Monday, April 30, 2018

Boston recovery week 2: the one with actual recovery

After being super sick last week, I was thankful to be feeling much better this week. I still had a lingering cough (and some tiredness) but was considerably better than I had been!

Eric and I moseyed out for the first bike ride of the year on Monday. It was in the mid 60's which felt downright toasty. I was a bit unprepared, as the helmet that I wore last year was finally declared unfit for use (it was olddddd.) Eric gave me his mountain bike helmet to wear, and I felt like a complete douchebag!
I complained enough to prompt Eric to order me up my own sparkling new ROAD bike helmet, which I am super excited about and plan to use often!

After our Monday ride, I continued to NOT work out. I really did a good job avoiding running.

On Saturday we ventured out for a pub run!
It was 70, the warmest say of the year thus far.

Before we started! 
Eric has been battling a sinus infection for over a month, and he was feeling pretty terrible. (pleased to say, that as of today he is finally making some headway.) It was my first run since Boston and I was just shit! My legs were shit, my lungs were burning and disgusting, and my stomach was junk!
Luckily, the weather was nice enough to distract from the torment.

All done, thank the Lord
I had to pass on the pub run (well, bike) last week because I was too sick for public appearances. (I am super conscious of NOT spreading my germs!) So I was happy to be back at Bear Bones, drinking a Triple Cream like a normal person!

A nice day at the pub
So recovery is now over, and I can do whatever I want!
Last year, after running the Providence marathon I (first) collapsed into a heap of uselessness, and (second) decided to run every hill in my town (I think I got all except the ones that don't even count.)

So what stupid things shall I do now?

1: Run a low key 60 mile week. This is something I wanted to do last year, but I waited too long after marathon season and wasn't fit enough. I plan to do this using lazy miles, probably to the pub, with zero actual workouts involved. While part of my brain thinks this is a weird thing to do, it's no more weird than anything else I have ever done! *I plan to do this SOON before I lose my fitness*

2: At some point this spring or summer, set a single ride mileage PR on my bike. I believe this will be anything over 30 or 35 miles. I will check.

3: Hike!!! Eric, Lee (and probably my cousin Evan because he is always up for mountains) will be climbing a couple mountains this summer. (Eric, Evan and I will do the Presidential Traverse someday. We shall NOT be running this, much to Evan's dismay!)

4: Run a decent 5k. Or, conversely, a decent "short" (5k-10k distance) race. This might be a fall goal, I can't imagine that speed work will be of interest to me this summer. #lazy

5: Run all 3 of the Bradbury Races and become a legit, sweatshirt awarded, badass!

6: Duathlons are hard to find (and vanishing) but I would really enjoy participating in another one. Perhaps not as my first time on a bike in 4 years (like last year...)

7: Once school is out (because I teach too late to join in until then) hit up the Wednesday night Green Machine bike rides. I'm totally going to be in the 12mph group for a while, but I don't give af.

So, that's it for now! Happy to be feeling better and getting back to my normal routine.

oh.... and it appears that summer is gonna be here FULL fucking force next week. Son of a.....

Wednesday is a little extra...

Miles run- SEVEN
Elevation- 389 feet SO EXTREME
Bike miles- 12 (and I was legit tired after. so sick)
Warmest day- 70
Coldest day- (it's spring now, so this is the last week of this nonsense) It was 40 one morning.


Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Boston Recovery week 1: the one with the CRUNK

Overall, recovery from Boston has (mostly) been going very well. I had some very normal feeling soreness, tiredness and hungriness on Tuesday and Wednesday but nothing alarming what so ever.
I wasn't too excited about stairs for a couple days, but that is a pretty standard.

Then.... Sometime late on Wednesday night (or maybe early Thursday, who can be sure!?) I awoke with a vile, vile plague. This crunk has been going around in these parts and consists of some level of fever, quite a bit of coughing, and a great deal of head congestion as well as a side order of complete exhaustion.

This more or less laid me up for a few days. I had to work and such (and since I work outdoors, and can avoid coughing on people or touching their items I am quite sure I did not spread the germs.) But at the end of each day I would completely collapse, feverish, exhausted and quite useless. NO FUN.

