It is one of the BEST days in Boston - the 20-mile training run before the Boston Marathon! This is like a holiday here in the Boston area. And now just Boston itself. It is a holiday for all of the cities along the Boston Marathon course. You're probably wondering what the heck I mean. Wellll it's like Marathon Monday, but three weeks early! The towns do an AMAZING job of making the marathon course safe for teams to train on. It is an extremely motivating, inspiring and humbling run as most of the folks out on the course on this day are charity runners and/or first-timers. The water stops are all sponsored by charity groups/run clubs. And the vibe is just unbelievable.
It's truly one day I really look forward to!!
So how did my run start? Well with a nice early alarm...
... before getting a ride from Page and heading in to Joint Ventures in Kenmore Square. Our busses departed at 7:30 to take the 30-40 minute ride to Framingham.
We unloaded in a church parking lot in Framingham and ran the last 20 miles of the course.
So with the snow falling and the wind howling, we headed out for a little jaunt. ;) I vowed to stay in the mile we were in and not think about the daunting 20 we would be doing. :)
Page and I started out and immediately got into a nice rhythm.
Mile 1: 8:55 Mile 2: 8:48 Mile 3: 8:56
We hit the first water stop and it was there at the right time. It was nice to check in with each other and the Tedy's Team coach.
Mile 4: 8:57 Mile 5: 8:42
The weather wasn't ideal, but we were making the most of it. PLUS we knew Tedy would be at the Mile 5 water stop... and our good friend and teammate Dan.
So bring on the pics!
Yeah Dan had some fun before returning my phone! ;)
Just after a fun water stop visit, we made the entry to Wellesley. Wellesley marks the halfway point during the Boston Marathon.
Mile 6: 8:34 Mile 7: 8:40
While out trip through Wellesley wasn't quite the same without the Scream Tunnel produced by the ladies of Wellesley College, we still had a great trip through. We enjoyed a Tedy's Team water stop before seeing the folks of Saucony and taking advantage of their port-o-potty... and snacks!
After another perfectly timed water stop we continued our journey to Comm Ave and Heartbreak Hill.
Mile 8: 9:08 Mile 9: 9:03 Mile 10: 8:54 Mile 11: 8:51
Since we were trying to keep the pace in check today, I continued to check in on our average pace, but didn't look at the mileage. Until I realized we were at Mile 11 when both Page and I expected to be at Mile 9. Yay! Winning at being farther into the run than expected.
Aaannnddd we finally hit the amazingly motivating guys of the Newton Firehouse. The Newton Firehouse is the start of the 3-mile stretch of Heartbreak Hill. The guys are out every week of Boston Marathon training to cheer on the runners!
Why yes I did make Dennis, Tedy's Team teammate and Stroke Survivor, pose for a selfie with us! He was loving it. :P
Mile 12: 8:47 Mile 13: 8:34
The fine folks of Joint Ventures had a nice water stop at Mile 13 where we took a quick break before snapping a much-needed pic with Heartbreak Bill (Gorilla mascot of Heartbreak Hill Running Company).
Mile 14: 8:49 Mile 15: 8:51
After dominating Heartbreak Hill I felt the need for Page and I to share our run thoughts to that point via video.
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Did you see the snow and hear the wind? ;) Not bad for being able to formulate sentences once delirium had set in. :P
So on race day the spot behind us - BC - has a huge inflatable arch that says:
Without the toughest miles behind us, we vowed to take the final 5 in stride. We did a great job of checking in with each other along the run making sure we were both fueled (Gu for Page and KIND bar for me). I actually found breaking up 2 Dark Chocolate & Sea Salt KIND bars was the perfect fuel for me!!
I felt really strong on the hills. Now my hamstrings were still sore, but nothing unbearable. The same pain that has been kicking around since May 2014.
Mile 16: 8:51 Mile 17: 8:52
We were not in familiar territory with less than 3 miles to go. We stopped for a fantastic water stop with a wonderful layout - thanks Melanoma Society!
Mile 18: 8:54 Mile 19: 9:02 Mile 20: 8:58
We hit Mile 19 when we entered Kenmore Square, so we did an exaggerated loop around Kenmore Square to end right in front of Dunkin Donuts. Yes folks - priorities!! Much of the team made their way towards the Boston Marathon Finish Line to hit 21, but I vowed not to look at the line during any of the training runs this year.
I touched it at the end of last year's 20-miler and felt a curse over my race. ;) Yes I am superstitious.
We gave ourselves a pat on the back, grabbed our drinks and headed back to Joint Ventures to do a little stretching and foam rolling.
Now we definitely ran a little faster than anticipated, but both of us felt in a groove and neither felt like we pushed it - which is KEY with just 22 days until the Big Show.
Overall the body felt good, fueling plans were executed properly and the snow/wind didn't hold us or our spirits back!
After the foam rolling and stretching, some of the team headed to Bertucci's (next door) for much-needed pizza and beer. Oohh it was a delicious feast complete with lots of hugs, smiles and high-fives. There is just something about being with a group of people all fighting for the same cause that invigorates you!
Once home, I took the plunge into the ice bath. I didn't want to do it, but the Tedy's Team coach kept telling me to do it to help recovery time. He swore I only needed 5-7 minutes in there.
Well my wine and I lasted 6 and I was DONE. I will report in tomorrow how it worked.
But for now, I am in bed, watching some TV, snuggling some puppies, rocking some compression and getting ready for tomorrow's Spin class at Velo City in Back Bay!
Special thanks to all who tweeted to me during the run using #DaniRuns20ForFun!! I loved the messages and support!
Oh oh oh and last but not least I loved using my Timex ONEGPS+ watch on a portion of today's run! The screen was easy to reach, the touchscreen was a breeze (except when the run was terminated after I used that hand to fix my skirt) and it was light weight!