The Week that was

The week that was amazing

This past week was pretty active for me. I ran parts of the Freedom Trail twice, ran some great mileage, made gravy using tomatoes from my own garden and my recovery seems to be on track.

Wednesday night I ran some of Boston’s Freedom Trail with friends, but it was really just a vehicle to hit some bars and have a good time.

On Saturday I ran with City Running Tours Boston. This run took us down the Freedom Trail, through the Seaport District and ended at the Harpoon Brewery. Brian McCarthy lead our group of six through the city pointing out historic sites and explaining the history of older buildings. I’ve been to Boston many times but I did learn a few things and had a great time.

As many of you know, running through a city is a great way to see things and to get to know the place. By running you get to cover a lot more ground than by walking and by not being in a car or bus you can stop when you want to and you are always up close and personal with your surroundings.

As we ran through Boston we could smell the salty air blowing in off of the harbor, the fruits and vegetable at the Farmer’s Market and all of the aromas of various bakeries and shops. We also got to hear the city and the variety of voices and languages. The weather was warm, the sky was clear, and the city was vibrant.

If you have guests from out-of-town and want to show them Boston, City Running Tours Boston is a great way to do it. There are frequent stops to look at the sites and hear about what went on at a particular location. This is not a 10K race and the pace is manageable. Our group had some older folks and some recent college grads and we all kept together. This is a leisurely run through Boston and not a foot race.

City Running Tours is in 10 cities, so if you are traveling to one of them and would like to get a close up and intimate tour of your destination, be sure to sign up. They limit the number of runners in each group, so plan ahead. In Boston there are several different tours available. If you are visiting from out-of-town and need to get your long run in, they will provide a knowledgeable local runner to guide you also.

The week that was running

I ended up running over 28 miles this week, which was way beyond my goal of 24. Two of my runs were recreational tours of Boston and not as rigorous as a normal training run. I am beginning to notice that my leg does not hurt as often, and am definitely on the road to recovery. Now I just need to be careful!

Yesterday afternoon I picked the last of 23lbs of Roma tomatoes from my garden and made 4 Qts of gravy. Last week I cooked 27lbs of romas. It’s a bit of a process, but well worth the effort. I call this time of year the “Tomato Explosion”. The vines are loaded and I have to pick every day. My colleges are enjoying pounds of cherry tomatoes!

Have a great week, and thanks for stopping by.

©2012 anagelin

BAA 10K 2012

BAA 10K race recap

On Sunday I ran the 2nd Annual BAA 10K in Boston. It was another blazing hot day much like The Boston Marathon but with higher humidity.

The race started on Charles Street boston,Public Garden,Common, BAA 10Kwhich is between the Boston Common and the Public Garden. It’s really a great location with plenty of room for runners to lounge and stretch and for the spread that the BAA puts out for us.

I drove into Cambridge with my friend Gail and we parked in my work garage; very convenient at the end of the Longfellow bridge. It was about a 10 minute walk across the bridge and down Charles Street to The Common. Charles Street is a beautiful classic Boston neighborhood and a thoroughly enjoyable walk. We got to The Common about an hour before the race and picked up our shirts and bag for our gear.

We hung out, used the facilities and met up with some friends from our running club. It must have been 80 degrees in the sun at this point.

We found a patch of shade next to a building with a narrow window ledge to sit on. We sat, ate some pre-race food and watched all of the beautiful people. Since my hamstring was all ready giving me problems I only did a few light stretches and watched everyone else do their routines.

Like many runners I’ve developed a pre-race routine that I like to go through and work on any tight muscles. You can get contorted into some odd positions and it probably looks like one-man Twister to some people.

Well, Sunday was my day to watch the contortionists. I saw this one guy holding onto a barricade doing these high leg swings with a lot of force and wide range of motion. It made my leg hurt just watching him. I did my best to ignore all of the really fit females in their tight little shorts doing their contortions. But, oh my god! Why didn’t I start running when I was 20 and single?

Around 7:45 we made one more port-potty stop and headed for the corrals. They were packed like a Chicago stock yard. Every 20 feet or so hung a sign for the pace you should be running if you wanted to be in that section. We kept walking.