By Sunday I was feeling a touch better and went for a casual 2.5 mile walk. (and then was worn out!)
And mileage wise, that was IT for the week.

After the Hyannis marathon I got back into my regular training routine pretty quickly. While I think that was a fine choice given how quickly I recovered, I have no plans to jump back into anything structured at all after Boston. (Especially since I ran quite well!) I suppose having the sickness kept me off my feet more than normal, but SERIOUSLY, I would have taken it easy regardless.

In the Boston aftermath, I'm contemplating what I did differently in the lead up that contributed to a positive outcome. There are always a lot of factors, and this year was certainly no exception.
In no particular order:
"I had a good marathon season (Hyannis/Boston) BECAUSE WHY:

-Well.... it was cold and rainy and awful at both races. My best possible conditions.

-I did not run a fall marathon but I built up a great base during the fall, and transitioned seamlessly into more serious race training.

-I had a few focused workouts weekly (or, with downhill repeats closer to every 10-14 days.) They were speedwork (and I met my goal to improve my speed work significantly) A long run at a faster pace than I have attempted in the past. And downhill reps (a 1.6 mile hill, ran at a challenging speed, 2 or 3x) This is somewhat different than past cycles.
My goal in completing my long run at a slightly faster pace, was to eliminate some miles from my weekly total. Complete experiment, and I feel really pleased with how it worked. I never ran a 50 mile or higher week during this training cycle (and still ran a 3:29 in Hyannis, so.... not a problem.) I think my highest mileage week was about 45 miles. something close to that anyway.
And the downhill work- totally clutch. I eliminated focused uphill training and replaced it with the downhill workout. For Boston- a serious game changer.
(personally, I have neither time, desire, or need to run a 60+ mile week to achieve my "3:30-ish" race pace. I might run a 60 mile week sometime in the future just for shits, but I can't envision a situation when I will add that kind of mileage to my training regimen.)

-Eric and I ran together a lot, which was really fun. Having company on almost all of my long runs was downright delightful.

-I basically trained without intending to, from mid November to last week, and never felt burned out or pissed. I took a couple days off when I needed to. I would run up the mountain in the snow if that was what I felt like. I wasn't married to any specific plan. And it worked well!

In conclusion, there are about 1.2 million different ways to get to a marathon start (and, hopefully, finish!) What I did this time worked great for me, and I feel satisfied with the whole experience. What worked for me, might not work for you. That is fine. I'm not here to tell anyone how to do anything running related.

People were curious about what I wore last Monday, in the amazing and ferocious conditions.

Please admire my fashion
(I packed a few outfits and basically cobbled some shit together when we finally realized that it was a hellacious mess outside!)
So, once I removed a huge quantity of throw away clothing at the start, I raced in:
(basically things that I bought on sale at one point or another...)

-Two hats, a "Crow Athletics" baseball cap, and a "First Run" winter hat that I got at a race like, 7 years ago...
-A Brooks Uprise Crossback bra (basically the most magical, non chafing bra that you will ever meet. which I got on a serious discount. #sothankful)
-A VERY old Oiselle Flyte shirt that I got on sale for about $17
-A vest that I bought for 50% off at Hyannis when the weather tanked.
-A 7 year old pair of Lululemon tights (my favorites. I got them on sale for like, $22)
-Darn tough socks (very good socks, no blisters. which my Dad bought for me, so FREE)
-Hoka Clifton 4's which I don't really love but I also don't hate (I liked the 1's and the 3's, so I am hopeful for the odd numbered 5's! Which I had a coupon code for 15% off for, nbd.)
-3 different pairs of gloves. Very old equestrian winter gloves. A pair of dollar store gloves (that my Dad dutifully brought home! I'm so happy, because I am cheap!) and a pair of "First Run" gloves that I literally got SEVEN YEARS AGO OR SOMETHING at the same race where I got the hat.
-And there are some absolutely prehistoric arm socks in there too, added on at mile 18. Those are smart wool, and I am quite certain that they were a Christmas gift about 5 years ago. (so, FREE)

Someday I will get a coordinated kit, provided that everything I want goes on sale at the right time. That would be sweet.

