Monday, January 24, 2011

On beyond 13

Today's run has been in the works for a long time.  After being sidelined by my ITB injury I ran a 12 mile run the first week back.  This week has been some running and a full day of telemark skiing on Saturday but I really wanted to start pushing my distance.  The forecast was for a very cold day, temps in the single digits, but the weathermen seemed to moderate and by the time I parked on Comm Ave it was nearly 20 with some solid sunshine.  Maria arrived just after 11:00 and we quickly got ready and headed out.

My goal was 14; Maria was looking for anything over 13. We started along the marathon route, over Heartbreak Hill and down towards the fire station.  Because of all the snow we didn't want to continue on the normal route so we stayed on the carriageway along Comm Ave until it ran out at 5 miles total.  There, we turned around and headed back up the hills.  Maria had an easy stride, deceptively racking up the miles and keeping our pace up around 9:30.  As we hit the hills I asked to back the pace off a bit as I was feeling yesterday's skiing and the hills.  We climbed Heartbreak Hill and got to our cars just past 10 miles.  Maria stopped briefly to get some Bloks out of her car, I continued inbound hoping to run 2 more miles and then back.

I'd never run this part of Comm Ave, and rarely driven it.  Without a carriageway I ran on the sidewalk which made it hard to keep up a good rhythm. Maria caught up to me as I waited for a traffic light and we ran along a bit before another carriageway opened up, but of course it had more hills.  She turned around just at 11.5 miles at the base of a big hill, I ran on up another hill and decided to turn around just before 12 miles to avoid a steep descent past Kindred Hospital.  The run back to the car was slow and a little painful, I was now running 11 minute miles and I could feel a little cramping in my calves. But I distinctly remember the point when my watch clicked over to 13.2 miles; it was an important point in my running career.  I figured I'd be a little short of 14 and sure enough my watch read 13.6 so I had to go a little further.  Unfortunately, the first few tenths after that is uphill and I tacked on a little extra to be sure.  Total distance, 14.16 miles.

My legs were quite sore when I finished, and the calves were still a little crampy.  I drank more water and had another Gu, but I was feeling it pretty badly.  I tried to stretch but it was tough on the sidewalk in front of the Dunkin' Donuts to really get into it so I hopped (staggered) in the car and headed for CRI where I turned in my official 2011 Boston Marathon entry form.

So I've now run past 13.1 miles.  Running another 12 after what I did seems like a pretty tall order, but that's why I'm doing all this training.  I definitely feel like I'm entering new territory now, as the longer runs start adding up.  Next weekend I'm teaching backcountry skiing for the AMC so I won't have a chance for a long run, the following weekend will have to make up for it.

Please consider contributing to my fund raising campaign for the G-Row program; giving athletic and academic assistance to girls in the Boston public school system. There's a link in the upper left of this page, please consider a contribution. And thank you to all of you who've already contributed; I appreciate your help.