This weekend was a good cap to my training for Boston. The Fast Friends Race was great, with a fun and tough course. Ash hill was hard. It was difficult to recover from it so early in the race, and it made the rest of the course a struggle to keep pace. Luckily for me, I was running next to the top woman, and I think we both ran faster because we were fairly evenly matched. Neither one of us could pull away from the other, until about 1/2 mile to go I got about 10-15 feet ahead. Then that last little hill before route 10. It took out whatever wind I had left in my sails, and I didn't have the legs to keep up with her for the last 50 yds or so. I was glad to be in the top 10, and 1st in the 40s. The name of the race was right on, because 5 of the top 6 racers were friends from the Wednesday Baker street/track gang, plus lots of other friends from the local running community. It's really a privilege to train with such a fast group. And the race was very well done. You can tell when a runner organizes a race, because it has all the things you need, it's kinda low key, and it just works well. You could see it in the faces of the other runners. No one was wondering where to go or what to do. Andy did a great job, and he was a welcome sight at the top of the last hill at the end. After the race the group did a cool down of the course in reverse, and it's hard to say which way is more difficult.
Sunday was my last long run before the Boston, and I put in 9 at marathon pace before meeting up with the group. We went down the rail trail to Swanzey for about 5 1/2 miles. I ran a fairly easy pace with Erin, and on the way back I picked it up for the last 4 miles or so, keeping it at 7:15-7:30. I felt a bit fatigued, and I stopped once or twice, but I felt good about the effort. Now the taper begins, and just to make sure I don't go out too hard, I picked up a bit of a cold. A little extra sleep will do me well the next few weeks.