I will confess something.
The day after the race, I wandered to the Lululemon on Newbury St (or, Blueberry Street as Sarah's son called it) and bought a new pair of full priced tights.
Yeah, yeah, Lululemon doesn't exactly have a pristine reputation for labor practices (or for making non see through tights evidently- although I have never had an issue....) But SERIOUSLY, I have had the same pair for 7 years and they got me through that damn race with nary a blister or tiny spot of chafing. Show me another pair of tights that can do that and I will buy them today, and take them for a test run. (I have run in many others, pro compression, Oiselle, etc and the only ones that come close are the Under Armor ones I have and they have been discontinued...)
OH! And randomly, Lululemon had collaborated with some brewery and had a marathon beer that they were giving to finishers. So, win win!

Who doesn't love free beer?
So that's about it form the recovery front.
I have about another week or so before I will even be thinking about getting back to "it."

And what is "it" at this point?

As I was RUNNING from the marathon finish to the family meeting area I had these thoughts: "Wow I'm in really great shape! Maybe I should run an ultra! Maybe I should do another marathon! ACTUALLY..... all of these things are probably terrible ideas!!"

I'm pretty sure that all of those things were, indeed, awful ideas. While I never say "never" I expect that I am about to transition into full Spring and Summer mode.
I detect some trail running, cycling, and possibly a 5K race at some point (such a different kind of pain than marathon pain!)

It's always tempting to continue to capitalize on the distance specific fitness, but I know from experience that burnout is about one hot long run away at this point.

So, it's fun/adventure training time, and I'm really looking forward to it!


Friday, April 20, 2018

Boston Marathon 2018: The one with the weather!


We all awoke to the sounds or rain pitter pattering down. Or, coming down in wind driven buckets, if you want to know the truth.
I don't mind running in the bad weather, so I continued to be unconcerned. I got about my business of eating (starting with toast and coffee and water) and packing (everything) and then getting dressed.

You can't control the weather, but you certainly can control how much the weather can actually hit your body. I did not want this weather hitting my body at all. Who cares about looking *cute* in race pics, when hypothermia is lurking every time you pause to grab a cup of water!?

No thanks. I was thinking of capris (when the forecast called for temps in the high 40's) but Sarah sent me back in for full length tights. A very solid choice.
I had been keeping a close eye on the forecast, and as race morning approached the day was looking to be both wetter, winder and close to as cold as Hyannis. The big difference would be the lengthy wait in athlete's village, where in Hyannis we walked out of the warm hotel and started immediately.
I wasn't worried about the potential weather, but I was mindful of the potential challenges and hazards, and wanted to be prepared.
(as it turned out, the temp at the start was 33, and 39 at the finish. Basically Hyannis 2.0)

And prepared we both were!
We both got all dressed up. Nobody would be hitting the med tent today, damnit!!!

Dressed for Success
As we walked to the start we did things that all elite runners do. We live facebooked. We stopped for donuts. We laughed hysterically when the wind blew so hard that my umbrella turned inside out (0.2 miles into our walk to the busses.) The whole thing was a riot. I have never seen such ridiculous weather the morning of a marathon, but I certainly embraced it as a gigantic adventure.

Sarah and I parted ways when she had to drop a bag of winter clothing for the finish, and I needed to skedaddle to get on my bus. (as it turned out, we were on the road at very similar times, as I found myself in a very long security line.) While I was wading through shoe deep puddles to get to the bag inspection check point, my Dad called. "I was just out for a walk" he said "AND IT WAS RAINING." I agreed with his observation, as it was raining so hard at that point that I could hardly hear him on the other end of the phone. We laughed and laughed, because it was just a bit too much!
My Dad planned to wander out to check on the elites as they ran by, and see if there were crowds in Newton. At that point, not so much!