Eventually we stopped at the opening for the 7:00 – 7:59 pace. Neither of us were going to run that pace. But just about everyone was going to start out running at a 10 minute pace for the first ½ mile and then as everyone spread out the pace would pick up.

At the start

At 8AM they started the wheel chair racers. They wisely used a verbal start and not a starting gun. If they had fired the gun I really think that most people would have started running and it would have been a disaster.

A few minutes later they let Wave 1 go and the corrals moved up to take their place. At 8:05 they started Wave 2, and we were off.

On the run

As we turned off of Charles and onto Beacon Street the mob was all ready beginning to spread out. I was paying very close attention to my right leg at this point. I had not run since I hurt myself the previous Monday and I was not sure how the leg would respond. I had the normal base-line pains, but I did not have any twinges that would indicate trouble. When I checked my watch our pace was all ready under our 10 minute mile target pace.

Beacon turned left onto Arlington Street and then we turned right onto Commonwealth Ave. I felt pretty good and was confident that I could finish this race. Gail and I kept to between an 8:30 to 9:30 pace which was faster than we planned but comfortable for both of us. At the 1K sign we were in our groove.

As we hit the 1 Mile mark I felt like the race was taking shape, people were settled into their pace and there was finally some room to run. As we approached the right turn onto Charlesgate East I made sure Gail was okay with the pace and she was.

We turned quickly onto Beacon Street for a short distance and then onto Bay State Road. Bay State goes though the Boston University campus and I think mostly surprised people greeted us as we passed by. Before we turned left onto Granby Street we hit the 2 mile mark and had managed a 9:06 mile.

Granby took us back out to Comm. Ave. The Boston University section of Comm. Ave is wider than the Back Bay section of Comm. Ave and there are no large trees over the street. We were in full sun now and I could feel the heat and humidity: I could feel the energy.

My shirt fit me very well and was now damp and clung to me like a second skin. I was pretty sure I would not have any chaffing problems today. The loose wet shirts are the ones that cause problems.

Heading out Comm. Ave, on our way to the turnaround in front of the Agganis Arena, we locked into a comfortable pace around 9:00. The three-quarters of mile before Agganis is a slight uphill, but nothing too serious.

Gail and I managed to keep our pace going and passed a few people. We stayed to the left side of the road to make a good and efficient turn. As I came out of the turn I headed to the right side of the road to get out of the crowd and looked for Gail.

It was easy to spot her blaze red running shoes in the gaggle of shoes kicking about. Her bright head band and top stood out like a blaze in a forest of runners. She was moving right along and looked like she still had plenty of energy to finish strong.

Now the road was down hill and we hit 7:54 for a short distance. Gail reminded me to take it easy and not to overdo it. So we backed off and ran mile four at 8:38.

As we ran down the hill and headed back towards Kenmore Square I was feeling great. I just had the base-line discomfort in my hamstring. It had not blown up like a tractor-trailer tire going down the highway. This far into the race I was confident that my leg would hold up for the second half of the race.

The sun was baking down on the pavement and the air was full of heat; a slight head-wind provided some relief. Everything was going great and I was thoroughly enjoying this race. If I had been by myself I would have kicked it in and tried for an 8:00 mile. Thankfully my running mate was there to reel me in, and we ran mile five at a 9:01 pace.

As we came around Arlington onto Boylston Street, Gail could tell that I was raring to go and wanted to kick it in. She had coached me this far without injury, and told me to go ahead if I wanted to.

We ran to the finish just as we had started out, together. We finished at 56:00 and collected our finisher’s medal.

As we walked through the shoot Gail said she needed to go to the Medical Tent. For a moment I was scared that something was wrong. I had checked with her often during the race to make sure that the pace was good and she always said it was.

I was afraid that she had just been going along with me and now she had an injury. Then she told me she needed ice for her plantar fasciitis and that she wasn’t going to die of heat stroke.

The Medic gave us bags of ice and told me a $1.20 for the lady and $3.00 for me! For a second I thought he was serious. She iced down her foot and I iced down my leg. It was a brilliant idea. I never would have asked for ice and it made a world of difference. After 10 minutes or so my leg felt as good as it had before the race and it never bothered me for the rest of the day.

We both had a great race and a great day. I had a great time in spite of my injury and Gail achieved a new 10K PR!

©2012 anagelin