Thursday Morning Track

Identical to Wednesday night track workouts. This is simply an alternative to those that cannot make Wednesday night or prefer morning running. The workouts each week are designed by Coach Ed who leads the Wednesday night group and can be found on the Wednesday night track workouts.  

Group leaders for this workout are Coach Stephen "Big Guy" Easley, a USATF certified coach, and Coach Rich Mendelowitz, a RRCA certified coach. Thursday morning Track Workouts are held at the Yorktown High School track. The Address is 5201 N. 28th Street in Arlington, and the track is around the corner from the school on N. Greenbrier in the Football Stadium. The workout starts promptly at 6:00 AM. Most people arrive to do an easy warm-up together starting around 5:40 and then all do an easy one mile cool-down together after the workout.

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Questions can be emailed to Coach Big Guy or Coach Rich.

No TMBC - 12 x 2:00 in 10k Pace on your own

Fellow Endorphin Junkies

It seems that in some countries that took measures before the Keystone Kops running ours did, that the pandemic is cresting and headed down for now, although they still need to take steps to prevent a reoccurrence. This gives me hope that if our governors and local leaders, who stepped into the void left at the federal level, continue with out help, we will be getting back out to the track just about the time the weather turns miserably hot – and we will all still celebrate it. In the meantime, please continue to socially distance and look after your health. Unless you feel 100% - DO NOT GO OUT the door, don't run, don't risk infecting others, or getting infected yourself in a time of weakness and pandemic.

For those in top health, tomorrow will be a challenging day – showers in the morning, and then over 60 in the afternoon with 25 mph wind gusts! This is one of those days that you have my permission to stay inside and do core or weight work, and try some speed work on Friday. Some of us – and in this case I mean me – will still go out and run in the rain – what the heck – how bad can it be (Famous Last Words), and we need a workout to do if we are going to head out. Since Arlington County has closed both the W&L and the Yorktown tracks, any workouts will usually need to be done on the Custis/WO&D/Bluemont or other trails, but this one can be done almost anywhere – and perhaps with all the traffic on the trails, your neighborhood streets would be safer – at least coronavirus-wise. I am going to switch up the workout as we have been doing a lot of long intervals at slower speed the last few weeks, and suggest a variation on the 400m workout we do so often.

April 9, 2020 (or April 10, for the Rain/Wind-Adverse) – NO TMBC – ON YOUR OWN: 12 x 2:00 mile in 10k Pace, w/1:00 minute slow jogs in between.

In this workout, the 2:00 is supposed to substitute for the 400, and the 1:00 jog for the 100m jog, but only Keith, Jill and I run that slowly for 400m at 10k pace, so for some of you this will be almost 1/3 of a mile (closer to 500 meters or more), so it is challenging. As you all will remember, a perfect workout for this regular fixture would be a set where each 400 is slightly faster, while maintaining the same pace on the 100s. Since we are doing this by time, and since we get more rest at a minute than we would have had at 100m on the track, try to focus on going just a little bit farther each 2:00 interval while maintaining the same distance on that 1:00 jog in between. You can do it! Remember to focus on your form, lifting knees and avoiding the dreaded arm cross-over that rocks your core.

And now for something we've all missed – the Coach Rich News!

Hi All. I am back on both feet now and have left the boot (cast) behind. I AM able to walk very normally so have started by lots of walking the dog. The doc has me scheduled to start at least trying some running on Thursday, April 23. I promise no track workout with those first steps.

There have been at least a few virtual races/time trials I'd like to report ...

Mikala Whitaker and Melinda Metz were both targeting the RnR Marathon on March 28. Melinda went out and ran a marathon that day and Mikala decided to do a HM time trial. Mikala's time was 1:41:28, which would be a new PR for her. Mikala wanted to run faster but it was tough all alone. I know she can run faster as I chased her through 5 of the Snowball Series races. Nice work ladies!

Liz Ozeki participated in the Quarantine Backyard Ultra ( This was a very cool event won by Michael Wardian who ran for 63 hours and 262.52 miles. All racers participated by Zoom and Strava. You had to map a 4.167 mile route in your neighborhood. 2,431 runners from all over the world started running Saturday morning at 9AM. Each runner had to have their Zoom video set at their starting corral and they had to start their loop every hour on the hour (and finish before the next hour). You could go as fast or slow as you like but when finished you needed to upload your run to Strava and put your watch in front of your camera. I am sure none of you are surprised that Mike won this event but huge applause for Liz who ran for 13 hours and 13 loops totaling 54.17 miles. So tough Liz! Huge congrats from the entire crew!!! For those wondering where the 4.167 miles comes from it is simply 100 miles divided by 24 hours.

Happy running to all. Stay safe and don't overdo it. Honestly there will not likely be any races for months at this point so you really just want to keep yourself healthy and happy as possible. I look forward to the day we are all back at it together.

Coach Big Guy will be doing the workout at an undecided location, and Coach Rich will be walking the dog and Spinning on his new indoor bike, maintaining Social Distance.


The Rise of Virtual Races

A special Saturday message

Since most of us have been running alone and doing a fairly good job of maintaining socal distancing, I wanted to forward a little advice, before next week's regular TMBC email.