Mile 18.5, shortly before the Elite runners arrived. Deserted. 
So, onto the bus I went. Where I immediately met someone who knew one of my Uncles. Small world interactions seem to be my thing while marathoning this year. I also ate a bacon and butter English muffin, which was delicious, and I had some water. #hydration
I arrived at Athlete's village to find standing water, piles of snow, and impressive mud. There seemed to be more tents this year, which was smart. There were a few people complaining about how "I spent so much money on this and expect better, blah blah" (overall though, this was the only complaining that I witnessed) but I went and found some fun people sitting on a pallet under a half collapsed gatorade tent. They were a realistic group, who seemed to understand that (while they are good) the BAA doesn't actually have control over the weather. We all had a good chuckle, as we struggled to put on dry socks and such while avoiding taking a dive into the mud.
(then a volunteer came over and yelled at us because he thought we had knocked the tent down. We were like  .....nope, it was the 40 mph wind....." sorry.....?)

Athlete's village, at its finest

I can't really put into words how much of a struggle it was to get race ready while I was preparing to get into my corral. (while it was sleeting heavily, very heavily.) (also, FIRST WORLD problems!!)  I was attempting to remove my snow pants, while staying under the cover of my giant poncho. I was also attempting to transfer the items from my sloth fanny pack, into the pockets of my innermost layer for safe keeping. My innermost layer happened to be about 3 layers down. And I was operating blind, because of the giant, blowing poncho. The whole scene must have looked truly ridiculous! BUT! Because of my amazing layering system I started the race warm, dry, and happy. Oh, and I also ate a whole PB&J while doing the weird "changing under a plastic poncho" dance.
There was a woman standing beside me while I struggled out of my gear. She was in a singlet and shorts, and was violently shivering. I offered her my discarded items, which she refused. She appeared to be absolutely miserable, and the sight of her discomfort made me glad that I had layered up. (and sad that she would not take my coat, I tried to insist that she take it but she wanted nothing to do with me. And since I looked like a crazy bag lady, her reaction was probably legit.)

I began the race with a plan to run a 3:40, which I thought might be ambitious since it was a day with a truly incredible headwind. However, I felt really confident in my abilities to run in sub par conditions, and I had a solid attack plan.
So off I went.

It barely even looks windy here. It was.
And it was pouring.
There was a lot of water falling from the sky. I wear glasses. I try to keep them kinda dry, since being able to see is a real perk. I was wearing a brimmed hat (with an attractive winter hat over it) which usually keeps the precipitation off my face. Due to the wind, there was shit flying everywhere so I took to studiously studying the yellow line of the road in an attempt to shield my face. (that is all I saw, the whole way to Boston!)

Right before mile 1, I pulled off the road and removed all my "final" layers. Good bye poncho, good bye sweatshirt, see ya ugly purple yoga pants. (and pro tip here: discarding layers to the SIDE of the road is courteous to other runners, respectful of the town you are running through- as volunteers at the aid stations can easily rake them up- and generally good race etiquette. Later in this you will see a pic of Hereford St coated in discarded clothing which is pretty sloppy. (I think we are better than that!!)

Anyway. I was down to my race kit (2 hats, long sleeve shirt, vest, full tights, huge gloves) and ready to roll. I felt good and running was pleasant. It was raining very hard but once you are soaked you can't really get wetter, so it was all good. Oh, and it was windy. But it is always windy in Maine so I tried to keep up a good attitude about the situation. I ran through the 10k in just over 50 minutes, which I was very happy with.

At mile 8 I scooted into a potty for a pee break (it was so nice and dry! I thought about procrastinating a bit, but porta potties are gross) At this time, I left my soaked gloves, dried my hands, put on a fresh pair of gloves (that I had carried in a baggie in my pocket) and dropped hand warmers into them. Refreshed, I ventured back into the storm and zipped along. Part of my attack plan was staying warm enough to be able to successfully eat a syrup packet every 5 miles. Thus far, the plan was working. (and continued to, even though my hands were uselessly cold at times.)

