My July 2020 Run Down
Jennifer Tinney 4th of July Virtual 5 Miller
Most years I run the Jennifer Tinney 5 Miler in Boxford, MA. The race is in memory of a young teacher who was viciously attached and killed by one of her students in their school. I can still remember the news stories.
My wife and sister are teachers. In addition to being a senseless killing, it hit very close to home.
Like all of my races, I ran this one from my front door. The temperature was no more than 75° F but the humidity was high.
I did the big loop from my house, across The Mystic to Somerville and back again.
It’s a convenient run and it seems fairly popular for runners and walkers. The Mystic River State Reservation always seems to have a lot of people enjoying the outdoors.
The worse part is crossing Rt. 16/Mystic Valley Parkway. It’s three lanes in each direction and most people are on their way somewhere.
I finished in 43:16 at an 8:38 pace.
For the rest of the week I didn’t run at all.
Margarita Virtual Half Marathon
On July 10th I ran the Margarita Virtual Half Marathon.
For this race I ran from my house into Kendall Square where I work.
Running to work has been of interest to me for a few years. Often I see one or two people running to or from work and I have often wondered how the logistics work. You have to shower at work and somehow get your clothes to work without them looking like you just picked them up off of the floor.
The roads for this run are usually very busy. The route I take is one of the major commuter routes into Boston and Cambridge.
I’ve been hit three times in my car over ten years on this route.
I got started just before 9AM which is never a good idea for a runner in July.
The temperature was 73° F when I left my home and it was 83° F by the time I got to Kendall Square.
It was so hot that I had to stop at Starbucks for an iced coffee. By the time I was finishing my drink, all of the ice had melted in less than 12 minutes!
While the goal was to complete a half marathon, my plan was to investigate the route into Kendall Square. My plan was to get to mile six and turn around.
My time was 2:32:37 at an 11:39 pace.
I typically run a two-hour or better half. It was a hot day and I ran during peak heat hours. And as opposed to running on a closed course with water stops, I had dozens of intersections and had to do some walking.
Tuesday Night Neighborhood Run
My next run a was a neighborhood run of 3.2 miles. After flaming out during my urban half, I knew I needed to try and run more consistently.
I ran hard and managed an 8:15 pace up and down the streets in my neighborhood.
Gotta love COVID hair! I think it’s been seven months since my last hair cut.
And this hair is matted down from wearing a hat and sweating!
I was happy to have gotten out during the week for a quick run.
Yankee Homecoming 10 Miler
On July 17th I ran The Yankee Homecoming 10 Miler. This is a mid week race in Newburyport, so I’ve never been able to run it.
It seems silly now to think I could not have taken a half day from work and run this race in the past. Is work so important that nothing else matters between 8AM and 5PM?
I ran this one on one of my Friday vacation days. The weather was mild so I didn’t leave the house until 12:13 PM. The temperature was only 63° F and the humidity was mild.
For this run I took The Fellsway into Melrose. I didn’t have any cut in stone plan, but I knew where I was going and when I needed to turn around.
I ran the hills on the Fellsway in both directions. Definitely not required, but I kind of enjoyed it. Nothing like a good workout!
In Melrose I ran down Main Street and made a stop at Starbucks for an Iced Coffee. The place was deserted! No problem social distancing in there.
My time was 1:32:26 at a pace of 9:13. Not bad for a longer run and 414 feet of elevation gain.
Tuesday night Club Run!
Several members of the MRC Board have been doing a lot of work to get our Tuesday night Club Runs back.
With the state-wide social distancing rules and slight variations in each town, it has been a challenge. There are 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts and each has their own Board of Health who can make their own rules and their own interpretations of State rules.
In these situations, you realize the value of a more centralized government structure.
We met in front of Melrose High, 02176! There were about a dozen of us. We sent out small groups by pace and I was in the first group. I planned on under 9 minute rules, which didn’t seem overly ambitious.
We were kind of the catch-all group like the 80+ age group at a race.
I had a comfortable 3.22 mile run with Marty Hergert at a 10:22 pace.
It was nice to talk to someone during a run.
Juneau Half Marathon
I left my house at 7:15 AM for this run and it was already 76° F.
I brought my full running belt with two water bottles and a gel. It turned out to be not enough.
On the way home and I stopped at Dunkin Donuts on The Jerry Jingle Highway in Melrose for an iced coffee and blue berry glazed donut.
I ran pretty much the same route that I ran for the Yankee Homecoming but managed to go from 414 feet in elevation gain to 2,339 feet. Almost six times the hills just by adding four fairly flat miles?
This was just before Garmin went dark. I’ll have to compare this run to another on a similar run, but it seems way off to me.
This was another hot run. It was 76° F when I left my house. I tried to run in the shade as much as possible, but it was still warm. Thus the stop at Dunkins.
For this run I ran the Fellsway Hills in both direction and run out Main Street in Melrose. At Crystal Pond I hit 7 miles and turned around.
I hoped that I could find enough short cuts on the way back to get close to 13.1 miles. It was too hot to run long.
Except for a slight variation in the last mile, I ran the same route out and back.
When I got to 13.1 miles I noted the time and used that to report my results for the race.
Not that it matters but I told Juneau I ran 2:21 and change. Unfortunately, that time included my pit stop at Dunkin Donuts and into the woods.
My total time for the run was 2:22:08 at a 10:09 pace. But that was for 14 miles! My actual 13.1 mile time was closer to 2:13.
The Juneau Marathon and Half Marathon folks were kind enough to send me a shirt and medal.
It is a great medal and I love the shirt. Hopefully next year we can get a crew from Melrose to go out to Alaska and run the marathon!
Tuesday night Club Run Take 2!
This week we had about 20 people show up! Again I was in the fastest group. But all of us run vastly different paces and distances.
I ran 5.77 miles on most of the longer of our summer routes. It was nice to be out on the summer course again and see what has changed.
One thing that I noticed is that it is starting to get dark around 8pm now! Noooo!
It was a good solo run and I felt better seeing people and hanging out for a bit.
Cambridge Summer Classic 5K Virt 2020
I ran this race on Friday July 31st. It seemed like a great way to end the month.
Thursday evening I went into Cambridge to pick up my shirt, super heavy duty Solo cup, coozie and sun glasses.
I had dropped my daughter at work and was early for the pick up. Paul Clark and his son were still setting up. They actually pulled in behind me.
On any other afternoon I would have worried about getting a parking ticket. But it looked like 6AM on a Sunday morning.
We talked for a few minutes and I offered to help set up but they said they were all set.
I got out the door at 6:40 PM on Friday after supper. While I just ran the streets in my neighborhood, I decided to run it like a race.
I wore my light weight Saucony racers and took off. My first mile was 7:54 and my average pace was 8:09.
Not a bad way to end the month.
For July my total miles were 57.46. I just missed topping April by a half mile. July was my second shortest month after May’s 41.14.
August 2019 I ran almost 85 miles. So far I’m up to 2.86 towards beating that!
How is your COVID summer running going?
Are you still motivated to train even though all races are going virtual?
Run well and Stay Health my Friends!