What an exciting week of running that was, folks! Our weekday mileage has increased to 17 total – 4 on Mondays, 6 on Tuesdays, and 7 on Thursdays – and I think the entire team is feeling it a bit. For one thing, working in a 7 mile run on your average Thursday can be a bit tough – Kelly and I resolved the problem by running directly from the office all the way home. Since we usually take the T to Central Square before running home, this was big change. Running through all of the folks in Downtown Crossing who are commuting home is a slightly crazy-making proposition, but we managed, and were rewarded with a gorgeous view of the Boston skyline at sunset courtesy of the Longfellow Bridge.
The other thing about our mileage increase is that, while I can’t speak for everyone else, my legs are tired. I wouldn’t say they’re sore, exactly, although sometimes that’s true, but they’re slightly stiff and I find myself noticing them more, which I realize is a bit vague but is the only way I can describe it. I am very aware of my legs.
Despite all of this, though, I have to say – this week’s long run may have been one of the best yet! This week we were able to run the last 17 miles of the marathon course – Children’s Hospital and The Liver Foundation (who all wore wacky Valentine’s Day related costumes) put together this amazing training run every year. Runners are bussed from the Riverside T stop out to Natick – and run right to the finish line! It was a wonderful opportunity to really understand some of the challenges of the route.
I’ll admit that I was nervous on the bus ride to Natick. Last week’s 15 miler had been pretty exhausting, and 17 miles seemed like an impossible number in my head. As I told Nandi, I couldn’t even wrap my head around it – it was too large.
When we reached our destination and started running I decided that the best way to approach the course was to do what I could and not worry about what everyone else was doing. This meant I lost Kelly and Nandi, who were keeping a brisk pace, pretty quickly, but since we had a clearly marked rendez-vous point at the end I wasn’t concerned. The weather was about as perfect for running as you could wish for – clear blue skies, sun, and just under 40 degrees. As I ran, I was in awe of how good my legs felt – no numbness or woodness, no real pain. I did have one terrifying moment around mile 6 when I bent to tie my shoe and something literally exploded in my right knee – I saw stars and was convinced I was done for, until I stood up and felt great! The slight stiffness in the knee was gone! If anyone has any explanation for this I would love to hear it.
Around mile 8 or so we started on the Newton hills and I was pleasantly surprised by how manageable they were! While I realize that in the real marathon I’ll have run about twice as far when I come across them I still feel like all of the hillwork we’ve done in the weekly runs is paying off. After the hills the course is pretty easy – a small climb in Coolidge Corner but that’s rewarded with what’s practically a downhill slope all the way to the finish line. In this week’s dry run I crossed it with a huge smile on my face – let’s hope I can do the same in April!
Alas, I have no pictures of this week’s run. Here’s one from last week’s pegleg run, for contrast:
That’s Jess and I, exhausted from our efforts and the evil set of stairs at mile 14! Note my sad, zombie-like demeanor. Now imagine me bounding with joy – that was this week.
Big fundraising news!
1. I am over the minimum $3,250 threshold! Special thanks to the folks that made that happen this week: Kevin Kominsky, Matthew Fuller, my sister Kelly and most especially my dad! You are all amazing!
2. The staff teammates are hosting what promises to be a really fun trivia night at Crossroads Pub on 2/19, at 6 pm. Details are here. We only have room for 100 people, so please let us know if you plan to attend.
3. February Raffle! $1 for one chance, $5 for six, this month it’s going to be cookies. Your choice of chocolate chip, ginger molasses, brownies or lemon squares.
4.As always, you can check my fundraising progress, buy raffle tickets or make a donation here.