At the half way point (where I died and began to walk last year) all systems were good. My hands were again soaked, and beginning to freeze but there's nothing that can be done about that. Due to my layering system, my core was nice and warm, and as long as that stays warm, it's all good. My 13.1 split was 1:47:27 which was great, especially since I wasn't sure how much my stops had impacted my goal time (not at all.)

Typically between the half and where I see my Dad, and family (at mile 18.5) I hit a low spot. For whatever reason, I did not this year. It could be because after having a pretty gross race last year, everything felt easier! (the weather certainly was more in my favor this time, no doubt.) Also, I could only stare blindly at the road in front of me (it was REALLY coming down at this point!) so I missed more than half of the mile markers.
The miles were really flying by. Things were feeling steady, and controlled.
Right about this time, my Dad sent me a pic of the eventual male winner....

Good shot, Lee
There's a huge, huge downhill somewhere after mile 15 which can indicate how your quads are holding up. I motored down the thing, thanking my downhill workouts all the while! (spoiler: my quads were in excellent form for this race. this is the only time that I have ever run Boston and NOT felt like an asshole after the Newton Hills. Apparently, downhill reps are the key.) (as is a cold day.)

As is normal, I made up some songs. I was pretty hungry, and really disgustingly wet at this point which inspired my version of "My Favorite Things"

"Dreams of hot showers, and fresh ramen noodles,
my cozy slippers and warm snickerdoodles.....
a finish, no matter what the weather brings,
These are a few of MY DAMN FAVORITE THINGS!!!
When it's POURING!
And it's SLEETING!
I'm not feeling MAD!
I remember crap weather's my favorite thing!!
And then I don't feeeeeeel soooooooo BAD!!"
*truly the next Rodgers and Hammerstein right here, nbd*

Right on schedule at mile 18.5 I found my Dad, Aunt, Uncle and Cousin.

Pit crew!! So many umbrellas!!
 We did an outrageous two minute clothing change/addition (thank the lord that I will never be an elite. I need to be able to get help from the spectators!!)

I clearly found the whole event quite hysterical! Also, look at the RAIN!!
Freshly armed with new gloves, new handwarmers, arm sleeves and a good wringing out off I went again! (and under the protection of 3 umbrellas, I was able to avoid a very significant downpour!) Thank heavens for family and their preparedness!!
I also learned that Desi had won, and I was so happy! I wish I had put money on it, because as soon as I knew it was going to be a garbage weather day I called her to win it. She's such a great tactical runner, and it was a day for strategy.

And THEN, filled with confidence, I fucking motored my way to Boston.

OMG THE RAIN!!! Two hats, still on. 
I love having a good performance at this race. I know how easily your cheese can slide off your cracker in a marathon, and Jesus Christ am I GLAD when it doesn't slide off mine.
The damn miles FLEW by and I never got tired, or pissed off, or anything. It was fabulous (and wet)

I really enjoy running in the shit. I had a GREAT time.

So, after charging (unseeing) past all the quintessential Boston landmarks, high fiving Danielle at mile 25, and leaping over everyone's discarded damn clothing on Hereford I flew through the finish in 3:37:37. GO ME!

"Right, onto the street of discarded clothing...." *not my pic btw*
I attempted a joyful fist pump, but since my arms were frozen solid, I looked more like I was trying to fight someone. (with weird little hands, that were in fists due to #winter...)

I looked around and everyone seemed really cold, which made me nervous. It is a long, long way to the "B" meeting area (and 1.5 more miles to the Airbnb) and I continued to be uninterested in the hypothermia. (and I was beyond wet, just beyond) It was VERY cold-temps never got above the low 40's and the wind was silly.
So, after gathering my medal and heat sheet I did what any sensible human would do.

I. Kept. Running.

All the way to the meeting area I ran, straight into my family, and into a winter coat and MORE new gloves!!!! It was a wonderful moment and I was SO happy to see everyone! Eric, my Aunt Annie and Uncle Bill and Eric's cousin were all there to see me, and it was so fun! (they are brave/possibly crazy.)
Clearly a nice day
Despite the continued deluge, I was pretty happy.

