Final Boston Training Run …. 4.4 easy miles

Posted: April 14, 2010 in Pace and Racing, Training
Tags: , ,

Today (Wednesday) was another one of those can’t wait to hop out of bed mornings.  You have to really relish those as they really don’t come along very often.  But today was special and I knew it when I hit the sheets last night at bedtime.  The last training run of the period leading up to Boston.  4 Miles at race pace said the “Magic Fridge” and I was going to enjoy every last one of them.

Magic Fridge

Perfect weather this morning with still winds, temperature 58 degrees.   Maybe 8 degrees or so warmer than “perfect”, but here in Austin any morning run this time of year under 60 degrees is a gift.  You take what you can get.

I patted Kayla on the head on the way out the door, clicked on my Garmin and headed out to the trail that I have covered hundreds of times over the last year.  The route was going to be a little longer than what was being called for by the fridge this morning as this loop is actually 4.4 miles – but what’s an extra .40 miles at this point right?  We’ve covered 478 miles in the last 16 weeks to get to this point – I didn’t think another 4/10 of a mile would kill me.

The reason I chose this route however is I really wanted to head back to where it all started in August.  I wanted to cover one last time the loop on Brushy Creek trail down by the lake where like a bolt of lightning the idea to run back to back marathons this spring for Dom struck me that Sunday morning.  I’ve thought about that morning a lot while training for Boston and Pittsburgh and wanted to tap into that resource one more time prior to race day.

The miles came in bunches this morning.  It’s like that sometimes.  I kept telling myself to take it easy, stay smooth, don’t push, run at race pace and don’t overdo it.  I was hoping to turn in miles between 7:17 and 7:20 this morning, which is the pace I would like to run the early miles at Boston on Monday.  I made sure not to look at my watch and just let my body “feel” the pace and thought that I was taking it as easy as I could.

I actually thought that over the first two  miles I was running far too slowly up the hills and over the dam, something in the 7:30 range – but the taper is really a magical thing.   With what seemed to be very little effort I posted miles of 7:06, 7:11, 7:11, 7:07 and coasting back to the house over the final 4/10 of a mile at 7:22 pace.  Final run of the training cycle 4.4 miles, 31:34, 7:10 pace.  Normally I would be a little irritated at myself for pushing the pace too fast on an easy run – but honestly the pace felt perfect. 

Perhaps all those miles on the tri-bike during this training period have helped more than I thought.  Maybe we’re more ready than we think we are for those hills at Boston and can really post a new Personal Best on the storied course from Hopkinton to Boston.  That would be something.

The fact of the matter is as I told my father-in-law this past weekend.  I really can’t get too caught up in any of that right now.  The time to fixate on your training is while you are training.  Not afterwards.  At this point I know I’ve done all I can to be ready for race day on Monday.  I’m just going to take it easy the rest of the week, eat smart, watch my calories and make sure I get everything I need for race day packed into my carry-on bag.  Non-race essentials can go in the checked luggage – but no chance I’m trusting my race shoes to Continental Airlines.  I love those guys – but the last thing I need to be doing is trying to find size 9D Asics Gel Nimbus 11’s the day before the Boston Marathon ….

Pre-race Sweats

One thing I did get accomplished yesterday which was on my to-do list was to secure my “toss away” sweats that I’ll wear to the starting corral and discard right before the starter’s gun.  One disadvantage of being a “Texan” over the last decade is that when it comes to cold weather, I have definitely gotten soft.  Standing around in 45 degree weather for an hour or so is not something that I’m equipped for any longer – so having the right “pre-race gear” is almost as important as the right “race gear”.

At the larger races discarded clothing is collected and given away to charity – which is simply fantastic.  I’m sure 20,000 sweatshirts and sweatpants can go a long way to helping those less fortunate.  In that spirit I do not root through my old sweats and take those to race day.  I look to buy new from a TJ Max or Marshalls and leave new gear behind.  Seems like the least that I can do.

So for Marathon #1 we’ll be “rockin” the Long Horn gear up in Hopkinton.  I’m not sure how much Burnt Orange will be in the crowd on race morning – but if you are looking for me in the 7th starting Corral, I shouldn’t be hard to spot.

I’ll be posting my race goal on Sunday morning once the final weather forecast for race day is available – I’m thinking PR at this point, but the wind could still play havoc – so I’m holding off for now.  Regardless of our finish time it is going to be a big day for Run for Dom. 

I plan on making sure everyone in Boston knows we were there.

  1. nice post on getting back/remembering where we started, in your case the brushy creek trail. God bless you on Boston. you can do it sir!

  2. Vern Myers says:

    Joe, you’ve got everything covered, my friend! Now go out and rock it!

    • joerunfordom says:

      Vern – thanks so much for the visit and all the support here and on DM – you are the best. Best of luck with your remaining taper for May 2nd Vern – you are going to kill that first marathon! Best from down here in Austin, Joe

  3. jami says:

    Good luck to you. As a Floridian I too would like a little warmer weather. Oh well will just have to run faster Ha.

    • joerunfordom says:

      Thanks Jami! Looking like 46-54 degrees for the time of the race which is just about perfect! Hoping it stays right there and we don’t have a lot of wind. Take care!

  4. David says:

    I just visited Boston for the first time in October this past year and I have to plug the Finale bakery! You may have already heard of it or been, but if I were running the Boston Marathon I’d stop by their Coolidge Corner location on Beacon in Brookline. Yes, in the middle of the race…it’s that good! I visited the Park Plaza location downtown near Boston Common–their Boston Cream Pie is the best!!! Definitely worth the $7 or $8 bucks. And the 5 minute loss to your overall time!

    • joerunfordom says:

      David – thanks for the tip on Finale! That sounds awesome, and we’ll be staying right down in Copley for the race – that Park Plaza location near the Common is very close-by. Typically I go on a 24-hour eat everything in site glutonous binge after the race ….. I will definitely be looking for that Boston Cream Pie.

  5. Sarah says:

    Sounds like a great 4.4 miles to me! I’m excited you are so close now!!

    Love that you are bringing new gear to “giveaway” at the race. That is definitely the right spirit. 🙂

    • joerunfordom says:

      Hi Sarah! So great to hear from you prior to the race – thanks for the visit and you are so right. Runners are an amazing group of people, very passionate and always looking to help a cause. The least I can do is contribute some nice warm clothing to those less fortunate. And as you know – there is no amount of money you wouldn’t pay to stay warm standing around waiting for that starter’s gun at a race! Take good care Sarah! Best, Joe

  6. Katie says:

    Good luck! I so want to run Boston! And I only live like 30 minutes away! Not happening this year though. One, I ran a bad marathon in October and didn’t qualify, and two I’m 20 weeks pregnant. So it will have to wait. Anyway, can’t wait to read about how you do…enjoy the ride!

    • joerunfordom says:

      Katie you will get there! Anyone can if you really want it bad enough – trust me I know that to be true! So excited for you – my wife is 19 weeks 6 days along as of today – Due date September 2nd! Best of luck with that little one on the way!

  7. Gretchen says:

    HOOK ‘EM! Need I say more?

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