Sunday, April 25, 2010

Long Run, 4/24

Before you read what follows: I'm toying with the idea of doing the same run that I'm about to describe below, again, in two weeks time -- on 5/8 or 5/9. Anybody interested? Run part or run all -- I would *love* the company. I also love the shared experience of running -- the blog is cool, but it needs to start to expand and we need to build up the culture of running even more, and bring the social into it (something I've loved stemming from the Cherry Blossom 10 blog and race). Let me know about 5/8-9. I published this on my other blog first but wanted to keep the CB10 blog moderately alive....

On reflection, my planned 20 miler was pretty darn tricky given that I'd run 5 miles in the previous 2 weeks. Never one to be deterred by such trifles, I proceeded as planned. David C. came down from Maine, I put on a nice spread Friday night, we carbo loaded, chatted for a bit and hit the sack.

We were on the road by 7:50 only 30 minutes late. We strolled to the jump off point and headed out. I started this long run like I do most of them: through the center of town, into Wellesley. Rather than turn around at the bridge or head into Weston, we turned right on Rt. 16 and picked up the Boston Marathon Course. We followed that for the next 7+ miles, through Wellesley Hills, Newton, to Comm Ave and BC.

Let me tell you, the Newton hills are no joke. I've driven Comm Ave dozens of time. I never realized though how high those hills are. Starting at about mile 9 on our run, and 17 on the marathon course, there are three, long hills in a row, culminating at Heartbreak Hill at mile 12/20. Everything was going swimmingly the first 8 miles. I took on the first hill with no problem. My legs swelled on the second and I actually walked a bunch of it, running more as I neared the top -- my first sign that yesterday was going to be tough.

We met our families at mile 10, dropped a layer, chugged some Gatorade and headed off. I ran Heartbreak Hill with little issue, but all respect to the Boston Marathoners who hit that beast at 20... After HBH we turned left at BC and headed down Lake St. and made our way to the Charles River. The long down was nice for the cardio, but murder, I think, for my legs. We wound our way through Brighton a bit to make it to Soldier's Field Road, dodged some traffic, jumped a guard rail and hit the Charles River Trail.

After a hippy, Earth Day, Charles River Cleanup chick nearly took David's eye out with her idiot stick (don't wave around a long wooden pole with a giant spike in it while talking to your helpmates, without paying attention to your surroundings, chuckle-head), we chugged along and met the families at mile 15. By this point, I was done, but I'd committed to the full magilla.

I dropped my water pack and on we went. My left leg -- just my left leg -- went into spasm essentially, it wasn't working like I wanted it to nor needed it to. My right leg felt fine. Well, as fine as screaming shins and calves can actually feel, but my left quad was completely shot. I had some stretches where I was trying to stretch, trying to give it a rest by walking, but I was walking, running walking running (and the left leg is far more sore today than the right). David rolled with me, and was an awesome partner. We chugged along, both of us hurting, but me hurting worse, and finished at the Esplanade, right in front of the Hatch Shell.

The weather was amazing. The familial support astounding. The running buddy fantastic. The muscle fitness not so great. Could the left leg issue be because I push off on it more since it is my dominant leg? I don't know. Anyway, glad I did it, hoping to glean some lessons from it, and use it to my advantage in a few weeks. Consider 5/8 people, consider it....

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