So happy!!
Everyone hustled me back to the Airbnb as quick as we could go. My lips got pretty blue, but it was ok. Off with the frozen clothes, into a hot shower, and I was good to go!
Well, I think I was in the hot shower for a good half hour before I thawed. Best shower of my entire existence.
(and then I got out and ate all 4 of the King's Hawaiian buns that you get in the post race food bag. I love those things.)

THEN. Eric and I looked at the clock. It was 4:08. SHIT! Sarah was expected to finish just moments later, and there was NO way we would be able to get back to her through the crowds.
We did the next best thing, and watched her finish on live stream which was AMAZING!!!! So proud. She definitely is the MVP of the whole weekend!
And THEN I texted her to advise her to not be stubborn, and to Uber her way back (which she did, smart woman!)
As soon as she got back (and was undressed and showered in a manner similar to myself) we all collapsed into piles of joy about the day, and the rehashing and storytelling began.
And Danielle came over too!!!

Telling stories and taking pics to prove we were all there
The best part of any marathon is hearing everyone's stories, and after such a crazy day it was especially delightful.
We watched Desi's finish no fewer than 400 times.
We sprinted across the street in a complete deluge, for potato nachos and burgers.
We flopped back onto the couch, and continued the storytelling. And at about 9:00 got hungry again and had ice cream sundaes DELIVERED which was clutch. So amazing. What a day!

We also contemplated how much our sopping wet race clothing weighed.
I'm not sure what Sarah's sack weighed, but mine came to a cool 5.6 pounds (not counting shoes.)

Bag lady
There is NO way that any of us will forget this particular Marathon Monday. The weather was colder than it has been in 30 years. It was really, truly, a completely and utterly disgusting AND TOTALLY AMAZING day.

I would say it is official at this point. I am a runner who appears to thrive in cold, wet, challenging conditions. While it was not my fastest marathon, I have complete confidence that it was one of my best, if not my best. No pain, no exhaustion, no hitting a wall, no GI distress. AND, technically this was still a BQ race (although by a slim margin, but since I am already "in" for 2019, no worries.)

As always, a highlight was seeing friends and cheering them on. It was especially fun to share a living space with Sarah and family, Eric and I really enjoyed this and hope to for a repeat next year (when Sarah and Danielle claim to be spectating only... we shall see!)

There is NO way that I could do this without the support of my family and friends (running is a pretty time consuming and self indulgent sport, and would be next to impossible without an encouraging spouse/family.)
Eric was by my side for almost every long run and speed work session all season. This really took marathon training to a much more enjoyable place for me, as we had some hysterical conversations while running to the pub. We also had my cousin Evan join in for some mid winter training which was super.
Oh, and running to the pub (ahem: Bear Bones in Bridgton = quality marathon training beer) was a really fabulous and intelligent addition to the training routine. Why bother if it's not fun, right?
Both of my parents are huge supporters, my mom keeps me fed, and my Dad makes the trek to the race to see me for 90 seconds and bring me extra clothing!
My extended family is so wonderful, while it wasn't a great year to be a spectator I so appreciated everyones support. Whether you were there in person, or in spirit with texts and messages I was thinking of all of you along my way to the finish.

See you in 2019 Boston....

The conclusion of Duck Camp 2018


Sunday, April 15, 2018

Boston training: the one with ONE day to go

Tomorrow is the day!

We are all here in Boston, and we are not very warm. Last year, it was EXTREME the day before the race (90) and this year it is EXTREME in the opposite direction. 35, sleet, 35 MPH winds. Okie dokie!
I have packed a snow suit, and that is not a lie.

Today, when we arrived in Boston (after a perfectly fine drive but one that had us worried, with the snow/sleet and ice) Eric and I went to the expo to freeze, and take a quick walkabout.

The coldest pre Boston day in my history of running
Back tracking a couple days....
My Dad and I ventured down on Friday, as usual to pick up my bib and shop before everything sold out. This was a wise move, because everything was basically gone today!
It was between 65-72 that day which would have been far too warm for running!

I get this pic yearly 

The expo was at the World Trade Center, so some different scenery

I didn't buy much, but I did get shoes!

