Running Just to Run? Not This Time


99.9% of the time, I run just to run.  Training or racing, the reason I put on my shoes is to run.  Every so often though, the stars align and I find myself running with a purpose.  Saturday, for example, I decided to take the subway up to return a book in College Park and then run home.  Why?  Because 1) I needed to run, 2) I needed to go to College Park, and 3) I needed to get home.  So after a productive morning (read: caught up on LOST) I geared up, grabbed Groundswell, and started over to the metro.  To keep with the theme I got a little warm-up in by running the half mile to the green line.  Conveniently, while waiting for the train (7 minutes!?!? boo Saturday schedule!), bam, I had a book to read.

After the long metro ride I got in another 1.25 miles from the metro station to campus.  More than anything it was nice getting a change of scenery.  At this point I could tell things were heating up.  If you’re a die-hard follower of this blog (thanks!) you’ve probably picked up on a theme: the weather is my nemesis (although my true nemesis is Major League Baseball, but that’s neither here nor there).  I dropped off the book and was on my way again.  This is where the run actually started.

I’ve run from College Park back home once before, only getting mildly lost (despite the fact that there are literally zero turns).  There are rolling hills the whole way, which always seem more up than down.  The hills are accentuated by the 85 degree weather.  Things started off well, but my heart rate drifted skyward quickly and never seemed to come back down to Earth.  Holding steady in the mid 170s bpm I had to take a few breaks to, well, catch my breath.  I passed a few street festivals (only moderately tempted to stop) and enjoyed the new sights and sounds (and smells of some awesome looking BBQ at those festivals).  Interestingly (and maybe I should’ve taken a hint) but I didn’t see a single runner during the entire 8.5 miles.

I must say, it’s on the verge of cruel to watch the street numbers go down, block by block, for 5 miles.  43rd St, 42nd St, 41st St… until you get to First St.  But wait!  Then there’s North Capitol, and then First St. again!  And then back up until I reach the end.  Like watching the seconds tick by, only now it’s 85 degrees, your legs hurt, and each second is actually about a tenth of a mile.  Not ideal.  Overall it was a good run.  I got to see new things while crossing something off my to-do list.  Maybe I can turn my running into a useful mode of transportation a little more often.  A boy can dream.

The details:

Route

Distance: 10.32 miles (total for the trip)
Time: 1:23:43 (total for the trip)
Pace: 8:06 min/mile
Average HR 166 bpm (181 bpm max)
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  1. #1 by Colin on May 18, 2009 - 7:12 pm

    I was waiting for the post to get the story on the chopped up workout. Glad you got to do a different route.

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