Saturday, January 9, 2016

BU Mini Meet

Friday 1/1/16- First day of the New Year, and I was feeling New Year's Eve when I woke up. I hadn't gotten to sleep until 2am, so I slept in a little on Friday morning. I got up, had some coffee and then just ran from home. I had some errands I wanted to do after so I didn't want to waste time driving around to a running place when I had a good running route right out my door. It's one I've done variations of many times, up through Cranmore Shores, to Tasker and Allard Hill Roads and topping out on Modock Hill Rd before turning around and going back. I felt surprisingly good during the whole run. The roads were clear except the dirt road section of Cranmore Shores and Modock Hill, so I ended up with 2 miles of the 12-mile run over 8min for an average pace. The rest of the run stayed in the 7s or 6s. My only disappointment is that I'm seeing my uphill speed has been greatly diminished. My time up to the top of Allard Hill Rd was a minute slower than my fastest. I'm starting to notice this across the board. Significant decrease in speed on the uphills. I guess I know what my biggest loss was while injured. Overall, though, the run went well and happened to be my fastest time ever actually running this course. 12.4 miles (I added in a extra .3 at the end that I don't normally do), 7:33/mi pace. 1033ft of elevation gain. I think I really need to work on some short hill repeats if I want to get that back quickly. Otherwise, I don't see me back to where I was anytime soon.

The rest of Friday was low-key. Ran some errands. John came home in the afternoon. I took John to open gym for an hour at his gymnastics place and walked the dogs on a trail out behind the gym. I went to bed early that night. We had a very early morning drive to Boston on Saturday morning.
Walking the dogs while John did open gym

Caught John in mid air on the trampoline 
Saturday 1/2/16- Because I'm a sucker for the USATF-NE All Terrain Series, I registered for the BU Mini Meet a week prior. The 3000m on the indoor track is the first event in the 2016 series. After looking through the track schedule, I thought that BU might be the only one I could fit in my schedule (this would be wrong, but those track meet listings are confusing and primitive). I had never run on an indoor track before. The closest I've come to a 3000 is the one and only time I raced on a track in high school for the 2-mile, filling in for someone who was injured. I came in 2nd to last. I'm in absolutely no shape whatsoever for anything on a track right now. I'm SLOW and definitely on the heavy side. I must have looked obese standing on the line next to those other women. Haha. But here I was, driving to BU at 5am ready to test myself in out. I was pretty nervous.

I got there before 9am, checked-in and then found John a good spot in the stands where he could plug in my phone. This was going to be a boring day for him, but the kid was a trooper. The 3000m was to start at 10am, but they didn't get the heat listings out until about 10 minutes prior, so I didn't know when to warm up. I found out that I was in heat 6 of 7, so I had a long time before the start of mine. I had seeded my time based on a calculator of my latest 5K (a sad 19:24). It spit out 11:02, so that's what I put down. I also asked Amanda Wright during the week and she gave me an estimate of 11:00, so I felt like I had at least put myself in the right heat. Heather Mahoney and Dave Dunham were in heat 5, so I was pretty sure I was in the right place. I was seeded 8th for the heat. I hung out in the middle of the track for awhile watching the other heats then finally warmed up. The first thing I noticed was how freaking hot and dry it was in there. I was dying on the warm up. Way too hot, and my mouth was immediately dry. This was just the warmup! I didn't know how I was going to handle the actual run. Awful. I only did about 1.5 miles then went back to the starting area to watch heat 5. At this point I was SO nervous. Like really, really nervous. I had no idea how to run this thing.
BU Indoor Track. 
Finally, it was time to line up. I wasn't really sure how the start worked, so I had to ask the girl next to me. She was cool and told me what to do. I felt stupid, but I would rather feel stupid asking than doing something stupid once we got going. The race went off quickly and I just fell in line. When the other half of the group merged, I kind of got stuck in a big group. Jennifer Rappaport fell in line in front of me. I wasn't sure if she was going too fast or me too slow, but the pace was comfortable at first. Then I realized I should probably pick it up a little. I didn't feel like I was pushing myself enough after the first 2 loops. So I passed Jennifer and decided to focus on the girl in front of me who seemed to be running about where I wanted to be. I didn't pay attention to the clock at all as I went by since I really didn't know what splits were "good", and there was no way I was doing math in my head while trying to run. I just kept running circles and focusing on the people in front of me. I held a pace that I felt wasn't too much, in hopes of being able to pick it up the last 2-3 laps. My mouth was SO dry the entire time. I wanted water!! Fortunately, the 3000 is short so it went by quickly. As planned, I was able to pick up the pace the last 3 laps. I passed the girl I had been following, then got passed like I was standing still in the last 50m. That was impressive. I have none of that kind of kick in me ever. I watched the clock as I came through and was pretty psyched to come in just under 11 minutes! 10:58:45. Not bad at all for my first try at this in awful shape. I was dying when I finished, though. That hurt for sure. Scott Mason was there taking pictures. I was horrified to see how big and out and of shape I looked. I have A LOT of work to do.
 The meet ended up having so many participants that it went on forever. We hung out until 2pm-ish since we were going to have beers and food after with Bob Jackman and Scott Mason. They wanted to watch their friends in the mile, so it took awhile getting through all of the heats. I actually enjoyed watching the meet and realized I needed to give this another shot, but I'm going to give myself some time to try to get this body in shape beforehand.
I am HUGE!!
After Bob and Scott's friends were done, the four of us walked down to the Sunset Grill and Bar. For 3 beer snobs, the we had to go to the right place, but Bob knows his beer and picked this place for its 113 beers on tap. You can't go wrong with that. And it did not disappoint. Both the draft and bottles menus were books. The hardest part was choosing which ones! All the 3 beers were really good, and the food didn't disappoint either. Bob chose well! I would definitely come back here.
Scott took a picture of me as we were leaving.
We walked back to the car. Bob and I did a little beer exchange. I gave him the two Fat Alberta's I had been holding hostage, plus a few extra beers I'd thrown in the bag. Bob gave me these two. The Sgt Pepper was SO good. Still holding onto the Two Roads for the weekend.
I said goodbye to those guys then John and I headed home. It was a long day, but I'm so glad I went down and stepped out of my comfort zone. Now, I know what I need to improve on in the next month.

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