Sunday Long Run Seven

Boston Marathon training continues through the coldest days of the year with Sunday Long Run Seven. As I run towards my April goal, my 2019 goal remains in focus.

Boston Marathon 2019 training continues with Sunday Long Run Seven.

This week we ran 14.3 miles and had 546 feet of elevation gain. Somehow this seemed harder than last week’s 16.2 mile run with 616 feet of elevation. And my pace was slower  this week by 13 seconds per  mile.

It was a little colder than last week, but it was still below freezing last week.

In any event, I got in my miles and ran some good hills. All of this will serve me well on April 15th when I make my 9th official run to Boston.

The Sunday Long Run

I got up in plenty of time and had my coffee and toast. So I was properly fueled and hydrated. I managed to dilly dally enough to get to Melrose only 15 minutes before the run. I’m usually one of the first to arrive.

Maybe I’m still recovering from a four day conference? I thought standing was better for you than sitting? I stood for almost three days.

My watch took a bit to lock onto the satellites, so I was the last person to take off for the run. Before we hit one mile I caught up to a bunch of people and began to look for people running the full distance.

There were probably 20 people going full, but I could only keep up with some of them!

I knew I had to keep the person in front of me in view so I wouldn’t miss a turn. That meant I had to keep my water stops brief so I wouldn’t loose any one.

Last week I ran with someone most of the run. This week I spent most of my time alone. I think that made a big difference in my run. When I run with someone I tend to talk a lot and that makes the miles just melt away.

When I run by my self, I don’t have anyone to push me or distract me from my watch!

This week’s run was similar to last week’s run and I pretty much knew where I was going. But not all the time!

Melrose Running Club, Sunday Long Run SevenSince I didn’t have a plane to catch, I hung around at Bruegger’s for a while and enjoyed the company of my fellow runners.

My go to drink is iced coffee with milk or cream. After my DEXA scan, I’m paying more attention to my calcium intake.

The little bit of fat and protein in the milk doesn’t hurt the post run recovery either.

We take over about half of the restaurant after our run. A nice cup of coffee, a bagel or sandwich really hit’s the spot after a long run.

We don’t just talk about running, but it’s a very popular topic!

The Year So Far

I know that a lot of people have a running streak goal, Even if they only run a mile in a day, the streak continues. For me, running every day is way too ambitious.

For 2019 I set a more attainable though still challenging goal of averaging 3 miles per day. That will get me beyond my year goal of running 1,000 miles.

I often run around  800 miles per year, sometimes close to 900. But I’ve never run 1,000 miles in a year.

In 2018 I ran just over 802 miles for an average of 2.2 miles per day.

So far this year I’ve run 134 miles over 48 days for an average of 2.79 miles per day. In January my average was 2.58 miles and for February, so far, my average is 3.19 miles per day.

Averaging 2.79 miles will get me to 1,018 miles and reaching 3 miles per day will get me to 1,095 miles.

Next week’s long run is 18.1 and I have two more Tuesday night runs that will be over 6 miles each. If I manage to get in another 4 or 5 miles on the treadmill at work I’ll hit my goal for February.

The March is on!

For March I have 3 half marathons, a 5K, four Tuesday Night Club Runs and at least one Sunday Long Run of 14.8 miles.

With a few additional runs I should be able to hit my goal of 3 miles per day. Since March is the last full month before the Boston Marathon I’d like to kick my mileage to over 100 miles, possibly to 120 miles.

It is well within reach.

You may have noticed I haven’t mentioned much about marathon training. While I’m doing the long runs, keeping my mileage up and watching my diet, I’m not following any particular plan. I’m certainly not running 100 mile weeks. I rarely do.

How is your marathon training going? Do you follow a plan or do you just increase your miles and spend more time thinking about running than usual?

Run well my Friends,

Andy

A Real River Run

An afternoon run looks like a run on the river!

river run, marathon training
Running down the River?

I went out for a Friday afternoon run at work. We were having another unseasonably warm day and I couldn’t resist. This was my second River Run for the week. When I ran across the Longfellow bridge on Tuesday there was a huge crowd on the bridge returning from The Patriots Victory Parade.

Today the crowd was light but my first mile pace was sluggish. Not sure why, but I ended up running an 8:23 pace over 5.03 miles.

When I got home and loaded my run into Garmin Connect I saw this interesting graphic. The green circle is supposed to be where I started my run. In the middle of The Charles River!

There is ice on the river, but barely enough for a duck to walk on. It’s mostly open water again.

Every once in a while I get a crazy result like this. I’m never sure why.

My watch locked onto satellites quickly and nothing seemed unusual. It was just another fun run along the river.

Do you ever get crazy results like this with your watch?

Run well my Friends and stay off the ice!

Andy

2018 Summer Marathon Training Week 7

Summer marathon training can be a hot sweaty mess. I’m lucky to have a club running program to help!

