Following Saturday's race I was somewhat surprised that I felt as good as I did. And by good I mean that nothing hurt too badly. Given that I wasn't feeling top notch in the weeks before I was expecting to feel worse after the race but my plans of taking it easy seemed to have worked.
For the most part I was happy with the way I ran in the race, although now that I look at my splits I wish I had been able to pick up the pace more at the end. I should know by now that this is how I race, I start out fast thinking I have a shot at running really well, then I progressively slow down. On an out and back course with flat first and last miles like Merrimack I should have run a more even (or negative) split. I guess I still have a few things to learn about racing, like how to go out and run a PR without overdoing it in the first half and fading away in the second. I think I'm worried that if I start out slower I won't be able to pick it up in the end, but I always come away form races like this wondering if an easier pace at the beginning would have left me with more of a kick at the end. I suspect I will never know.
Anyway, I felt good enough on Sunday to go for a long run from my home in Portland to my parent's house in Freeport for Easter dinner. With the Boston Marathon coming up in a week (more on that later) I figured I ought to get a few miles in on the roads. I ended up doing about 1/3 of this run on the sandy shoulder, not that the pavement felt that bad, but dirt just feels better.
I wore my Brooks Cascadia, which at 9 months old are much newer than any of my road shoes and therefore much more confortable. I think I'll wear these for Boston.
distance: 15.23 miles
weather: low 40's, clear but very windy
gear: Brooks Cascadia 3, wool socks, short tights, t-shirt, long sleeve shirt, hat, gloves, Nathan HPL #020
That run felt good too, but by Monday I was ready for a day off. On Tuesday I was excited about returning to Twin Brook for a muddy run. There was a good turnout that included, Jim, Shauna, James, Chuck, Erik and Jeff. James mentioned that he was in the mood for speed so I said I'd give it a try. We set off at a pretty conservative pace and then stepped it up moderately over the first 2.5 miles. I then had the idea (inspired by James' suggestion a few weeks ago) for an uphill sprint line across one of the fields. This caught everyone by surprise but James and Chuck took the bait. After the short sprint we dropped the pace back a bit but it was still quicker than before and we kept it there for the next 3 miles until stepping it up again with a sprint finish.
Anyone coming out to run with us at Twin Brook for our Tuesday night run can expect a few more of these sprint lines thrown in.
I didn't wear my Garmin, or any other watch so I don't have any stats for this run. The trail conditions were pretty sloppy, the wettest part was the stream crossig which no one was able to jump fully across, the rest of the trails were pretty soft and muddy. It was nice to see that there were only a few very small patches of snow/ice left in the woods.
weather: low 50's, sunny
conditions: sloppy, muddy, fun
gear: Inov-8 Mudroc 290, wool socks, shorts, t-shirt, hat