Friday, July 21, 2006


Crossing the threshold to longer distances

Today I ran 9 miles, the longest distance I have run in the last 10 months, and about 2 more miles than any run in the last few months. This is definitely a change from the first part of the training, which was pretty much the same old same old. I felt good, and my pace works out to 7.58 minute miles. That makes me very happy, as it makes my goal of an 8 minute pace for the marathon seem within reach.

This was also a test of whether I can motivate myself to get up early enough to run a greater-than-one-hour run and still get to work on time. This I did, but it took some planning last night to help me get out the door on time.

Sometimes I think this whole endeavor is charmed. A few posts back I described how my hill training route near my house worked out to be an exact one-mile loop, within a gnats eyelash. Well, for todays run, I needed to find a 9 mile course. I took my 7.1 mile Charles River run and used the Gmaps Pedometer to calculate the distance to the next bridge (the so-called Harvard Bridge, which goes to MIT). I subtracted the part of the route specific to the 7.1 mile route, added on the extra part to include the Harvard Bridge, and the distance worked out to be ... 8.97 miles!

It was nice to run this course and travel over some of my old stamping grounds. I got to count Smoots again, and see the Citgo sign up close.

Another amazing coincidence. I need to run 10 miles next friday. Well, it just so happens there is a 10 mile race next friday in Rhode Island, the Blessing of the Fleet Race. A seaside race, just the right distance at just the right time. Oh, not to mention that this race is something of a family tradition, in that my brother Matt, and sometimes my sister Tess runs it.

But oh, the humidity these days! Todays run was at 6 a.m., and not a ray of sun to be seen. Still, my high-tech singlet was soaked through. I took along an 8 oz. bottle of Gatorade, which I think was very smart. I will have to be sure to do this for all of my longer runs, especially in this kind of weather.

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