1.  Social Distancing on Trails.  If you are like me, all your running these days is on trails, which are more crowded than usual with people out to escape their homes with a little exercise/sunshine.  This often leads to more challenges when we are trying to be socially conscious and protect the Herd.  If you are running and you overtake another runner or walker on the trail, please let them know where you are by announcing yourself - I just say "Socal Distancing" - and move around the person to give them that 6' wide berth - just like we used to announce "Track" when we overtook in College and High School track practices.  If you can give it even more than 6 feet, please do, as runners' breathing is more pronounced than most while in action (thus spraying a little further than normal), so 6 feet might not be enough.

2.  Even the Big Guy Misses Races.  While I don't race nearly as much as I used to, I was looking forward to trying to run a better 5k this Spring than the Resolutions & Predictions race.  Unfortunately, the Crystal City Twilighters were cancelled, a small disappointment for me compared to you Boston Marathoners, Rock and Roll Half and Full Marathoners, Cherry Blosson Ten-Milers, and other big racers.  Fortunately, necessity is the Mother of Invention, and "Virtual Racing" has taken off.  Several of you have been running virtual races, as evidenced by Strava ("If it's not on Strava, it did not happen!"  ;-)  ) and our own Liz Kakouris Ozeki threw down an amazing 63:33 "Virtual Cherry Blossom" Ten-Miler - that's 6:21 miles, and without anyone to pace or compete against - way to go Liz!  I just read an Article on the New York TImes website about virtual races, and I include it below (although the original has great links in it) for your Saturday reading pleasure.

Keep up the good work, protecting your community by staying inside for everything except necessary grocery/drug store visits, and the solitary exercise that is keeping us sane and healthy in these troubled times.  Keep washing your hands, wear a mask and gloves when you do venture out, maintain social distancing, and I promise we will make it to the other side when the CDC will allow us back out to run together and compete in real races!

Best/ Coach Big Guy

(Article Below)

The Rise of Virtual Runs

Dear Readers,
With races around the world canceled, on hold or up in the air, a new kind of event is gaining traction: virtual races.

When I wrote about virtual races in March of last year, they were like accouterments to traditional races. Now, with those races on long-term pause, virtual experiences are the only option most runners have. In virtual races, runners complete a race more or less on their own schedule, at whatever location they choose, then log in and record their results. Runners may be running alone, but can still feel as if they're part of a larger group.

RunSignup, a race registration platform, has seen an uptick in the number of virtual races created through their website. In some cases, when an event is canceled, the race will offer a virtual option, said Johanna Goode, director of marketing at RunSignup. The company is also seeing "race companies who do a lot of events and are looking at multiple cancellations this year" creating new kinds of virtual challenges.

"Pre-Covid virtual runs tended to market themselves on cool swag for a specific, one-time distance," she said. "Post-Covid, I'm seeing a lot more longer-term challenges or programs that give people something to do over a longer period of time." She cites a 19-day quarantine virtual challenge and a challenge to run 50 or 100 miles by April 30 as creative examples of new events.

Jason Hershman never put on a race before but decided to launch a virtual run/walk to benefit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Coronavirus Emergency Response Fund. On May 1, participants pledge to run or walk for one hour and, if they have social media, share their experience online. The cost is $20.

"During this social distance period, I still have been able to get my daily runs in, which has been nice considering it is spring and I am able to go while the sun is out," said Hershman, who had been scheduled to run the Boston Marathon later this month (it's been moved to September). After returning from one such run to yet "more awful news," he said, he looked to see if there were any virtual events to raise money for coronavirus relief. When he couldn't find one, he created one.

I've seen a lot of these events coming online in the last few weeks, and there's just about something for everyone. Matt Chittim of the Rambling Runner, for example, started a virtual run series that began last weekend with a 5K on March 27 to 29. The virtual race builds to a 10k this weekend, a half marathon April 17 to 19, and a full marathon May 15 to 17. Healthy Kids Running is starting a spring race series, a five week program, on April 17 for kids.
If you read this in time, you can still jump into the Personal Peak Quarantine Backyard Ultra, which starts today at 9 a.m. Eastern time. Participants have one hour to run a 4.167-mile loop — in their neighborhood, on a treadmill, or wherever they are. Then, at the top of the next hour, you repeat the loop again. And the following hour, again. And again. Last man or woman standing wins. I've run a race like this in the past (in Canada, with other people). It starts out easy, then becomes agony. It's fun.

And if you don't want to do any of those things, that's OK too. I'm still just trying to get out with my dog for a half-hour, five to six days a week. That's about all I have in me right now. We're all figuring out how to muddle along, six feet apart.

If you're still disappointed in your race being canceled, that's OK. Olympians and Paralympians and hopefuls feel the same way. Here's a video about those dreams deferred.

Run Well!
Jen A. Miller
Author, "Running: A Love Story"


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The DC Road Runners Club is a member of the Road Runners Club of America and is also affiliated with USA Track & Field. We provide a year-round schedule of running events that offer everyone a chance to participate regardless of age, gender, or athletic ability.