Sunday, March 25, 2012

Spring! And runners' thoughts turn to Boston Marathon

No, I'm not going to Boston Marathon but I got in a wonderful long run with a gal who was doing her last long run for the Boston marathon this weekend. EC and I trained together for much of the spring of 2011 with the goal of running the Eugene Marathon.  I did the training and opted for a DNS (did not start) for Eugene 2011 and went on to run my own Private Marathon in a solid time for a solo effort.  EC qualified for Boston at the Eugene Marathon and then built on that training and success to get a heckuva lot faster.  I'd watched her get stronger and stronger with the marathon training and realized (with hindsight) that the long runs were breaking me down.  Granted she's 15 years younger but realizing that something isn't working so great for you is an important part of training (and life really).  
She's going to Boston in a few weeks and I am so proud!  I honestly felt like I did the work with her and her upcoming race is mine as well.  I had to seriously ask myself if I'm jealous and I'm not.  She'd had a pretty crazy winter and some nice travel to Europe and her schedule has settled so she's joined group runs the past few weeks.  I tell myself that she's a lot faster than me now (and she is) but I've been able to keep up.  We had a crazy track workout I wrote about last March.  this past Tuesday we had the same workout and I was freaking about it.  EC reminded me that we'd done this before.  And before I knew it, we'd done it again - 3 miles at under 7:30 pace. 

Her last long run with this weekend.  She's not a trail runner so needed some downhill training in preparation for the downhill start of Boston.  We got dropped off at Rattlesnake lake and started up the Iron Horse trail.  Ice and snow forced a turn around at 3 miles and then the downhill started.  I kept my pace moderate so that EC would have an easy pace then for 15 miles.  We chatted and chatted and the miles went quick once we'd both woken up (it was early when we started!). I was feeling great.  
Once down onto the flatter Snoqualmie Valley, we did an out and back of two miles.  I'd stop here (at 15 miles total) and EC would continue 5 miles back uphill to get 20 miles and an excellent training run specifically for Boston.  Those flat 4 miles were tough as the last two were into a strong wind.  I was determined to keep the pace moderate and battled for pace.  Honestly it's probably teh first time i've been able to battle at the end of a long run and I was happy for myself and certainly for EC. She's going to do great!

Happier Ferns in Sun
After 15 yesterday, some cross training working in the yard and a super fun dinner party, I got back out to trails this morning. It was SUNNY! I smiled the whole time as i trotted very easily along on cougar mountain trails for 6.5 miles.  Amazing.  I've not felt so good.  Ever?  Another week at just over 40 miles running and I'm looking forward to the cutback week again. 

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