Lee and I made a post expo stop for a quick beer!
By this time, there was no doubt that we were going to be seeing some grossness on Monday.
Oh well.
I have packed a huge, and ridiculous number of layers. Also, terrible cold weather is actually just fine! (35 MPH head wind is less than ideal, but it is better than 80.)

Oh dear

 Eric and I ran a whopping 3.5 miles on Saturday to the pub!
The weather was shit, which was the best kind of practice. 33 degrees and damp and windy.

Final pre Boston pub run!
This morning was just lousy! In Maine, it was 25 degrees, snowing, icing, sleeting and just completely awful.

However, we made it to Boston no problem.
We met Sarah and family at our sweet Airbnb and then went on our expo adventure.

Tiny beers, but not Sam Adams... Weird

Writing wise words

Right?? So wise!!
So, tomorrow is the day!
I'm feeling good, and ready, and positive about the outcome. Really excited actually.
So by this time tomorrow I'll be good and done (and showered and fed and rested, hopefully!)

Hopefully we end up with a sweet, sweet tail wind!


Monday, April 9, 2018

Boston training week 127: the one with one week to go


It is time for the annual event, when we all say together:


I never won't post a Game OVER gif before Boston. It is what I do.

Basically, my job here is done. Game fucking over. Mic dropped, blog post over.

But actually, we will have a quick recap of last week's training.

Taper week! I love taper. I really do, I am not lying.

I did a couple downhill repeats on Tuesday in the most bogus weather. 33 degrees, windy AF and pelting down this sloppy, soaking wet snow. It was less than ideal, if we are going to be completely honest about things.

Yeah. Look at that snow...

Thursday was my last speed work, 4x1 mile repeats. I ran these solo, which happened to be the first time in this training cycle that I did unsupported speed work. Up until now, I have either been on the treadmill, or had Eric's help, with his amazing metronome like internal speedometer. Needless to say, I was a little uneasy about my ability to crank out 4 repeats at "close to" 7:20 pace with any kind of consistency. I was successful though, and managed all 4 in just under that time. It was a very cold evening- like 36 degrees and raw af. My feet were frozen from being at work and did not warm up until I was all done running and cooling down.... It was most unpleasant running on little ice block feet.

It snowed on Friday. Nothing horrific but a solid 3" in about an hour. So, fast and furious.

Stop now
The stupid fresh snow did make for a pretty start to Saturday. Luckily, it melted for my 3PM final *long* run to the pub.

Not ugly. But too snowy, 
I ran a solo 11 miles, at an 8:20 pace to wrap things up for this training cycle. It was a very good run, on the chilly side, with a pretty serious head wind.
Overall, it was a very solid way to end this long season of running.
(and I keep having these lonely, solo workouts because Eric has been sick for a legit month. He is now suffering from a festering and miserable sinus infection.... No good. He did drive to Bear Bones with Lee, and drank water and sadly played chess.)

I'm certainly looking forward to next Monday. I feel about as prepared as one could wish to be, and with no pressure surrounding any time goal, I feel very relaxed.

The weather also looks good (for me, and only me. Sorry....)
Fools summer is rolling in on Friday and Saturday (with temps into the 70's, FUCK NO!!!) But, as of now, the heat wave will be getting the hell out just in time.

I am feeling JUST FINE about this!!!!

Monday is forecast to be mid 50's and raining.
Yes it is.
YES. IT. IS!!!!!!

(my apologies)

Let the games begin!

Miles Run: 25.2 (slightly lower than normal, it will make no difference)

Elevation this week: 1,005

Lowest low temp: Cold. It was 21 on Thursday morning. Lots of cold days with temps in the 30's

Highest temp: Cold. It was not a nice week. I think it was 46 for one random second. 

Total snowfall: 3" and a few snow showers here and there

Coldest day that I ran outdoors: 34 but dripping wet snow and wind and gross

Random fact: I much prefer marathoning in shit weather than sunny and 70. 


Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Boston Training Week 13: the one when I'm really too busy to care about training!

