Monday, June 4, 2012

May 28-June 3: Taking Up Residence At Hains Point

There’s this magical land in the middle of DC that you’ll hear triathletes talk about often.

Hains Point, highlighted on the map above, is just south of downtown DC, but is clearly isolated from normal traffic flow, which gives us all wide roads for running and cycling with few cars to worry about, all on a nice 3.21 mile loop. This is great for getting on-road riding in during the week, when the fact that most of us have to, well, work, makes it hard to get out to the more isolated roads that are good for cycling. The major disadvantage is that it is 100% flat, so you won’t get any hill work done there. But what Hains Point lacks in hills, it makes up for in abundant wind. In other words, it actually provides a perfect training environment for the flat and windy Eagleman AquaVelo that I have coming up this weekend.

And THAT is why I wound up doing 17 laps of Hains Point this week. This is about as exciting as it sounds. 17x3.21 miles! Yes!

As if I wasn’t there on my bike enough this week, there is also a 50 meter pool there.

The masters swim team that I train with uses this pool all summer, so I got to log some swimming time down there as well. Now, before you think “WOW this must be awesome, swimming and biking together!” let us clarify that this pool was built by prisoners in the 1940s and is about as nice as you’d expect it to be given that fact.

Recap of the week with way too much time spent on a tiny peninsula:

Monday: A chatty 48 mile bike ride on Beach Drive with Rachel, Sarah, and Jason.

Tuesday: 50 minutes of very hilly running, covering 4.65 miles in the hot, humid conditions in the morning. I didn’t even glance at my pace until the end, and figured I was, at best, pulling in 12 minute miles. This made the average pace of 10:46 a little easier to deal with.

Wednesday: In the morning, 50 minutes of strength training and stretching, including 30 minutes at my gym’s CXWORX class, which focuses on core conditioning. It’s a descent class that I wish I could get to more often. In the evening, a slow, and again, humid, track workout featuring a ladder of 2000m-1600m-1200m-800m.

Thursday: 3600 meters of solo swimming at Wilson in the morning. Who doesn’t love doing 6 500s before 7:30 am?

Friday: In the morning, 49 miles of biking, including 12 loops of Hains Point. Talk about a chance to use the aerobars. And talk about a chance to see the same stuff over and over.


In the afternoon, 45 minutes of strength training and stretching.

Saturday: 3700 meters of swimming with DCRP Masters in the morning. Side note: This was at the outdoor pool at Hains Point. In case I missed it 24 hours later.

Sunday: A reverse brick in the morning, starting with 5.75 miles in just under an hour with Emilie. Then the team got together for about 26 miles, including …five laps around Hains Point.

I kind of wanted to do 3 more to bring it to 20 Hains Point laps for the week. Except…not at all.


  1. I can't believe you didn't have fun riding at haines for 17 loops. Also, it is sad that big bright "Cyclists must stop by law" sign has been taken down.

  2. I think for runners and cyclists, Haines Point is both our best resource and our most dreaded locale. It's great to have a long loop of low traffic flat. But it also really sucks.

    Do you long for running on Haines Point during your hilly runs? I didn't think so.

    1. Hmmm...if I'd been thinking clearly during mile 3 of the run at Columbia, I probably would have been. Instead I was longing for a spot in my endontist's chair.

  3. mmmm, monotony. Its delicious.

  4. I've run around Haines Point a few times. Once my training buddy and I were at mile 7 of an 11 mile run and he fell and bit it hard on the "sidewalk" that was broken. It was not pretty and we were pretty far from our destination. He sucked it up and ran the rest of the way back with a bloody lip though.

  5. I don't mind Hains Point, though I've never tried doing 17 laps.

  6. What is this stopping shit they want you to do? PPssssshhhh, bring it cops! I will set a traffic $$$ fine new record for blowing through stop signs!!!

  7. You win the award for ability to train through boring conditions.

  8. Thanks for the company on the run! And for dragging my can around Hains Point after.