Well, this is it, the week before Boston. Lots of time to think, not too much running. I feel like I am in a good place for my running. Although this has been one of the most lackadaisical training sessions which I have ever attempted, I have kept my weekly mileage decent, my speed workouts have been about as good as I have ever done, I had a PR last weekend in the Cheshire Med 5K after being up all night at work, and I had a solid 30K a couple weeks ago. Most of my running has been by myself in Buckland/Shelburne, or with Frank (the dog), with the exception of Wednesdays with the Keenyan Crew. I've been running, or at least tagging along with, those guys for over two years now, and if that won't make you a better runner, nothing will. The Buckland running has been fantastic for hill training. My typical 6-10 milers, any way I go, are at least 45% uphill, 45% down. I know the uphills have been good for my strength and endurance, but I think the down hill portion is what will make a big difference at Boston. While this certainly hasn't been my most focused training, and last summer/fall I was doing a few more miles, I think the cumulative miles, no running injuries (except falling on my shoulder, which finally feels about 95% healed) and all the hills should help to carry me through. In my last 3 races, Stu's 30k, Fast Friends 4 1/2 mi, and the Cheshire Med 5k, I've been able to hold my pace till the end, even though they all have a fair amount of hills.
I sent this photo to the Tufts Marathon Challenge Team. Whenever I think I need a little kick in the ass, this usually does it for me. No matter how bad things might hurt during the marathon, there's no way it could hurt as bad as that guy's stumps. I don't know KG, but I got the photo from his blog. To me, it says just about everything you need to know about running. Sure, there are great runners, and they have certainly worked hard to achieve the level of success they have. And they deserve every accolade they receive. But others have overcome adversity which most will never know. I mean, you look at the runner on the left, and he has definitely worked as hard as anyone else to get to where he is, in the lead at The Boston Marathon. But the guy on the right? Is there anyone who could say any less about his determination and hard work? Check out his friggin arms. He's diesel to say the least. And how about the guy in the middle? He doesn't look like a slouch either. Not too many people would give up a day to run 26.2 miles as a guide/aid. No matter what the pace, it ain't a walk in the park. It would be pretty cool to sit down and have a beer with all three of them. Till then, I'll try to carry a little piece of their spirit through the streets of Boston. Right on Hereford, Left on Boylston.