A Saturday Long Run
This week the Melrose Running Club held their Holiday Party on Saturday night, so we had our Sunday Long Run on Saturday. Some people don’t like to stay out all night and then go for a long run.
Since this is the third week of our program, the Saturday Long run dropped down to 10.5 miles. After the hilly 12.5 miles the previous week, it was a welcome distance.
Last week, my Garmin showed that I climbed the equivalent of 77 flights of stairs on that run. And my legs certainly felt it!
This week we left our starting area behind Brueggers on Main Street in Melrose and headed north on Main Street. Somehow, we forgot to get a group photo!
This Saturday the temperature was around 33F with an occasional breeze and a constant, light drizzle. I think the precipitation kept our group small, probably 25 people?
The first mile out I ran a 10:57 pace in an effort to warm up and see what was going to hurt this time. And I did run a bit with Marty Hergert this week!
Over miles two and three the group settled into groups of runners by pace and I ended up running with Joe Winslow and Dan Slattery. We ran around 10:15 over those two miles and my left knee was bothering me.
This early in my Boston Marathon training, this had me a little worried. Knee pain has been a constant issue but I have learned a few tricks.
When I first started back to running, my PT would have me walk four minutes and then run one minute and slowly progress to running a 5K without walking over the course of about five weeks.
When I got to the point in this process where I was running more than walking, almost every time my knee would hurt. So the walking breaks were welcomed.
What I discovered by doing this progression was that often my knee pain would go away after I took the walk break. Even if I did more than the usual pre-run warm up my knee would still hurt. But walking almost always made it feel better.
So when we got to our first water stop at about 5K I took an extended walking break to the men’s room at the local McDonalds.
Don Cranley is the guy in the red jacket next to me in the above photo. We both have a Boston Marathon number through our club and both really needed to get this run in.
Don wasn’t really feeling it, so I told him I’d catch up and run with him after my pit stop.
Now, Don might not have been feeling it, but it took me almost four miles to catch up to him at the bottom of Lake Q. I ran all of four of those miles well under a 1o-minute pace. So he was cruising along.
Finishing the Saturday Long Run
As I ran down North Ave in Wakefield I could see Don’s red jacket way down the road. And I could see him taking walking breaks. When I caught up to him he asked me which direction to go in, so I think he had been checking the map on his phone.
This is the second week that someone has asked me for directions, which is generally not a good thing to do. Fortunately, I know these courses very well and they are some of our easiest.
But if you add in a few rotaries and intersections with five roads and poor signage, I could get you lost!
As we ran down Main Street in Wakefield almost every driver let us cross the street and were just great in general. I think both of us really appreciated that.
When we got back to the water stop Bobby Taylor was there manning the stop and the only person there. Then Zelia showed up and started snapping pics. Just like she did last week.
We were about seven and a half miles into the run at this point. I didn’t feel great but my back and left knee were manageable. And while my cardio wasn’t in marathon condition, my breathing was comfortable.
After a minute or so, Don and I headed out for the last 5K of the run.
Don was kind of struggling and he told me later that I helped push him along. He was only going to do the half distance.
Soon after we left the water stop we hit a small hill and both of us felt it, but we kept on going and talking.
It’s always a good sign when you can talk and run!
At around mile nine Don said he had to walk and that I should go on. We’ve all been there and it’s no slight to run on ahead of someone during a training run. Especially when you are almost done.
I ran in the last approximately 1.7 miles by myself around a 10 to 10:30 pace. It felt comfortable and my pain was manageable.
My total distance was 10.81 miles at an average of 10:02 which was the pace I wanted on this run. Now I want to try and run this pace at the longer distance next week.
I had to do some club business in town after the run, so I didn’t hang out for coffee afterwards. Maybe next week.
I hope your training is going well,