It was a cold rainy and windy Wednesday for the track. I have a little post-marathon cold, so I wasn't planning to do too hard of a work out. It was just Greg, Bojo, Andy me and a new guy whose name escapes me right now. Justin showed up for the start, but he's nursing a sore foot after 156 miles in 8 days. Of course he picked the crappiest day in weeks to miss, but I guess we can cut him a little slack. Once the run got underway, it didn't seem too bad, but heading back to the track the rain and wind picked up and I was beginning to rethink my reasons for being out there. I thought about doing a 400/800 workout, but my cold and the wind convinced me to just do some 400s. I ran a few trying to keep pace with Bojo on his 800s, and I was surprised how well I was keeping up. At the end, I trailed Greg and Andy for some 200s. The first one I was only 2 secs behind, but I knew that wouldn't last. It was a small but good group at Armadillos. Next week I am looking forward to a little longer workout as I get back into it.
I made it out for the Wednesday track workout, and although I was a little stiff, it went fine. My calves and back are the only lingering issues from the marathon, so I'm grateful for that. The workout went well, I was planning to do just a few easy 400s. I met up with Dan, who had planned to do 2 mile repeats. I told him I would do alternating laps with him, to keep him on pace of about 6:45. I ended up doing 400/800/800/400, with 400 jog between each. I felt good about it, and then the cool down on the trail for about 2 1/2 miles. Everything felt fine, and I was glad to be on the soft trails.
I still had a little stiffness thru out the week, and didn't run.
Saturday I went out on the trail for about 5 miles, and was a little stiff to begin with, but once I got moving I felt fine. I think that is how it will be for the next week or so, but again, glad to be out there. Sunday will be with the regular group, possibly up to the dump, about 12 miles.
First off, I want to thank everyone who has helped and inspired me thru the last year. Newt, you're the best Boston tour director anyone could ask for. Jeff, thanks for the ride home and the camaraderie along the way. Julie, Pat and Cheryl, thanks for the support and encouragement at the race. And most importantly, everyone I run with. Fast or slow, having a good day or not, been running for years or new to the sport. I've gained so much from your friendship and insights along the way. Well, before this sounds too much like an Oscar acceptance speech, on with the race report. The Newtmobile left from Brewbakers promptly at 7:00, and made it to the start by about 9. Plenty of time to drop off bags, warm up etc. It was a beautiful morning, bright blue skies, a bit cool, and other than a little crosswind, perfect. I saw Andy while I was on my way up to drop off my bag. It's always good to see someone you know at such a big event, especially a fellow Keenyan. I was in corral #11, and it took about 9-10 minutes to get past the start. Obviously, it was a bit crowded for the first mile or so, and even thru most of the race I had to pick my way thru runners much of the time, but that is the way it is in such big races. I was able to settle into a pretty good pace right off, keeping it under 7:25. I was feeling a little tightness in both hamstrings from the beginning, and although I wasn't worried about it, I wasn't too sure how it would play out later. The miles really seemed to go along pretty quickly, and every time I checked my watch for the first 20 miles or so, my average lap pace was 7:23. I passed the half way point right on target for a 3:15, at 1:37:31. I was feeling a little fatigued by the time I got to the hills, but they never really seemed that bad. I slowed down a bit, but I didn't need to walk them at all. After each hill there is a slight downhill section or flat which really helped out, especially after the top of Heartbreak. By mile 22 or so I was feeling pretty spent, and I had to walk a few time to take a bit of a break. Even so, when I was running, I was able to keep my pace to about 7:30. I only had 1 mile that was over 8. After a couple tough miles, it was right onto Hereford, left onto Boylston, for what has to be the best half mile of any marathon. The finish is a long ways off when you make that left, but the crowd are truly amazing. I picked up the pace the whole way down, until about 20 yds from the finish, where a guy cut in front of me and made me halt my stride, instantly cramping up both my hamstrings. I can't wait to see what the finish line photos look like, with me limping and clutching my ass with both hands. So it goes. I could only chuckle once I walked it off and loosened up. 3:17:53 and a PR by about 8 minutes. 4146th overall, so with a bib number of 11802, that means I passed about 7600 runners. I was very pleased with my time, and only lost about 3 min in the 2nd half. Always a lot of emotions at the end of something like that. I was very proud of what I had achieved, grateful to everyone who helped me get there, and relieved that it was over. I walked around quite a bit afterwards, and met up with Beth, then Newt and Alan. We made our way to Bertucci's for dinner and a beer. And thanks again to Jeff for the ride home and the conversation. All in all, I had a great day, and thanks to everyone for the calls, texts and emails after the race.
