I hope easter weekend was fabulous for everyone out there! I for one felt VERY blessed to have a long weekend. I needed it to catch up on life.
Workout wise, this week could have been better. But it was alright. I’m at the beginning of my taper, and it did feel weird to ease up a bit on my milage. A few typical aches and pains had been plaguing me this week, but I iced and rolled and stretched and everything seemed to have healed up by my long run on Saturday.
And speaking of my long run; I took a break from my team long run this week to go on a nerve-taming adventure of my own. After hearing all kinds of crazy stories about the “very downhill” first 7 miles of the Boston Marathon route, I got to feeling nervous about that section, especially since I’d covered almost all of the rest of the course in training. I’ve also been worrying about logistics on race day. Although I’m from Boston, I’ve never been to Hopkinton, where the race starts.
So I asked my mom if she’d be able to drive me out to the Boston Marathon starting line in Hopkinton one day and pick me up a couple of towns over after I log a couple of miles. I was originally thinking about doing this as a mid-week 6/7 miler, but the weekend worked best for my mom, so we chose this Saturday as the day to do it. I was scheduled to log 10-ish miles, and so I chose a cafe just off the Marathon route in Natick (about 10 miles in) as our meeting place.
Here’s us in Hopkinton Common, right beside the starting line:)
Before I get too deep into my long run recap, here’s how the rest of my week went, workout-wise!
- Monday: 3 mile recovery run (still sore from 21+ on saturday
- Tuesday: 30 minutes swimming
- Wednesday: 4.2 miles w/ hill repeats
- Thursday: 4.5 miles @ 10min/mile pace
- Friday: Rest
- Saturday: 10 mile long run @ 9:45 pace
- Sunday: Easter Egg Hunt:)
- Total Weekly Mileage: 21.7
Boston is a super weird race, because only a tiny portion of it is actually in my hometown of Boston. The majority is out in the small-town-ish western suburbs. And if you know me or you’ve been reading this blog on the reg, than it’s no secret that I am a naturally anxious person. I’ve always, always struggled with anxiety, and I’ve been lucky over the years to find ways of taming my nerves and relieving stress. One of these strategies is to rehearse; I rehearse what I’m going to say to a parent at a contentious meeting, or I rehearse how I’m going to do my makeup for an important event. So it made sense for me to do a bit of a rehearsal leading up to this.
This is a tip I give to so many of my friends and colleagues who ask me what to do before their first race race. Aside from sleeping and eating well, I’d say the next best thing is to really, really get as good of a sense of what the course is like as possible. If you’re doing a race locally, than it makes total sense to visit the course and run it, walk it, or drive it. Checking out the start and finish locations and scouting out parking and restrooms ain’t a bad idea either!
And if your race isn’t local, I’ve been known to stalk the heck out of the elevation map on the race website and google map the entire route on street view to get a little better acquainted.
My mom and I drove through Hopkinton a bit, and I spotted my team’s meeting spot and the starting line. Once I hit the road, mom happily went shopping until I texted her a 3-mile warning, (I get my shopping habit from her…for real though) and then met me at a designated spot 10 miles down the course. I’ve been super lucky that my parents are somewhat amused by my running habit and also enjoy car rides. (Does anyone else have the BEST conversations with their parents while in the car, or is it just me?)
`The route was shockingly bucolic. It was definitely downhill, but I felt like it was totally managable. Lots of thick trees for shade and lots of cute historic houses with the kinds of huge yards a city girl can only dream of. (My backyard was about 10×10 growing up)
I took in a few little landmarks and stored a couple of personalized mile markers in my memory so I’ll have something to look for on race day. It was a dream of a day: sunny and 58 degrees. I was running in just my tank and shorts by the time I found my mom in Natick, Massachusetts.
I really enjoied this little solo-mission out west. I recently signed up for my next marathon, which will be in October. I will be training on my own a lot more for this one, so I’m glad I’m kind of practiing my introverted running skills again.
Also, SIDENOTE! I treated myself to a refurbished, super basic but totally functional Garmin Forerunner 25 last week since my apple watch was driving me nuts. So far I LOVE it; so much easier to hit the pause button on the side of the Garmin than to swipe the apple watch screen!
Now You Tell Me:
- Do you preview race courses?
- Apple Watch vs. Garmin?