Sunday Long Run Seven

Sunday Long Run Seven in the summer marathon training program was this weekend. I still haven’t signed up for a Fall New England marathon, but I do have three halfs on the schedule. If you’re still looking for a Fall marathon check out my link. Fall is a busy marathon season in New England!

We had a good sized group of about 30 people run this week.

This week probably a dozen or so of us ran the 14.6 mile course, or some semblance of it! There are a lot of turns for the week seven run, but I know these roads by heart. Early in the run we made a  loop around Ell Pond across from Melrose High School.

I always enjoy this loop because we only run it a few times a year and there are some amazing homes in this neighborhood.

Sunday Long Run Seven, summer marathon training

I ended up running most of the course by my self. The long run group made the loop of Ell Pond and the short run folks did not. So as we ran up the Fellsway Hills I caught up to several people and had some running conversation with them. 

Even though I haven’t run a lot this summer I felt strong pushing up the hills. I kept telling my self that I was running longer than a half marathon so I should be a little bit conservative. But I’m not a very good conservative so I ran at a comfortable pace that was a bit faster than I probably should have. 

Miles four and five were up the hills and I managed a 9:43 and a 9:40 mile while gaining 159 feet over the two miles and loosing 120 feet of elevation. After the charge up the hills I never had a sub 9 minute mile the rest of the day. But that was okay.

I managed a 13.93 mile run at an average pace of 9:23. This was 23 seconds/mile faster than last week when I ran 14.02 miles and had less elevation gain. 

If I hadn’t pushed the hills maybe I could have run the full 14.6 mile course. Distance is important but I was able to push my pace on a fairly challenging course and I ran longer than the distance I’m training for, the half marathon. So over all, I think it was a good run.

I’m still adjusting to a new editor called Gutenberg from WordPress. It’s supposed to be wonderful, but so far I find it difficult to use. I know it takes time to adjust to and learn new things so I’m sticking with it for now.

It does dampen my enthusiasm to sit down and write since I have to spend more time trying to figure out how to do things. I’m also finding that I can’t do things I could before and I can’t do things that Gutenberg is supposed to do.

So if things look clunky for a while and I don’t write as often, you know why.

Run well my Friends and enjoy the rest of this summer!

Andy

Sunday Long Run Winchester Highlands 2018

Sunday Long Run Six 2018

This week I managed to squeak in a long run before it was time to head off to the airport. The route was supposed to be 16.2 miles from Melrose through the Winchester Highlands.

Winchester Highlands sounds like a grand tour, especially if you are from England or something. Around here it just means we get to run a bunch of hills! Ass busters you could call them. 

I started running with my buddy Dave and we hung together until the first water stop. Dave was doing the half route and turned back to Brueggers.

All of the other long run people had arrived and left the first water stop by the time I got there. I’ve run this route at least a dozen times but I always worry about missing a turn and running all day just to get home!

After a short stop I headed out by my self with the hope of catching up to someone who knew the route better than I. As I ran down the hill from the water stop, I hoped to see someone if front of me. No luck.

As I approached the next few intersections I remembered the turns and never had a moment of hesitation! I was pleasantly surprised at my self. Eventually I found Tom Gorman at water stop two.

fall marathon training, summer running
Sunday Long Run, Winchester Highlands, Fall Marathon training

I was really glad to see him. Not just because I needed a drink, but because it meant I was still on track. Tom and I chatted for a few minutes and I headed off on my mystery run.

I would through Winchester and headed back to Melrose. I know I took at least one wrong turn because when I finished my run I only had 14 miles on my watch.

The previous week I had only run about 6.5 miles, so 14 was plenty. As I sit writing this article, my legs are sore and my left knee is barking.

While I may have missed a few miles on this run, it still feels pretty good to have run the 14 miles that I did manage.

So somehow I feel like I’m training for a marathon or at least a half. Maybe I’m just kidding my self.

I’m also using a new editor while trying to write this post and the lest two. So if these past few have been a bit of a mess, I’m still figuring out Gutenberg and trying to decide if I’m going to continue to use it. 

So bear with me and run well my friends,

Andy

Saturday Long Run

Sometimes a nice summer run is just what you need to clear the cob webs.

This week I changed things up a bit. Instead of doing a Sunday Long Run with the Melrose Running Club, I did a Saturday Long Run on my own.

Getting up and out by yourself can be a challenge. When there is a group of runners expecting you, you kinda gotta show up or get some razzing the next time you meet up.

When I’m sitting on the couch clearing the DVR of shows I just couldn’t make time for but just can’t miss, it’s easy to watch just one more show and then go for a run.

I know my self well enough to know that I am susceptible to this laziness. 

To combat growing roots and never moving I changed into my running clothes during the commercial breaks. Instead of fast-forwarding through the breaks I used the time to move my self closer to the door.

Saturday Long Run?

As I headed down my street I wasn’t sure exactly where I was going. All I knew was that I was going to run through Medford Square and over to West Medford and head out The Mystic Valley Parkway. So I headed in that direction.