The last little tune up went well. A beautiful day, a not too tough work out, and the chance to watch some really great runners sharpening their skills. I've said it before, but I really feel honored to be among such a fast and welcoming group. The Keenyans were: Andy, Justin, Greg, Jeff, Peter, Dan, Erin and me. Andy and Justin were doing mile repeats. I ran the first 400 with Andy, because my 400m pace is about the same as his marathon pace. I would have liked to have done a few more, but our laps just didn't sync up. Justin looked like he was running super strong for his miles. I felt good for my 8 X 400, and I kept pretty even splits. I ran one extra with Erin for her last lap, and when I finished, I turned around to see Peter barreling down the track, looking like a locomotive with a full head of steam. Awesome tends to be an over used word, but not in this case. His stride is really amazing to watch. Dan and Erin both put in solid workouts, and they are both looking stronger and more comfortable with the track stuff. The cool down was the usual 2 1/2 mile on the rail trail. After such a light work out and with the weather so nice, I felt like I wanted to do a lot more, but I think I'd better save it. The table is getting pretty packed at Armadillos afterwards, and it's always a good time.
My times were: 1:21/1:21/1:23/1:22 1:21/1:21/1:24/1:21/1:33
I got in my last real run before Boston, 11 miles at marathon pace (hopefully). 7:25 seemed pretty easy, so with good nutrition and sleep this week, we'll see how things go. I did the early route for the first 5 1/2, then met with Ann and Erin, who decided to run up to the dump and back (12 miles). Most everyone else was at the Great Bay 1/2. I did the first mile with them, then picked up the pace a bit for a couple more before turning around. The way back flew, with 2 of the 3 miles under 7. A little faster than I probably should have run, but it felt good, the wind was at my back, a beautiful day and a slight downhill. How could you ask for more. Right now they are calling for a high temp of 57 on the 19th, so I think it should be a good day. This weeks track workout will be short, 6 X400 at 1:25 or so, then a couple of 3-5 milers at marathon pace. Rest the legs and focus the mind.
It was hot and a little windy, and that made for a tough workout. I had planned on doing the 8 X800 workout from last week, with a short rest between reps, and I came close to making it. I think the first hot day zapped a little energy from just about everyone there, including me. My first set went well, with all reps under 3:00. I didn't feel great starting the 2nd set, and I didn't finish one of the 800s. I was able to regroup after a minute or so, and I finished the last 2 at 3:01, and kept the rests under 2. There was a good showing of runners: Justin, Bojo, Greg, Andy, Dan, Erin, Clint, Angela and the kids. Armadillos was packed when we arrived, but we got a table, and it was great to relax a bit after the hot workout.
My results were:
2:48/ 2:53/ 2:55/ 2:58 3:01/ 1:27(400)/ 3:01/3:01
Looking forward to a somewhat shorter tempo run today, then 10-12 at marathon pace for Sunday.
I got in a good tempo run on the rail trail up to the dump Thursday afternoon. I didn't feel too great for the first mile or two, but as things progressed, I felt better and better. I made it up to the bridge in 34:44. It's been a while since I've done this run, and I kinda forgot how long the last stretch is from when you can just see the bridge. I started running hard a little too early, and had to slow it up a bit. My pace averaged about 7:25. Everything always goes better on the way back with this run. It's really easy to get into a zone, and just let it fly. Other than having to stop at the couple big wet spots near the end, I ran hard the whole way, doing it in 31:30, or 6:42. That kept my average pace at just over 7. I'm planning to do 15-18 on Sunday, keeping it to marathon pace. Good luck to Justin and Andy, who are doing a fast finish long run on Saturday, at about my 400m pace. You guys are amazing.
I was just starting to feel better after a little cold this weekend, and I had planned to run 8X800 as a bit of a fitness test for Boston. The warm up went fine, I wasn't feeling great, but things loosened up well. Then, half way into the first 800 I knew I was in trouble. My time was good, but I just didn't feel I could hold pace for the distance. I started the 2nd rep, and after the first lap that I knew I wouldn't make it. So, after a little regrouping, I decided to run 400s. Those went ok, but even after just 300M my lungs were tight. I was able to run them at a decent pace for me, but it wasn't easy. It seemed like it was a bit of an off day for a few of the others as well, with the exception of Andy, who just keeps looking stronger and stronger. The cool down was a nice 5 miler up the rail trail, then thru the woods to Hurricane Road. The forest trail was really great, with soft pine needles, and not too many puddles for all the rain we've had.
The Keenyans were: Justin, Andy, Greg, Bojo, and Mark. My splits were: 2:48(800)/1:26/1:23/1:23 1:26/1:23/1:22/1:22
With the weather looking better, I think today I will head up the rail trail to the dump for a 9 mile tempo. The downhill finish is always a good mood elevator.