Legs feeling tight after yesterday's 22 mile run. Went early to pick up Matthew from his first middle school track practice, and then I did a 3 mile easy shake-out. Came back in time to hear from the coach that she had them run a beginning of season baseline mile, and Matthew cranked out a 5:58, the fastest on the squad. Don't think there were any other boys that ran sub-7, which is too bad, because some male competition would help him. Mark also made his high school track debut, but I couldn't get any details out of him (it's not cool to talk to an old man).
Easy afternoon road run on Links Passage / Rock Ridge / Shore.
Spring has sprung! Today's challenge for you readers is once again to identify the three spring races in the new blog header above.
|1st run of spring, running on Barn Island trails:|
Ducks seen: 3, people seen: 0, asphalt run: 20 feet crossing the road twice
The temperature may not feel it (32 degrees for my run), but it's only going to get sunnier and warmer from here. Running just a sliver of Barn Island with FiveK last Sunday had whetted my appetite for more, so I drove to the Barn and ran some trails. Found a new (to me anyway) cool single-track; that should be my goal each time when at least I'm not leading a group run - explore and add to my repertoire of Barn trails. Ran up against time constraints with the start of the work day, but had a lot of fun today on my 1st run of Spring.
4 x hill repeats (1/4 mile, 60', 5-10% incline) in Chin Hill neighborhood. Noticed each time I chugged it up to the top of the hill and turned around that there were these two guys talking and pointing at me. Great, word is out that the local freak is out running again. Finished up and they waived me over. Turns out I knew one of the guys, a Chariho teacher and former track coach, that brings his son to many of the Fun Runs. Then he introduced me to the owner of the home I was running in front of - it turned out he was a guy that was e-mailing me back and forth on land trust trail clearing. Cool! Small world!
They then suggested some steeper hills in the Chin Hill neighborhood, so I did a jogging cool down to check them out. Shorter, but up to a 15% incline in spots. Good to know - I'll be back.
Tried out Mike G's cadence test from his blog - was happy to see it didn't vary much and for whatever it's worth, I came close to target at 178, 180, and 186 steps per minute.
445 Club, 28 degrees, with 5K. I pleaded with him to take it easy on me today, so that I can live to run my final road long run tomorrow morning. He kept to his word! Ran from Tom's house down to the Cove Road area where he got me lost as usual, and we ended up on Fenway Beach before headed home. Good start to the day, while Mike C is still in bed just dreaming about his day's run yet to come.
My final Boston prep long run is done! Similar to six days ago, I was running a 20+ long run where friend Tom would be helping me run the second part, EXCEPT this time we were upping the mileage (both my run and Tom's), adding some serious hills, AND lowering the pace.
Part I: I started out solo at Bradford School just after 6AM - dark, 31 degrees, and a little breezy. Ran south through Bradford and then along 91 and Bradford-Dunn's Corner Road until I jumped into the Wahaneeta trails to traverse over to quieter South Woody Hill Road. Looped down to Weekapaug, and then up to Tom's house for the first of two water stops. Mile splits (1-9): 7:24, 6:48, 7:05, 7:34 (trails), 7:24 (trails), 7:07, 6:55, 7:09, 7:04.
Part II: Headed off with my running partner through his neighborhood and four flat miles or so on or along Route 1 into Charlestown. Not the best road, but not bad either, as much of it was on jug-handles and access roads. Backed off the pace a bit here when we found we running 6:38 pace already. Long climb up Klondike Road past Burlingame, briefly on 216, and then Buckeye Brook Road where the hills started in earnest. After a couple of hills climbs, we reached water stop #2. Mile splits (10-16): 6:42, 6:42, 6:36, 6:54, 7:04, 7:08, 6:51.
Part III: I was so warm from the climbs that I ditched my hat and gloves at the water stop. Time to resume climbing: the hills just kept coming, as we ran the long hill up to the cemetery where I was ready to lie down there at the corner of Shumankanuc Hill Road, where we turned left and resumed the climbs. Awesome views as went past Jonny's house and waved and bowed to the trail-master. Left onto Burdickville Road for a long steep quad-killing descent before the climb up to Riverside Farms. As we descended down to the river and into Hopkinton, I told Tom the good news is there was only one hill climb left, the bad news it was a mother of a hill climb. Sure enough it was draining to climb up that last hill. But once we reached Route 91, we hammered it on trashed legs all the way back to the Bradford School. Mile splits (17-23): 6:33, 6:53, 6:43, 6:30, 6:31, 6:32, 6:02. Yes - we kept our final and hilliest segment all below 7's and hammered 23rd and final mile at 6:02! Awesome epic run.
Morning: 5 mile "recovery" run with FiveK. "Recovery" is in quotes, because with these splits, it was more like a progression run: 7:31, 6:52, 6:40, 6:30, 6:17. The good news is I didn't even notice or feel that the last mile was that blazing.
We followed up the run with 600 yards of swimming. Somewhere in the middle, Tom's competitive's spirit came out as he wanted to try a 50 at all out: he swam 39 seconds, I swam 45. He was wide-eyed when I told him that Mark swims that in 26 seconds (although Mark later told me he swims it in 25!). Tired, with form falling apart.
Afternoon: 5 mile run with Mark. Wasn't planning on pulling a double, especially after yesterday's monster run, but when Mark asked me if I'd pace him at 8 minutes/mile for 5 miles, how I could turn down my son for such a fun request? His track coach had asked for the mid- and long-distance runners to run on Sunday; I love Mark's dedication. I picked a local course and paced him to within 10 seconds on each mile, until the final mile uphill, when he wanted to pick up the pace a bit - wow, that's my son!
Weekly mileage total: 61
Week recap: This was my second highest mileage week ever (66 miles in Dec 2011). That sudden mileage burst back in 2011 led me into a couple months of splint splints, so I'm going to try to play it smart now, including a zero on Monday (first day off in 14 days) and a taper down for the next three weeks leading up to Boston.
Clearly the highlight of this past week was running the 23-mile hilly monster on Sunday. I ran a nearly identical course in prepping for Cox last year, and was thrilled to look back and see that I ran that at 7:35 pace, versus this year at 6:53. Granted, anything can happen on marathon day (heat, wind, fuel, leg issues) to throw me off, but I'm feeling good going into it. I'll have to see if I can hire Tom out to run the last 15 miles of Boston with me as a bandit!
Now, looking ahead to next weekend, my dilemma is what to do at Big River? Take it easy and run the 10K, or run the half but maybe at a reduced effort? I looked at my blog back in January for the only time I ran in Big River, and after 17 miles, my legs were pretty trashed for the next few days, so I'm a little concerned on recovery if I go out hard. Any and all opinions are welcome.
The running is going well, and I'm looking forward to spring weather whenever it finally arrives.