Holllleeeeerrrrr. I just had the most amazing LR. Probably ever. For real. It was fast and fluid and damn near perfect. I don’t want to say perfect though because I don’t want to think that this is it and that it can’t get better.
First I want to say I’m glad I’m not the only one who hates the elliptical. I think a lot of people (who aren’t runners) think I’m crazy for hating on it. But these are the people who don’t like to break a sweat. And that is what I live for. Everything’s relative I suppose.
But I don’t want to dwell on the negative because today has ROCKED so far. It got off to a shaky start when my mom called me at 0730 this morning. Okay so I was awake but I had a good half hour before I had to get out of bed so I was just laying there in pretty much a morning stupor. I did not appreciate it. But it got me up. I threw together a breakfast and packed my bags because I was hitting the roads for my long run.
I met up with Lacey at her house for our long run. Confession time: this is week 4 of my Boston Training Plan and the LR was a cutback one. The range given was 13-16 so I asked Lacey (being on her turf) to map out a route some distance around that erring on the longer side of the range. I think the route she sent me was 16.5? And we ended up doing 17!!
The run itself was great. It went along Comm Ave, around BC basically hitting up Newton and Brighton. The area was quite scenic in a way that I don’t get to experience because I run in the boonies/suburbs all the time. I was a little nervous about it because this area is really hilly. And I run in an area with no hills to speak of so I was hoping that my hills workouts at the end of my intervals workouts were going to pull me through. And sure enough they were.
The first hill we hit was STEEP. I felt it 100% (especially in my hips and deep in my glutes) and couldn’t look up to the top because, to be honest, I couldn’t see the top. I’d guess that it was about 8%, maybe even higher but that could just be my mind making it more of a monster than it is. The next two hills weren’t as bad as that first one but they were still decent. I’d estimate the Comm Ave hill was about a half mile (?) and a 5% (?) grade. We powered through it though like the champs we are. Talking the whole way up. The last hill (BC) Lacey was getting me all worried about but it wasn’t that bad at all! Maybe I had an unrealistic expectation of the difficulty of it but it was about 6-7% grade and maybe a quarter mile in length. The funny thing is that at the end of this last one I had to ask her if that was hill #3 and she was like “Ummm I think so?”
But now that I’ve actually seen some real hills and done the downhill portion I’m much more confident that I’m in decent hill shape. No reason to slack off on the hill workouts but definitely a self-esteem booster. It was also nice to have downhills incorporated in the run too because the TM I’ve been doing hills on can’t go negative inclines.
We started out at a pretty relaxed pace. Ok so it felt relaxed but I know that the first 11-12 miles were averaging 8:45. Ummmm what what? My typical LR pace is 9:00: And that’s the average so it’s including the really good stuff at the end when I pick up the pace. So to start off like that AND have it feel relaxed was great. Lacey and I were both able to talk the whole time. It’s interesting how much easier a pace can feel when you have company. Sure I’m probably capable of hitting sub-9s on a LR but if I had done the same run on my own, would I have? Probably not.
The last 4 or 5 miles were interesting. Now remember that this LR was a less intense LR. According to my plan I was to do 13-16 at an even relaxed pace. Lacey had asked if we could finish really strong, like the way my last few LRs have been. Of course this appealed to me. So we tried from miles 12-16 to hit my goal MP (8:00). I don’t think we ever did but that’s because they were all SUB-8. And mile 15-16 was 7:37 or something crazy like that. Just to state the obvious: that’s tempo pace. At the end of long run. Again, I think having Lacey there enabled me to do this and our overall average pace ended up being 8:28 or so.
The very last mile we took as a cool down mile. Nice and slow. My legs at that point were tired. With good reason too: this was a damn fast run. I’m sure my hips will be sore later as they were really feeling the hills. But I’m on cloud-freaking-nine. It’s awesome and I highly recommend it.
I left Lacey’s house to head home and she gave me 2 Cliff Bars. Clearly the effort of a 17 miler with blistering splits at the end made me hungry because I ate them both (DELICIOUS. Thanks Lace I’m glad I took both 😉 ) and I stopped at Wendy’s to get a vanilla frosty. Totally hit the spot. Even on a cold day (which since the sun was out I felt fine in shorts. Love this weather lately). Also: before I left Lacey took a picture of my 2000+ shoes. So I’ll post those in the future when I get a copy of them.
So now I’m in my hometown, sitting on my couch after having showered *without* shower shoes. I’ll get a home-cooked meal tonight plus maybe a shopping trip? Life is good indeed.
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