Let's see, so last week... SUPER crazy. Certainly another week where, if I was not training for a marathon I only would have run once. I certainly am thanking the *pressure* of wishing to complete 26.2 for getting me out for some workouts!

But really though. Work is nuts. My volume may not have quite doubled from this week last year (I hate to exaggerate) but it is pretty damn close. Essentially, what that means is that my *leisure* time (aka, running) has more or less vanished! I need a few more hours in the day. Phew.

However, I got out there and got some decent runs in.

Tuesday was a pretty basic run, 6 miles late in the day, nothing particularly exciting.
I also made eclairs. Which were excellent.

Really eclair perfection
Wednesday was a really terrific weather day, about 50 degrees and the wind (which is almost constant here in the Spring) was pretty calm. Eric and I completed my last "big" workout pre-Boston, with 3x2 mile repeats at "close to" 7:30 pace. I believe that 7:36, 7:32 and 7:29 were the final pace calculations for our repeat miles. It was a job well done.
I also bought a beer, based solely on the fact that it had both horses and unicorns on the label. As it turns out, it was also quite good!

Tiny green unicorn for the win
I would have liked to fit in a few easy miles either Thursday or Friday, but this was certainly a time when running had to take a back seat. I had a pair of 12+ hour workdays, plus a family commitment. The absence of miles on these days made this a slightly lower mileage week than I would have liked to see, but my feeling is that I will not notice any difference in the long run!

Speaking of long runs. Saturday I did a solo long run (17 miles) as Eric was enjoying some Easter weekend time with his mom and extended family. For the first time this year I wore shorts, as it was a balmy 54 degrees and sunny. As is often the case, it was also quite windy (which made things feel less warm.) It is the time of year when the sun feels very intense, and after months of cold running it is shocking to have such a toasty day.

I had a solid run, zero issues, and finished up in a good pace to meet my homies at the pub.

ALONE! Where is ERIC??
I really have it down to a science. Change clothing, drink water, pound a blueberry/chocolate/banana protein shake, eat cheese, enjoy a beer with my friends.

Sunday must have been a recovery run. Can't say I remember it, but it is safe to assume that it happened! It was also Easter/April fools day. Last year on April 1st, we got a foot of snow. We did not this year, it was quite nice out.

Much smaller snowbanks than in 2017

So, Boston is less than 2 weeks away and training is basically done. There is no denying the fact that (despite a mid winter marathon already completed) I am in much better shape that I was at this time last year. The variables basically boil down to two things. Will it be 70 degrees? Who knows, who cares. (I have already qualified for 2019 so, ZERO pressure. None. Not any at all.)
And, if it is a great weather day will I actually have the mental ambition to run another fast marathon,  having so recently run one (debatable.)
Under pressure (and fit) I tend to be able to justify the pain and suffering that arrives at some point during every marathon, and suck it up. It is less easy to do that when there is no need/pressure to do so.

THAT being said. I actually feel highly motivated to run the best I can, although slacking off sounds oh, so tempting...

My completely random/but somewhat educated guess on my finishing time is this: It will be warmer than I am used to (so I will drink more. but my random guessing is thinking 55, not 75) I will have a race similar to 2 years ago, plus at least 2 pee breaks (because the fibroid waits for no race finish line! plus, it will be warm so -extra drinking and peeing) So, with 2 minutes of pee breaks and 90 seconds of seeing my Dad and Fam at mile 18.8, I will finish in a 3:40. I will be very very pleased.

Eric guesses a 3:38, and he is predicting warm, but not extreme heat. (ideal!) I would be delighted with this time, and Eric is often quite good at guessing my finish times.

Miles Run: 37.4

Elevation this week: 1,513

Lowest low temp: Not cold enough to even remember. Pretty mild. 

Highest temp: 58 for about one minute, 54 during long run Saturday

Total snowfall: NONE

Coldest day that I ran outdoors: 34 so not even bad

Random fact: While *technically* this is week 13 of Boston training, I have actually been running with decent consistency for 22 weeks. While things were not exactly regimented until Mid December, I was still out there doing things with enthusiasm.