At the Wedgemere train station where the Parkway ends at Bacon Street I wasn’t sure where I would go. This point ended up being five miles from my home and you can see it on the map below.

I could have turned around and had a nice ten mile run. The last time I ran out this way I took a few turns and ended up too far from home and unsure of my location. With that run in mind, turning around would have been reasonable.

Saturday Long Run, Summer Running

Since I’ve been running on the light side lately I decided to head south on Bacon Street towards Medford. I wasn’t sure how many miles I’d end up with, but at least I was heading home.

What I think about when I Saturday Long Run

Running on a warm, humid summer morning is a gift. After my legs warmed up I began to feel good and confident. I knew that where ever I ended up on this trek, I was prepared. My belt had supplies, cell phone and two bottles of Hydralyte.

After I got over to The Parkway I had a wide bike lane to run in. The Parkway is next to The Mystic Lakes. Most of the time all I heard were my own shoes hitting the pavement.

The soft, moist breeze carried the pine and spruce forest into the air.  With just a few other runners, two cyclists and a handful of cars, I almost felt like I was running in the woods.

Since I didn’t push my pace too much it was a very comfortable and enjoyable run. It was a run that I hope will come to mind the next time I’m at home trying to visualize a route and build up the steam to get out the door.

The temperature seemed to be in the low 70s the entire run. And even though it had rained Friday night and sprinkled during my run it never felt humid. 

So what did I think about? Since it wasn’t a race or a long long run I didn’t have mission control in my head constantly doing systems checks and fuel assessments. It was all systems on cruise.

I thought about how polluted the Mystic Lakes and Mystic River are. That there must have been all kinds of factories over here in the old days. Who knows what they made besides a huge mess that no one wants to deal with. The sediment on the bottom is so contaminated that the experts figure it’s better to leave it be.

They may be right, but then, what mess are we leaving for our great-grand children to deal with. Are we always so short sighted and ignorant that humanity constantly screws things up?

I ran by some magnificent houses and imagined who lives there now and many years ago. Who built it and why that style? What were they trying to say, if anything? 

Lot’s of random thoughts and also time with a clear mind not thinking of anything other than the run.

Summer is setting like the Sun

It seems like just yesterday it was the beginning of June. Then my Father died on June 13th and it seems that ever since, I have cascaded from one event or task to another.

Work has me travelling a lot, my garden is a mess and my to-do list lies mostly un-touched. I enjoy being busy but I also enjoy living life and not just passing though it. 

Taking a nice Saturday long run in solitude gave me an hour and a half with just my thoughts. Maybe someday I will look back on those 93 minutes as a highlight of the summer of 2018. A moment when the foot came off the accelerator and a deep breath of life filled my lungs. 

Run well my Friends,

Andy

Melrose Sunday Long Run Four

Sunday Long Runs continue in the heat of summer!

Sunday Long Run Number Four

This Sunday we had Sunday Long Run number four for 2018. It is August and the weather did not disappoint! While it was officially 75 degrees, it felt much warmer in the sun. 

With all of the rain that we’ve had over the past few days the humidity must have been 100%.

We had about forty runners show up for the run. A few new faces and a few familiar faces from other local clubs. There are some regulars who I only see on Sundays.

When I left my house in the morning I had planned to run the full 14.1 miles. Due to a lot of travelling for business and a major airport delay, I haven’t been running much. Part of me wanted to get in some my missing miles and part of me worried that going the distance may be too much.

Decisions in the Heat of the Run

Early in any run it can be difficult to make the legs move. Sunday morning was no different. I was tired, it was hot and I tried not to complain. We complain about the cold all fall, winter and spring. Sometimes you just have to go with what you have been wishing for!

cambridge Summer Classic 5K

We ran down Main Street in Melrose and up West Wyoming towards the Lynn Fells Parkway. After we crossed The Fellsway we hit the hill on Pond Street. There is a paved path just under the tree canopy so I headed to the shade. My buddy Dave and I were surprised that we were already past the 1.5 mile mark. In a way it seemed quick.

As we ran down Pond Street towards The Stone Zoo we were completely exposed to the sun. It was getting hot. As we passed the zoo I saw one of our runners grabbing a drink at a fountain that is slightly hidden and not known to many. I thought about stopping.

Water Stop U-Turn

At the water stop I decided to turn around. Dave was running short and many runners who were running long had already left. 

I’ve run this route several times and had a pretty good idea where I was going but lacked the certainty I needed. It was really hot and if I took a wrong turn I could be out here for hours. 

Since I wasn’t sure that I’d have someone to follow, I decided to head back with Dave and call seven miles good.

As we ran back the running seemed easier. Part of it was the fact that we were heading home, part of it was that we were now warmed up. Our pace was still pretty slow but we were past the half-way mark!

For the short run there was only the one water stop. While we missed a cold drink and a chance to refuel, we just kept on trucking to the finish!

Run well my Friends,

Andy