Boston 2011

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Trial Run*

March 26th, 2011 - No, the asterisk isn't for steroids, but I'm definitely on a runner's high after today's excellent 20 mile long run with Reno, Ephraim, Dima, and Chris Spinney on the Boston course.

You really couldn't have asked for better conditions for a long run in the middle of a New England winter at the start of a New England spring.

Even though the temps were in the mid 20's at the start I opted to wear what I planned to wear at Boston just to make sure everything fit the way it should. Shorts, singlet, and shrinkage was on full display today.

The asterisk in the title is for the tail wind that we experienced on extensive stretches of the run that wouldn't otherwise be there to aid us come April 18th, so I have to definitely temper my run today with that stupid asterisk.

According to weatherman Matt "Story" Kaprielian the winds were gusting at 10-12 miles out of the NW. That was the reason for the chilled air, and it also made for what appeared to be a very fast and easy run.

It didn't hurt that I was running with Reno (actually, it did), and with 1000+ other runners training on the course. I experienced this last year, but this year was just INSANE. There was even a police detail out on the course. FOR A TRAINING RUN!

We started out at Ephraim's house and took the family shuttle out to Hopkinton for the start of the run at 9:16AM. We began our run when the last wave of Team In Training left Hopkinton, so we had plenty of company along the entire route.

The winds were swirling all around us and we couldn't really sense a steady tail wind until further into the run.

After Reno downed his GU to try it out, we broke away from the pack and didn't look back. Sorry guys.

(Ready for Liftoff) 

We were steadily hitting low 6:40's and some 6:30's throughout the run, which is close to marathon pace - whatever that is now - for me.

The key was that we weren't forcing it. Our rhythm was steady, it felt effortless, and we both felt comfortable with what we were laying down. Our breathing was under control and we were still able to hold a conversation (more great tips from Reno for running Boston).

We went through the half in 1:30. What?! This would have been a half PR for me 6 months ago.

Eventually, we caught up to the GLRR's out on the course this morning on their training run, including Marli, Matt, EJ, Fil, Glenn, and all of the wonderful GLRR volunteers. I also ran into other familiar strides including Denis T. and Justin S later in the run.

There were also a lot of nice "VDOTS" out on the course. Right, Fil and EJ?

Even Gary Allen was out here. Well, not really, but his sneakers at Mile 14 were still there! Say HI if you see them!

(A Crow was here)

Reno and I were still going strong at the right hand turn up Commonwealth where we joined the rest of the party.

Pretty much every shoe company in the area was out here pushing their wares, but we only paid our respects to the Saucony table for their excellent Kinvaras. Reno and I were both advertising them this morning (coincidence?).

Feet down, these are the best sneakers that I've ever had the pleasure of trying, and I've tried plenty. The one true compliment you can give any sneaker is that you don't even think about them during a race or run, and that's the way it should be.

We eventually only flattened 4 of the 5 Newton hills (Reno made a good point that the pain-in-the-ass 128 overpass hill is in Newton, but isn't included in the Newton hills discussion - I'm including it here).

Since we turned off on Walnut at around 19.5, to get back to Ephraim's house as originally planned, we never got a chance to climb Heartbreak for the fourth time this year. Awe shucks.

We got to Ephraim's front door right at 20.1 miles in 2 hrs and 16 mins for an overall pace of 6:46. I think that if I had continued onto Boylston for the full 26.2, I could have easily PR'ed at the marathon distance today. Whoops.

Well, it's time to start resting on my laurels and pray that today wasn't a fluke and that I'll be able to smash my PR come April 18th with or without that tail wind.

*I realized after the run that I hadn't taken any GU or liquids during this run. Maybe those vitamin pills I took this morning were indeed steroids

(Always nice to set a new PR)


BadDawg said...

Truly amazing stuff J, now you just have to hang onto enough sanity to remain a marginally functional employee/son/husband/dogwalker for the next three weeks as you fight taper madness.

And I would be nice to Matt the meteorologist, a hot day is the only thing that can stop you now. It's never too early to pray to the weather gods.

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