I spent most of this weekend out of town; which would mean a short training break for most people. However, that’s not what I did, for several good reasons.
First of all, I was in Boston for the specific purpose of swimming at my school’s annual alumni meet, where we all get a chance to meet – and swim against – the current team. This helps us find out just how slow and fat we’ve gotten.
And, perhaps even more importantly, Boston is where I started running. I certainly didn’t compete in running, or run fast, but I did run long and often. The pedestrian paths along the Charles River offered up to 18 miles of beautiful, easy running right outside my dorm. Most Sunday mornings, I would go and run until I’d mentally cast aside whatever problems had built up over the week, with double digit mileage almost always being necessary to achieve this. And since plenty of problems always crept up during the week week, I could sometimes be found doing a quick 2.7, 3.4, or 4.8 mile loop along the Cambridge and Boston riverfronts at, say, 11 pm when I was stuck on a nasty nuclear reactor physics assignment.
Given that, could I possibly pass up a chance to run along those same paths this weekend? Nostalgia and a beautiful sunrise with temperatures in the mid 30s says no.
Monday: A 9.6 mile long run with Rachel, deferred from the weekend to the workday holiday because of Giant Acorn. I took us through some of the biggest hills in upper NW DC, and while we averaged out to a 10:23 pace over the course of the run, our mile splits ranged from 9:46-10:58. Gravity does impressive stuff.
Tuesday: 45 minutes of strength training and stretching in the morning, 4400 yards of swimming with DCRP Masters in the evening.
Wednesday: A 5.35 mile track fartlek, with the 24 minutes of “fast” running averaging 8:04/mile.
Thursday: 3200 yards of solo swimming at Wilson, including a feeble attempt to do some backstroke in anticipation of the approaching alumni meet.
Friday: A rest day, during which I walked about 11 miles around Boston and Cambridge. In other words, a rest day fail.
Saturday: An 11 mile long run at an average pace of 9:38. Sure, the pace was encouraging for my upcoming half marathon/marathon goals, but even better was the view along the Charles River.
Then, I took my legs with about a marathon’s worth of miles on them since noon on Friday, and swam 3000 yards at the alumni meet, where I registered a 6:28 500 free (ok), a :32 50 free (good God that was sad), a 1:16 100 back (and that was even sadder), and a :36 50 back (let’s forget about that one).
Sunday: Another rest day, with a few miles of aimlessly walking around in the afternoon to enjoy a nice fall day back here in DC.