Pain free week here, good news. At 48 miles, this has been my highest mileage week since late February, three weeks prior to New Orleans (conincidentally, Green Bay is three weeks from today). I think I’m in better position now than I was then – my long run this week came in under 20 miles (19.3) but the split was 8:22, ~0:20/mile under the longs I mentioned in that previous post.
My goal for Green Bay is to run a 3:50 marathon, an 8:46 split. This would be a PR for me by ~5 minutes. If my first 19 miles are anything like yesterday’s run, I’ll be under that. My long term goal for the rest of the year is to work down to a 3:40 marathon, or an 8:23 split. That’d still be 25 minutes too slow to be a Boston Qualifying time, but that’s a problem for another time.
Speaking of yesterday’s run – this was the first time I’ve ever used the Minuteman Bikeway. I picked this up at Alewife and ran to the far terminus in Bedford. What a fantastic resource this is. I can’t believe I’ve never done this before. It’s so much easier to make good time when there are pedestrian underpasses and overpasses. And safer too, to not have to contend with sharing infrastructure with cars.
Also, to mix things up I swapped out the entirety of my (17.7 hour!) long run mix for an older mix I used to train for San Francisco in 2009, so my song of the week isn’t something I’ve heard in a while. This clicked on as I crossed from Bedford to Burlington yesterday morning, and is the only song I know of that namechecks Boston, Kansas City & Shreveport. Also, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, which I’ll pass through on May 19th. Me and Johnny, traveling the world.
I didn’t get accepted in the non-guaranteed lottery for the New York City Marathon this year. The odds were against me (something like 9 to 1) and honestly, I’m really ok with the outcome. I’m going to be running in Newport, RI a few weeks before and again in Philadelphia a few weeks afterward. If I don’t get in next year there’s always the Brooklyn Marathon to try. And since there’s a month-plus of free time in my fall, I’ve decided to go out to California for a while & run the Healdsburg Wine Country Half. All said & done a similarly priced & reasonable consolation prize.
In more exciting news than our persistent April rains, some of my friends are heading off to Paris for vacation this week. This has prompted me to think back (with a predictable mix of happiness & wistfulness) on my own trip to France a few years back.
One of the parts of that trip that I recall with particular clarity & joy was the walk from the Louvre to the Arc De Triomphe, through the Jardin des Tuileries & alongd the Champs-Élysées. For the duration of that walk I had the song below stuck in my head, not a particularly happy or appropriate-to-the-moment tune, but regardless. Future Bible Heroes is a side project of Stephin Merritt (of The Magnetic Fields fame).
T-minus 4 weeks to the Green Bay Marathon. And in 4 weeks & 6 days, Bayshore in Traverse City. After a super-crappy long run last weekend I was apprehensive about my knee but I slowed down my pace a bit and all critical ligaments hung together for 42 miles this week.
The last five of those were today at the Ring Around the Neck in Marblehead, a fun five mile race that would have been gorgeous, had it been yesterday. Instead we had a cold rain, gnarly wind to go with some pretty decent hills. Due to the weather there were fewer people in this race than expected, far fewer than my previous five miler (the Super Sunday 5 in Cambridge). I think this sparsity worked to my advantage and I was able to find my pace quickly and set a new PR at 34:32 (chip time). I’m pretty happy with how things turned out.
Song of the week is a go-to for endorphin boost, Now We Can See by The Thermals.
A day after my friends & I volunteered for the Boston Marathon, I’ve been googling around trying to find some information on what happened to last year’s women’s champion, Caroline Kilel. Someone at work mentioned she collided with a water volunteer (the job my team had at kilometer 35) which if true is very disheartening.
Kilel tangled with a water volunteer in the closing stages knocking her out of the stride as Cherop, Chelagat who won the Masai Mara Marathon last year, Rono and Dado went in the clear.
The Boston Globe live blog makes me wonder – an official volunteer would not have tried to hand an elite runner anything (they are required to pick up their fluids from a fixed location on a special table).
11:23 a.m.: A volunteer walked out onto the course to hand water to the women’s leaders and collided briefly with the women. Nobody fell down, but the incident slowed leader Caroline Kilel.
And this, from Runner’s Web, is the closest I could find to an eye-witness sounding description of what happened.
