Boston 2011

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Options Exercised

Jan 16th, 2011 - The worse thing about running and training in this winter wasteland is trying to put in a long run. The best thing about running and training in this winter wonderland are the options for a long run.

Feel like running 9's with some hills? Meet up with Linda, Jess, Cullen, and Fil in Dracut. How about 7's with also some nice hills thrown in? Then meet up with James, Jeff, Jim, and Mark over in Jim's ritzy neighborhood. What about meeting up with Glenn in Phoenix for a 3:17:38 marathon (Nice job, Presidente)!?! Or Jill and Andy in Drum Hill for the start of their marathon training run? Matt could have use some company for his 13 miler. Same with Marli in Tewksbury.

In the end I opted for a good size group run with some fine folks from Whirlaway/SRR/GLRR on part of the Boston course. There was Jim, Joe D., Reno, Joe N., Frank, Steve, Craig, Chris, and Ephraim accompanying me on a relatively mild morning (30ish degrees throughout).

I knew right off of the bat that I should prepare myself for some a lot of sub 7's with this crew of runners.

We got off the line around 8:45AM from Newton and got to the base of Heartbreak by 9AM. The Joe's set the pace early on and broke away by the time we reached Cleveland Circle. Chris and Steve gave chase. The remaining peloton of runners stuck together for a good chunk of the rest of the run to, in, and away from Boston proper.

Not too many miles over 7's after the first five (only 1), and it felt great to see the miles fly by like nothing.

That's the biggest benefit of running with a group. You feed off of the energy between the runners, and it just pulls you along, making a hard workout feel easy. That was definitely the case today.

The carriage road on Comm Ave was already showing the first signs of spring with a good number of runners putting in their own runs in preparation for Boston. Spring can't get here soon enough!

My group turned around after crossing the Marathon's finish line (#2 on the year) on Boylston at mile 10 before heading back to home base with a couple of slight detours that incorporated a nice and steady climb. The top of the climb, mostly "behind" the BC campus, dumped us back onto Heartbreak on Comm Ave.

The Catamount hill workouts from the past three weeks came through for me today on the climbs. My legs felt fresh and strong, the effort consistent throughout, and no sign of getting my ass kicked by the Newton hill(s).

We had 18 miles in the bag (6:55 pace) by the time we got back to Ephraim's place. No worse for the wear.

This one definitely ranks up there as one of my best long runs on this young season.

Thanks for the invite, the great company, and the fantastic pacing, gang!

Interesting Fact of the Day: We learned that Jim is/was the "fattest" one in our group, although he probably burnt off that excess fat by the time we finished.

(Does not apply to the Kenyan Joes in our group)


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