This run would be mine! That's right. Despite seeing a real feel of -4 for this morning's group run with Tedy's Team I was excited for it.
Today (January 10) is my three-year anniversary of hitting goal with Weight Watchers (60+ lbs shed through WW and 80 overall). So there was a little extra pep in my step.
My usual running mates weren't going to make it due to injury and sickness so I know this would be more a of a solo run. I opted to leave the music at home since I'm now so used to running without it (thanks triathlon training).
The wife dropped me off at 7:50am and thankfully I had enough time to get some foam rolling in before we departed.
Today would be our first Riverside run of the season. A Riverside run means we take the green line of the MBTA (train) from Kenmore Square to the end of the D Line (Riverside stop). Once at Riverside, we run the 10.6 or so miles back to Kenmore. Why do this? Because we get to run on the actual Boston Marathon course and get some much-needed practice on Heartbreak Hill.
For those that don't know Heartbreak Hill is about three miles of rolling hills that hit you at Mile 17 of the marathon. So the hills themselves aren't horrendous, but when your legs already have 17 miles on them - they seem enormous! ;)
When we departed the train at Riverside (after a 30 or so minute ride - worst part of the experience), I bee-lined it for the bathroom (shocker I know) and had to take a picture of this awesome sign. :O)
After retying my shoes and locating satellites, it was time to get this run in motion.
Thankfully I've now done this run enough times that I actually know where I'm going. Tiny win! It takes just two rights and one left until you are officially on the marathon course. Oh the memories. Every time I step on that course I am transported back to race day for both 2013 and 2014.
Mile 1: 8:27 Mile 2: 8:42
Then THE right happens... on to Comm Ave and the start of Heartbreak Hill. I was all ready to snap a pic of the iconic Newton Firehouse, which is kind of the welcome committee to Heartbreak, but my phone decided to say this.
Apparently the iPhone is too lazy to have a "too hot" and "too cold" message so it gives the same one either way. Because as I mentioned earlier Real Feel was -4, which doesn't scream warm to me. How about you?
Mile 3: 8:35
Just before hitting Mile 4, I saw the familiar faces of our Tedy's Team water stop! YAY!
I look forward to these social stops WAAAYY too much! haha
Teammate Patricia and I
And I know you were all waiting for the obligatory: Margaret and Dani pic! :)
So apparently I was out there to run not gab! Huh. Who knew? So I hit Start on the Garmin and continued on OWNING Heartbreak. ;)
I was feeling really good. I don't know why, but I felt strong and in the zone.
I didn't look at my watch at all for pace, but instead focused on how I was feeling.
Mile 4: 8:07
Just before Mile 5, my phone decided it was "cool enough" to work again. Bring on the selfies!
And now I could show the slushy snow covering the ground adding a little cross training to today's run.
Mile 5: 8:38
Now as I mentioned Heartbreak is actually 3 miles worth of rolling hills with the biggest and baddest at the end... of course!
Here is where I mentally have to prep myself. There could be some swearing going on, there could be some internal high fives and there could be some promises of beer to myself if I make it up and over.
Hey! Whatever it takes right?
While running up this final leg of Heartbreak, I saw the kids of Dreamfar out there putting in some serious work.
Dreamfar High School Marathon (DHSM) is New England’s first high school marathon training program. We are a Greater Boston-based program that teaches high school students that anything is possible, even completing a marathon. With hard work, perseverance and guidance from dedicated mentors, our runners realize their potential as they train for the Cox Providence Marathon.
This lit another fire under my booty and I gave the hill everything I had.
This is why when taking mid-run selfies you take mulitple. They aren't all winners. :P
The final push was tough, but felt better than I expected. Not sure what was different about today's run than runs past, but I went with it.
Mile 6: 8:46
The amazing sight when coming off of the final Heartbreak Hill push is BC.
During the marathon there is a huge blow up arch that says:
From Boston 2014
A magical sight during the race.
With the major hills being over, the run continued to familiar ground: Beacon St through Brookline and back to Kenmore Square.
Mile 7: 8:17
The great thing about all the charity runners out on the course together is the sense of community. Folks stop at each other's water stops. There are tons of smiles, high fives and of course runner nods. :)
Our final water stop of the day was 7.6 miles in.
John was ready for us with water and gatorade. I enjoyed my mini luna bar before heading out to finish this thang. Am I cool enough to pull off thang? I don't think so. Doing it anyway.
I bobbed and weaved my way through the downtown Brookline as folks were out for brunch, etc. I tried to stay in the bike lane to avoid as much congestion as possible.
Mile 8: 8:28 Mile 9: 8:06
The only downfalls to running downtown are the people and the stoplights. Nothing like getting in a running groove and hitting every single red light. I was on that path this morning.
As I made my way down Beacon, I could see the final incline between me and coffee.
I've mentioned before this incline is just before the Mile 25 marker for the marathon so on it's own not that bad - at the point of the race it is? Killer.
As I looked ahead all I could see of the Citgo sign was GO... and GO I did.
I was going for 10.9 miles to make my 2015 year to date total a nice round 53.
Mile 10: 8:11
So I took an extra long route to Dunkin, which left me at 10.9 miles exactly.
I felt great at the end of the run. Could I have run 15.3 more? Not at that same pace, but I could've kept going.
I know I need to slow my long runs down as they should be slower than projected marathon pace, but today I let my body guide the pace and it felt okay the entire run.
I can tell being back at my goal weight is helping my pace and my overall feeling while running. Keeping excess weight off my back keeps that and my knees feeling better.
I opted to grab a coffee and wait for my wife at Dunkin. Of course I did some stretching while I waited.
Now I will miss the team's 12-14 mile run next weekend as I will be taking on 22.4 miles (5k-10k-Half) at Disneyland. I will miss the group, but I will be happy with the weather, costumes and character stops! :)
Week 5 Workouts:
Sunday, January 4: 5k run Monday, January 5: 4-mile run Tuesday, January 6: Hill Repeats (2.8 miles) & 45-min Spin class (Turnstyle) Wednesday, January 7: 4-mile run & 2.5-mile walk Thursday, January 8: 5k run Friday, January 9: 5-mile run Saturday, January 10: 10.9-mile run
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