Last weekend I was faced with a choice. I’d signed up for the Eastern States 20 Miler, but the weather heading into the weekend looked abysmal for race day. As a New Englander training for a spring marathon, we’re often in the uncomfortable position of having to make changes to our training plans, especially changes in long run schedules due to weather. Last year, I even had to take a vacation day to get a long run in before a weekend blizzard.
With over an inch of rain and close to 100% chance of precipitation called for on race day for a course that’s almost entirely coastal, I made the decision to bail on the race and headed out for my long run the day before.
This was no normal training run but was the pinnacle of my, and most, marathon training plans at 20 miles. The weather was perfect at about 45 degress with sun and only a little wind. I hopped out of bed, had a bit of coffee and the standard bagel and peanut butter and took a route along the water, almost mimicking the first bit of the race route for the Eastern States run for a nice out and back.
The run was great and I had a blast, even running for about 1.5 miles with an old friend from college who will be running Boston this year as well. His training pace was a heck of a lot faster than mine (he’s a 2:44 marathoner) which helped me get a bit of tempo in the middle of my run! It was good to catch up with him and he told me that he, too, was close to the finish line last year at the time the bombs went off and wants to go back to regain the Boston Marathon experience. I sent him off at about my 8 miles in and settled into a nice rhythm for the rest of the 20, with a few twinges in my achilles around mile 15 (Note the bright red spot on the image above… Yup - it didn’t feel good at all). All in all, a good distance and decent pace left me feeling good.
This week I had a tougher running week with some aches and pains resulting in the 20 mile effort and made the decision to scale back my long run this weekend from 16+ to about 14 or so….. a wise one as even the 14 miler yesterday was crummy. It was one of those runs that all runners have had where nothing feels quite right. I was overdressed, my watch stopped halfway through and my hip hurt. Total case of the blahs. I wrapped up the run telling myself it was the last longest run and there’s two weeks to snap back to form before Boston, where I’ll be able to rely on the good 30K effort and the recent 20 miler to get me through the 26.2.
After this morning’s run, a little 5.5 miler comebacker after yesterday’s 14, I’m in official taper mode. Bring it on, Boston… I can’t wait to pound your pavement for 26 miles before that right on Hereford and left on Boylston!!! TWO WEEKS!