Tuesday, April 22, 2014

2014 Boston Marathon in the Books

Welp, it's said and done. My 4th consecutive Boston was a good one. Finished in 3:19:39 which is a very mediocre time for me, but I'm not really all that disappointed. I'm very proud of how I battled very tight hamstrings and warmer than expected weather. And of course, the vibe was electric.

Lot's of great takeaways here, which I'll detail in a full report within a few days. Will take my usual post-road marathon week off from running and enjoy going to Fenway tonight for the Red Sox/Yankees game and chasing trout. 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Boston Marathon Eve

Positive mindset. Fresh legs. Pumped, psyched and ready to go.  And yes, that is a fly hanging off of my bib number. I caught my first trout of the season on it, and I thought it'd be a fun good luck charm. 

Let's do this!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Final Pre-Boston Run

Tomorrow we travel down to Boston. First stop will be the expo to check-in and then probably some lunch before we head over to our hotel to relax for the rest of the day. I am really looking forward to it.

So, my final pre-race run was today. I opted to run to the salmon pool and back. Prior to today, I haven't seen fish there this season.

Unlike when I was fishing here a few weeks ago, I was surprised to see the water levels at close to their nominal levels and running relatively clear. I wonder if it's because the trees are producing less tannic acid since it's early spring. Stones ranging in size from pebbles to basketballs could easily be seen carpeting the bottom. It was pretty.

I sat and watched the water, looking toward the usual spots, hoping to see a fish to rise. With the especially cold and snowy winter and also the super high water levels lately, part of me wondered if the salmon would still be here. It would have been easy for them to go downstream to another pool or even the Saco River.

I noticed a few midges and something bigger, likely a stonefly, fluttering about, so the food is there. A few times I thought I saw a few small boils on the surface, but decided they were just eddies. For the same reasons hunters get buck fever, I suppose trout fever can also exist for fly fisherman.

Then I saw the telltale concentric ripples in the water. It had to have been a fish. I waited a few minutes for another, but saw none. I played devil's advocate with myself, wondering if something could have fallen from a tree. Possible, but I saw nothing on the surface. I'm at least 90% certain it was a fish and mused that a size 20 Griffith's Gnat would be a good fly to start with...if I had my gear with me. Satisfied, I ran home and ate lunch.

By the way, if you don't think this post was about my pre-race feelings, you're wrong.

Ran 2.5 miles @ 9:12/mile pace.
Mostly flat.
Mid 50s, partly cloudy.
New Balance MT1010, shorts, short sleeved shirt.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Very Short Progression

A little over 5K getting progressively faster throughout, working down to a 6:34/mile split for the last mile. Felt great. All systems go, ready to rock.

Run felt great despite being up since 2am. Forgot all about that until I was driving to pick up a new fly reel after the run and was feeling tired and cranky. I was like "Oh yeah." After said task I met up with Kate and two other friends at our favorite Vietnamese restaurant for an awesome dinner which of course put me in a happy mood.

Now, off to bed to go.

Ran 3.2 miles @ 7:23/mile pace. 
Paved roads. 
Slightly hilly. 
Lower 40s, sunny, breezy. 
Saucony Virrata, shorts, windbreaker, long sleeved shirt, beanie. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

That's What I'm Talking About

Just three miles today. But you can tell a lot in just three miles. Or at least I can. I know early on in a run if it's going to be nuclear powered, a slog or anything in between.

Today, I felt it. It. It being that feeling that all cylinders are firing. It being that feeling I'm supposed to be having right now a handful of days away from a marathon; like a bull ready to break out of the gate and fling the cowboy on his back to the moon. It being that I'm ready to simply kick some ass. Faster and longer would have been no problem. No problem at all.

It's a better late than never situation, but I feel like it's legit. While the training cycle might not have gone as smoothly as I'd like due to circumstances beyond my control, the hay is indeed in the barn. Let's do this.

Ran 3.0 miles @ 7:42/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Around 40 degrees, sunny.
Saucony Virrata, shorts, windbreaker, long sleeved shirt, beanie.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Mud, Rain and Trails

Past two days off... well, kind of. Sunday was off but yesterday I did hike just under two miles to a remote pond to fish. But today, a real run on real trails in real mud. It was awesome. With the rain there were some puddles so big they could have held trout.

What was more important was I felt great. Given the mud and the pouring rain, the pace for this route was nice and it felt easy. If I can continue to feel like this for the rest of my short runs this week - but while holding back, mind you - I will be very confident when I toe the line in Hopkinton. 

And yes, I probably overuse this video for muddy runs, but I don't care because it's still one of the greatest songs of all time:

Ran 3.6 miles @ 8:49/pace. 
Trails, very muddy with large puddles and some patches of ice. 
Very hilly. 
Upper 50s, overcast, heavy to moderate rain. 
New Balance MT1010, short, short sleeved shirt, cap. 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Jack and Jill and Gnarlins

A really great Jack and Jill baby shower today for my very good friends Ian and Emma. Naturally, running was involved, and it was a great day with my super duper awesome Trail Monster Running friends.

Kate and I got their early to help set up a bit. Well, Kate set up a bit in all fairness... I just joined the group getting a jump start on the running since Ry-Bread and John were going long.

My plan was 10 miles, but the trail conditions were... well... horrendous. Pretty much equal parts of dirt, mud, snow and ice. Treacherous ice at that. As a result, the going was very slow, especially since I had regular trail shoes that weren't screwed and the YakTrax were foolishly left at home.

So, as a result, I was very satisfied to get in roughly 8.5 miles (my GPS wasn't behaving). This run was worth at least 11 miles.

Afterwards, there were barley sodas, awesome food and of course, watching two awesome friends open baby-related gifts. All the while I was musing at what incredible parents they are going to be and that kid will be very lucky to have them.

Ran 8.5 miles @ 11:40/mile pace.
Trails, full gamut of conditions.
Slightly hilly.
Lower 50s to lower 60s, sunny.
New Balance MT1010, shorts, short sleeved shirt.