Striding Through

Because a life well lived always finds the right pace

Busy road to Boston

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks, and I haven’t had time to even think about posting any updates here or at my Team in Training page. In the meantime the days have flown by and now it’s only 5 days until the Boston Marathon!

I managed to squeeze in 2 races over the past two 2.5 weeks. The first was on March 29, just a small 5k race in Falls Church sponsored by the Friends of the W&OD. I decided to maximize my mileage by running both to & from the event — 4 miles each way. Unfortunately my timing must have been a little off for the trip out there because I arrived with far too little time to get my number and chip and line up at the start. The race went off without me and I started about 2 minutes late. Oh well, I thought, there went any chance at an award. But I had come primarily for a good workout and I was going to get that no matter what. So I took off and quickly started knocking down some fast miles, first catching the back of the pack, then the middle of the pack. My official finishing time was well over 21 minutes, but my chip time was a much more impressive 19:04, the fastest 5k time I’ve run in a couple of years. Then it was time to run back home…slowly.

The following week was a bit of a slog, as the fatigue I often feel towards the end of a marathon training cycle took its toll. Despite some disappointing workouts I pushed on knowing the final taper for Boston would start the following week. Then last week I finally got to dial back the mileage in preparation for my final tuneup race, the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler.  I knew by midweek I was ready to run well when I knocked a short, fast interval workout (4 x 4:00) out of the park. By the time Sunday rolled around my legs were fresh again and I was ready to go.

My goals for Cherry Blossom were modest, basically to run at marathon pace for the first half and then really let it rip in the second. I got down to the Washington Monument grounds in plenty of time and was able to get fully stretched and warmed up. In the corral, I was relaxed and ready. When the horn sounded I quickly settled into a comfortable pace, which turned out to be about 30 seconds faster per mile than I was planning on! But I decided to go with it because I clearly was not straining. I ended up holding that pace for the next 9 miles. Finally at the 9-mile mark I decided to step it up for a fast finish. After a bunch of 6:45 miles, running a 6:26 came pretty easily, and I crossed the line in 67:12 — nowhere near my PR but a very nice run that was fast but didn’t take much out of me. I believe that run has me really primed for Boston next Monday.

Now, I just need to get there, because I know I have a really special race in me. 🙂 More on that to follow, very shortly. Meanwhile it’s time to go hit the trail at Burke Lake!

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