Now, to make a long story short, my tempo run did not happen yesterday.  There was an issue getting out to the marked trail (I am so bad with directions), and must've missed the entrance to the trail (it's far off from the regular road) on one side (I am used to entering on the Bethesda side of the Capital Crescent and I tried to enter on the Silver Spring side, which is closer to where I live).  I swear, I am not a dope - I just mess up directions and finding stuff.  So, I just ran 9 miles easy instead, and said that I would include the 4 mile tempo in my Sunday run.  So...
I went out to the Bethesda side today, and I swear, the weather we had this weekend was perfect running weather.  Yesterday it was in the 50s and today in the 40s.  God was smiling down on the runners, I'm sure - it was absolutely gorgeous.  So, my plan was to run a 2.5 mile warm-up, 4 miles of tempo (starting at 7:40 and working my way down to 7:20), a 2.5 mile cool down, and then just 3 miles easy to get in 12 altogether.  As soon as I started my watch for the 4 mile tempo, I felt so alive and great.  There was even a big bridge (read: hill) within the first mile, and I just felt like I was flying - and I was - 7:19!  This was faster than what I was supposed to finish, but I think with Saturday's bloopfest, I was so anxious to do my tempo run!  Got through the second mile in 7:14, and I just felt like I kept passing people - no one was going to beat me today (even though I'm sure no one else thought I was trying to pass anyone).  With 2 miles left, I knew I still had more and more in the tank - 7:00 for mile 3! As I was going down my second bridge, a biker was coming up and looking at the view over his shoulder - coming too close to me!  I barked out "Look forward!" and he veered out of my way.  I was on fire and that little bit of adrenaline really did it for the last mile 6:46!  So, I averaged about 7:05 overall for the tempo.  Was really pleased - a very solid first tempo for the year.
And the reason that I wrote that it was a peaceful tempo was that it was so quiet.  Even though there were people on the trail, it was very quiet and even my head (where there is always a lot of chatter) was quiet too!  It was probably the most relaxed I had felt all week, and maybe that's why it went so well! 

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