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2019 Boston Marathon at Heartbreak Hill

Road to Boston 2023 – Mixing it Up

Sunday Long Run 12 was supposed to be a 17.8 mile run around Swains Pond and through Breakheart Reservation. I had to catch a flight Sunday afternoon so I ended up mixing it up with two short runs on the Road to Boston for 2023.

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My knee was acting up this week so I skipped the Tuesday night club run. Thursday night I went out for my usual run with hopes of making up for the missed miles. But very early in the run my knee started to hurt and I had to return home with only 1.1 miles at a dismal pace.

But, you gotta do what you gotta do. No one else is going to run those miles for you.

I really hated to run just over a mile after the previous two weekends of great running. But to make it to the starting line, you have to know when to push just a bit more and when it’s just not your day, or night.

Road to Boston 2023 – Mixing it up Saturday

This week I had to catch a flight to Orlando for work. A 17.8 mile run can take three to four hours, so I decided to split my run over two days. Running full on Sunday may have worked, but if my run went poorly or took more time than planned the situation would have been stressful.

After my ill-fated Thursday night run I was a little apprehensive about doing a 17+ mile run on Saturday. It took me most of the morning and lots of coffee to build up a head of steam and lace up my shoes.

It was a bit chilly as one would expect in the GBA in March. I made sure I was layered appropriately should this actually turn into a real run.

I did a little stretching, tucked my key into my pocket and headed out.

So I went out for what could have been a 13 or even 17.8 mile run with nothing but a car key in my pocket. No water, no food and no cash.

With all of the distractions, the run was the last thing on my mind. It was just one of many tasks I needed to complete.

Running the Saturday Long Run?

To start my run I wound around the local cul-du-sacs to warm up and see if my leg was going to fall off. But after about 3/4 of a mile I had to leave the hood or keep running in circles.

I managed to cross Spring Street without getting hit and headed down Magoun Ave. Just after mile one I had to stop and stretch my leg. Here we go, I thought.

I grabbed ahold of a sign post and stretched my left leg with the mondo brace on it. The brace is pretty bulky which makes it hard to do a good quad/knee stretch. But I managed.

Shock Doctor Knee Brace, Level 3

And after the stretch I could feel the difference. I didn’t break into a sprint, but I felt pretty confident that I would be able to run just about as much as I wanted to.

The only problem was that I had no water and no food. I had hydrated before I left the house but that would only take me so far.

Generally, for any run over 10K I take something with me. And if I had actually planned to run 10 to 17 miles I would have brought something with me. But I didn’t plan.

Road to Boston 2023, SLR 12, Saturday Long Run, Medford Run

I used all of the usual side streets in an effort to build up some miles. My legs felt pretty good and my energy level was pretty good also.

But I knew that without supplies, it made little sense to run out three or four more miles and come back. I’d get dehydrated and possibly injured.

I felt like I had missed an opportunity to get in the real SLR run of 17.8 miles and be done with it.

My Saturday Long Run wasn’t so long at only 5.24 miles. But I was able to over come the pain in my knee with some brief stretching, and that’s a lesson I can take to Boston.

Road to Boston 2023 – Mixing it Up Sunday

Sunday morning I got up, did my morning yoga and stretching and started a busy day.

Before I could go for a run, I had to make sure I had everything packed for my trip. It was only a three day trip and I was just taking a carry on, so I had to pack carefully.

By the time I finished packing and got changed up it was after 9:30am. Time to get moving.

I did the same loops in the neighborhood as I did on Saturday and covered many of the same streets. I think my neighbors from a few blocks over are beginning to recognize me!

Even with all the turns in my neighborhood, the first mile was 9:45. A bit faster than I needed, but the rest of my miles were all between 10:11 and 10:40. All good for a training run.

At this stage in the game it’s all about time on my feet and building up my cardio. There are no junk miles.

So I looped-e-loo around the neighborhood and ran 7.37 miles at a 10:22 pace.

I was happy with that. If I didn’t have a plane to catch I could have run 12 miles and hit my weekend goal. On this run everything clicked: my knee didn’t bother me and I had plenty of energy.

Instead of 17.8 hilly miles, I ran 12.61 mostly flat miles over two days.

I’m happy that I was able to do that many miles in spite of all of my distractions. It can be challenging to get in all of the long runs while training for a marathon.

It’s easy to get distracted, bored or complacent. It’s easy to say that this run doesn’t matter, won’t make a difference on race day.

The truth is that most of us will get to a point in the race where we wish we had done more. More of anything. More running, more strength training, more stretching, more sleeping, had more sense.

The vicious conversation that goes on in a runners head when the shit hits the fan would make a sailor blush. Even Tony Robbins would be flummoxed spinning the vortex of shit going on in your head into a happy landing.

It makes me laugh to think about it now. But so many times I’ve wondered why? WTF am I doing running another marathon? How f-ing stupid can I be?

I’ve trained for marathons many times and each time I miss a run or two. Life gets in the way and sometimes an injury screws up the schedule.

Week 12 could not be a pass weekend. I didn’t get all of the miles in but I learned a valuable lesson. One that I was not sure was true. And this is, when my knee hurts, a little walking or stretching can fix it.


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4 responses to “Road to Boston 2023 – Mixing it Up”

  1. Donna S Avatar

    Boston Marathon is quickly approaching. Have a great race!

    1. OmniRunner Avatar

      Thanks Donna!
      Things seem to be coming together.

      Andy

  2. TimeToTriHarder.blog Avatar

    Aha, I see Im not the only one who does all those little squiggles down side streets to build the miles, good to see others do the same 🙂

    1. OmniRunner Avatar

      LOL

      I started doing that during the pandemic. I guess I didn’t have the motivation to run somewhere and run back.
      But it turned out to be a very convenient way to get in my miles and stay close to home. If my knee or something else acted up, it was easy enough to get back home.
      And if everything was going great and I had the time, I could easily tack on as many miles as I wanted to.
      I have some friends who use an app to run every street in the town of their choice. They go down every alley and up every lane.
      Lots of miles when you run every street in a town.

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