Past 30 kilometers (1:48:48), disaster struck for Kilel. A young women –who may not have been an official volunteer because she was not wearing the organizer’s uniform– stepped into the lead pack to hand out cups of water, and collided with Kilel. Stunned, she fell back, worked to catch up, but would eventually drop out.
Regardless of who was to blame, an upsetting & unfortunate turn of events.
Second week in a row with some troubles on my long run. Last week I was pretty sure I just ran out of fuel – this week the outside of my left knee was bothering me to such a degree that I stopped my run at mile 15.6 (of a planned 18.4) & walked the rest of the way home. I’m going to pull back a bit & rest a bit more next week (not on miles so much, but on midweek pace) and run a shorter sub-race pace long run next weekend & see if I can get this back under control.
In ‘better news’ – ran my first ever 5K with hondo & YJP (&, for that matter, LZ) as part of the BAA pre-marathon festivities. 5K, a tricky distance and actually somewhat difficult to run at an anaerobic threshold. Not as difficult as an 80+ degree marathon, which is what VK will be doing tomorrow.
Five weeks until Green Bay. Song of the week is Piano Fire from Sparklehorse.
This paragraph has broader application than it’s original context. Cheers for mild nihilism.
If you have had that kind of ferocious condescension aimed at you, you may have ended up feeling bad or inadequate about [XYZ]. If so, I hope it brings some relief to learn that this power dynamic was probably the real objective of the person who berated you. Not only wouldn’t a kind or caring person try to humiliate you about something so petty and meaningless, a normal, healthy mind would recognize that in the scheme of things it doesn’t matter whether a person [XYZ]. Because in the whole history of the universe [XYZ] has not caused irreparable harm, gross insult, lasting disease, mass hysteria, or, in fact, any negative effect on the human species whatsoever.
Kind of a difficult running week, finishing up 12 of 18 for the Green Bay Marathon. I did the 20 mile long run I mentioned missing last week on Saturday but I think I didn’t fuel properly because I crashed into the pretty-damned-real-feeling-for-a-metaphor brick wall three quarters of the way through. Hondo says you have to take the good with the bad and expect the occasional bad long run along the way but there’s got to be something more scientific than that I can do to prevent this from happening in a race. More fluids, more sleep, more Gu, less booze (if that’s even possible). I don’t know. I’ll try again next weekend. Really the only good part of the 20 was the buck I found blowing along Memorial Drive between miles 12 & 13.
Looking at the week as a whole though, I was really quite happy with my tempo run on Wednesday, where I hit 8.6 miles in just under an hour, a sub-7:00 split. This is the longest run I’ve sustained this pace. My goal for the next few Wednesdays is to repeat this effort until it comes easier.
Next Sunday is the BAA 5K which I’m pretty sure I can pop a PR without crashing, considering I’ve never raced that distance before. And day after that, it’s our elite fluids volunteer gig for the big show, the Boston Marathon. Somehow, someway, VK’s almost to his fundraising target – we’re looking forward to cheering him on, if we can figure out which side of the course both he and we will be on.
Song of the week, one of my favorites and a new arrival on the marathon long run mix, Grandaddy, A.M. 180.
I felt very lucky to have gotten to see The Magnetic Fields play at Berklee tonight. It wasn’t a perfect performance, but I would say it was the most personally meaningful show I’ve seen since Zee sent me to Yo La Tengo some years ago. Since the only hip girl at work managed to confused The Magnetic Fields with Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, here are four favorite tracks from four different albums to help orient you to the discography. None of these made the set list tonight.
I stayed up stupid late last night after KU squeaked out a win over OSU in the Final Four, and that (plus excessive vegan nachos, and being sick) made for a less than full speed long run today. Regardless, 41 miles for the week. The Green Bay Marathon is 7 weeks from today which means I should probably be figuring out where my pre-race 20s will be mixed in – now that I think about it I probably should have done one today. This is week 11 of 18 for Green Bay – I did three 20′s before New Orleans on weeks 11, 13 & 15. So yeah, looks like I’m off schedule.
In shorter distance news, the BAA 5K is two weeks from today, and the day after that, our Boston Marathon volunteer team will be working at the 35k elite fluid station. I don’t know exactly what that entails yet but I’ll assume it’s one of the most essential & sexy job assignments possible.
Song of the week (from the 2010 Foss Fest interlude double album mix) is Essex Green, The Late Great Cassiopeia. Excellent song to kick home to.