I was very excited about my 20 miler today. Why? Many reason, if you are curious: 1) my mom and husband kept telling me how cold it is going to be today and how I should not run, 2) a couple of my running buddies declined to join me for part of my run because "it's too cold for me", 3) I had lots of interesting podcasts but no time to listen to them.
The thermometer recorded 2 degrees this morning. I was all bundled up with my Nike tights with fleece lining (they do add 5 lbs, but oh, so worth it!), 2 shirts, running vest, wool arm warmers, balaclava and gloves. After a mile or so my forehead was frozen so I went into a Walgreens and bough myself a $1.99 hat. All warm and cozy, I was all set for my 20 miler. The plan was to have an easy run, and keep the pace @ 8:20-8:30, not faster. I raced last Sunday and had some kick ass runs this week, including a 3 mile tempo @ 6:34, so I wanted to give my legs a chance to recover. The plan worked for .....about 8 miles. At mile 8 I had some hills and wanted to run them a bit faster. I did. I took a gel at mile 10 (Chocolate #9, it's awesome) with the tiny bit of water that I was able to get out of my frozen bottles (yes, even hot water eventually freezes...). My pace was 8:15 average at the half point. So, of course, how can I go slower? Plus, all my water bottles were frozen, so I had to get home quickly to avoid dehydration.... Looking at my splits all my last 10 miles were sub 8s. At mile 15 on my way back I was very thirsty. And then I saw them, the Dana Farber Marathon team table with water bottles! Water bottles! I passed by, but then I turned around and told them I'd like to buy one. Of course they offered one for free. I started talking story about the frozen water bottles, and then I realized that one of the people at the stand was Jack Fultz! So I introduced myself and started talking marathon. It was great! I had a hard time unfreezing the tops of my bottles, so he actually did that for me, and filled my water bottles. This man is so humble, sitting in the freezing cold, cheering on the DF team, and filling water bottles for fans with frozen hands like myself. After about 5 minutes I left. Any wander that my last splits were all sub 7:30, with the last 2 7:10?
Stats: 20.5 miles, 20@ 7:53 (this, by the way, was my MP by Garmin at Baystate in October).
I was super happy with the run, mostly because I felt great. Sure, the last miles were hard, but that's expected! I really think that my race last weekend has done wanders for my speed, and I am very excited about the other races that I have planned before Boston. This is different than my usual approach, where I race very little, if at all before a marathon. I have a feeling that I am going to rock Boston if I don't get injured. I do have to tame down the speed, but I am a speed addict (not that kind of speed), so I can't help it....I am really enjoying the journey without focusing solely on the destination, and that is a good thing!
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