Friday, January 22, 2016

Three Week Update

It has been 3 weeks and I am off to a good start.   January has been cold in New England, but I have gotten out and put down some miles.   On January 1, I ran in the 35th Annual Hangover Classic 10K in Salisbury Massachusetts (right on the NH/MA border).   I had only run a 10K one time previously, it is the time I mention in my intro post and my time then was 1:10:52.  For this race I set a goal of finishing in 1:05:00 and to not do any walking for the first 4 miles and exceeded my goal by running the entire race and finishing in 59:40.  Previously, I had only finished a 5K in under 30 minutes 3 times and had never run over 4 miles non-stop, so this was truly a wonderful was to start this quest.   The only bummer about the race is that the course was really boring.  It was right along the beach (not on the sand but on the road), so it was flat and the weather was wonderful as it was 40 degrees, but it was basically 3 miles up and 3 miles back:

Not interesting at all.   It was also a bit of a lonely race as their are options for both 5K and 10K and most of the runners who run at my pace, turned around after a 1.5 miles to do the 5K and I was near the back of the 10K runners.   So boring up and back and not a lot of casual runners makes this a race I am not sure I would do again.

To date, that is the only road race I have run, events like this are few in the winter months in New England; however, I have been making an effort to run at work.   I have managed to get out 4 times.  The first 3 times were days I went to work (I work in Boston in case you did not know) when classes were not in session, so I was able to run in the late morning with the sun out.  That was nice as the cold was not quite as bitter; however on one of the days there were 25 mph winds, so go into that up some of the streets was really tough (and cold).   It is interesting how different runs go depending on the weather, below are maps of two of my runs which were basically the loop (with the 2nd loop having 2 changes that added 1.5 miles, but still ran over most of the same 5 miles as the top one).  In the top one, I ran at 10am, the sun was out and it was in the low 30s with no wind, which are actually really nice conditions to run it.   I set out to run about 5 miles, I it was one of my most successful non-race runs I have ever had.  Other than a couple 2-5 second pauses at 2 or 3 intersections I ran the entire 5 miles and felt great the entire time, it was one of the easiest runs I have been on and am confident I could have run another 2 or 3 miles at a similar pace.  The 2nd map was from 2 days ago and is the coldest day I have ever run in, I am not sure what the temp was when I started, but when I ended over an hour later, the sun had come up and it was 19 with a windchill below 0.   I set out to run the exact same 5 mile loop as the first map and 5 minutes in, I was miserable and thought I would shorten the run to 2 or 2.5 miles; however, when I hit the first mile (according to the map that is 10:13 in), I had really warmed up and thought 3 or 4 miles was doable.  When I got to mile 2, I was completely warm and made a decision to take advantage of feeling warm and try and put in as many miles as possible, so I took a different route back and ended up at 6.5.   However, if you look at my pace, and how long I ran each mile, they were really different runs.  

I have 3 basic loops I run at work, the loop above is one that starts at my school, goes down and around the medical district (down riverway and the either right though by the hospitals [top map] or further down and back up Huntington ave which goes by 2 or 3 hospitals, and a couple of colleges (Mass Art and Mass Pharm) and then runs by Northeastern University and the Museum of Fine Arts, up past the Prudential Center turns at the Library and come back down through Back Bay (where the marathon ends) and then turns and goes by Fenway Park and back to work.   I have only been running this loop this year because it goes by so many popular places that the sidewalks are mostly clear of ice (I did run on an icy morning and it was not fun, but this loop gave me about 85% clear sidewalks).

Over the 21 days this post covers, I was able to go out for 5 runs for a total of 27.2 miles (an average of 5.44 miles per run).   I think this is what my runs will look like for the next 6-8 weeks as getting out to run in these weather conditions is really tough, so we I go out I want to try and log as many miles as I can, it is the only way I have a chance to hit that 500 miles for the year.

All 5 of my runs have been in Massachusetts, so I have yet to hit up the roads in New Hampshire, so I think I might try and do that later today.

Thanks for reading and if you are supporting my running pledge drive thank you so much for that too.  If you have not pledged and want to know more, just read my first post and you can pledge by using the links on the right.   So far, I have received almost $1.75 in pledges which is really amazing.   Thank you thank you.