While it may seem odd to be talking about a Sunday Long Run Fall 2023, this is when we start. Actually the Sunday Long Run series for Fall of 2023 began on July 9th. Right in the middle of the hottest weather in Boston!
On July 9th I was on vacation in the Pacific North West having a great time. The morning of July 16th it was pouring out with lightening forecasted. Since I don’t have a marathon on my schedule, I decided to bag that run!
In order to run a marathon you have to pick one and register for it. Once you do that you are committed and have to move your ass.
If you don’t sign up, it makes it difficult to tell yourself that you should go run in high heat and humidity and that you will feel so great afterwards. Inevitably you will have to run in the rain and possible worry about lightening.
And if you sign up for a fall marathon and skip the training you will pay in the worse way on marathon day. If you skimp on your training you will still probably pay.
All the miles you run in the heat or the cold, dark or early morning pay off on marathon day.
Magical thinking may get you to 10K or even to the half marathon mark, but without proper training the wheels will come off the bus and you will be in a world of hurt.
There are always exceptions. If you are young and stupid or incredibly gifted and careless you can probably roll out of bed on marathon morning and run a decent time. 99% of us are neither of those two categories.
We need to grind out those miles and do all the other things runners need to do to show up healthy and run a race they can be proud of.
The July 23 Sunday Long Run
I got a pretty good night’s sleep and woke up to my alarm at 6AM. I prefer to wake up to an alarm and not wake up before the alarm. More sleep is always better for me.
All my gear was ready to go. All I had to do was drink my coffee and remind myself to keep moving as 6:30 would arrive quickly.
I had a banana, did my business and filled a frozen water bottle to the top with water. At 6:30AM I was headed out the door.
I was the first one in the parking lot, but within 5 minutes just about everyone else was there.
The route was pretty simple this week: run out Main Street, circle Lake Quannapowitt and ran back down Main Street. Even I can’t get lost on this route.
My overall pace was 10:02 and varied between 9:37 and 10:23. Most of my miles were within 10 seconds of my overall time. I ran with different groups of people but told them to do their thing as I had to specific goal time.
My main goal was to take it easy in the heat and run the entire route, which is what I did.
Early in the run I told my self that I could do a few strides near the end of the run if I felt up to it. There are so many variables running, you never know how you are going to feel those last few miles.
But around mile 9 I felt good enough to try a stride. I wasn’t going to run like a 100 meter sprinter, but for about 100 yards I kicked it up a few notches. I did the same thing around mile 10.5.
Even though they were hard and sent my heart rate above 170, they felt pretty good!
While training for the 2023 Boston Marathon I started adding strides to some of my runs. It breaks things up, is a new challenge and is a good training technique. Everything that I’ve read says strides can help with your speed.
It always good to change up your training routine. Your body gets used to the usual stuff and your workouts become less effective, according to what I have read.
I’ve included a clip of the last few miles my running map. The red areas are where I ran strides. I was surprised that they would show up.
Next week is 14 miles, so I’m not sure that I’ll be running any strides!