Now that the longest runs are over, this week we ran the 1st Road to Boston 2023 taper run.
Twenty-two miles for week thirteen was a challenging run. Even though I was not happy with my 10:43 pace, it was faster than the previous three long runs including my solo twenty-miler on March 3rd which I ran at 11:10.
Now that it is taper time, I have run out of time to increase my fitness. Nothing I do now will significantly contribute to my speed or endurance. Taper time is all about maintenance and dialing in your gear and nutrition.
This taper run was the week 14 SLR, a 14.8 mile run that is one of my favorites.
Some of these course maps have been pretty big, so this week I decided to use two maps to provide a bit more detail. For those of you not familiar with the area, this should make it easier for you to follow my narrative also.
We started from our usual spot in Melrose where the green arrow is.
From there we ran across Main Street, up East Foster Street and took a right after the Melrose Commons. A lot of people took off, but for me the 104 feet of elevation going up East Foster held me back. There was no need to push up a hill on a taper run.
From the turn through mile two we were running mostly downhill and my knee began to shake out and feel normal. I began to catch up with the gang but didn’t really catch them until our first water stop at the Citizens Bank on Main Street in Melrose.
One of the people I caught up to was Renee who is also running The Boston Marathon. We took off together and headed towards the Oak Grove T station and then up Greenwood Street towards The Fellsway East.
As soon as we turned right onto The Fellsway, the climb began. Mile five had 131 feet of ascent and slowed us to a 11:47 pace. I think I kept talking the entire time!
Mile six was mostly down hill and mile seven had some rolling hills that dropped us at the next water stop across from Melrose High.
From the high school we headed east on The Fellsway towards Main Street in Saugus.
We didn’t have to deal with traffic as we were turning left onto Main Street and headed for Wakefield High School for our next water stop.
While the hills up Main Street are gentle and rolling, they go on for over a mile and a half! The road is so long it turns into Farm Street in Wakefield. You are ready for a water stop by the time you hit the High School.
I hit mile eleven at the High School and was thrilled that I had less than four miles to go! I didn’t stay long as I was trying to keep training as close to the race as possible.
So I headed across Main Street to Nahant and ran those rolling hills to Main Street in Wakefield and took a left on the way home.
Finishing the Road to Boston 2023 1st Taper Run
Right after the turn onto Main Street the first hill begins and goes on for about a mile. It’s not the worse hill I’ve ever run, but this bit of road is always on the way home.
My legs were tired but felt much better than they did on similar distance runs when we began the 2023 Sunday Long Runs.
My knee held up quite well and only bothered me the first mile or so. This seems to be my new pattern. My back continues to bother me.
One thing that was new on this run and that I have not experienced much of lately was hip pain.
I say pain but it was more like discomfort. It was level one or two pain but it was pain.
Anytime you start to notice a body part during a long run, it’s usually a bad sign.
But I knew exactly what I needed to do. Many years ago I had severe hip flexor pain late in my marathons. Like hammers in my hip sockets.
But someone showed me a few yoga hip stretches and they really helped. Now other parts of my body act up before the hips. I’ll take it!
I resolved to do more hip stretches over the next two weeks. Do my hamstring and back rolling and try to take it easy.
I ran the last few miles by my self back to the parking lot and my car.
It definitely felt like a run. But it definitely felt like I was ready for Boston!