So far for run club names we got “Bad Decisions” and “Punishers.” I am taking suggestions for run club names! Brief summary of interests include: complaining about running then running anyway, procrastinating, trying not to die, killing/wasting time, beers (if you know me you know I like my recovery beers in the shower- can’t speak for them), dinner, tacos, Big Macs (that’s all Billy), dinner, punk bands.
I knew I had to go between 14-16 today, and Billy already ran a 12 so he was good for 14. I talk about Nate on a semi-regular basis because he’s been my running buddy for a while now- we trained together last year and ran the Ragnar together. He also used to own the first Crossfit I went to in Hartford- Nor’easter. Billy and his wife are my friends at Triton. After showing interest in my last few races, he signed up for the Providence marathon too! As did Nate. Billy hasn’t been doing long runs yet so he’s more optimistic about everything in general- even when he’s adjusting to the higher mileage which can be painful. Then again, I am adjusted and parts of the run are painful for me (attn: right thigh, right ankle, right IT band, right hammie.)
They are both full time workers and busy cool amazing dads- so understandably it can be hard to get a run in with three tight schedules. Even though running in the winter is aggravating as fuck (although it is better with some daylight now!) they’ve also both shown interest in really racing something maybe in the fall- and I believe they could both easily qualify for Boston if they have a good 18 week cycle with speed work and mid-tempos (almost impossible with ice and snow) and run a nice fall race.
So those are my current long-distance running friends this season! Long runs with friends are great because they go by faster. Another favorite past long-run was with Melanie and Alison from Alison’s house to the brewery when they were training for the Hamptons and I was training for Lehigh. Sometimes it’s nice to zone out to music or a podcast- but running adventures and joy really come with pals. I run better races when I do fun runs.
That being said, this course was literally a walk in multiple parks but it was definitely no walk in the park (haha.) AND our conversational pace around multiple huge mountains with 2-3 climbs on it ended at 14 miles with 8:51/min mile pace. YEA!!
If you’ve been following my Instagram or my running journeys the past few years you’d also know I LOVE Hubbard park, Ragged Mountain, and the creepy forests, graveyards, farms, resevoirs, and orchards in between. SO many ghost stories and urban legends. Just last week Nate and I agreed that Hubbard park has the creepiest woods in the state. And he mountain biked all over the place for years so I feel like he’s a good validator of that statement. Maybe somewhere near Dudleytown is creepier. I’ll talk more about that some other day.
So this was our course. I was just so happy to not be running on the goddamn Farmington trail. I am SO sick of it. I have the whole freaking thing memorized from New Haven to Avon. I ran it ALL summer. 18 weeks. Just about every 12 miler and longer. That’s 3 times a week I would run various legs. Fuck. Anywhere between Skiff street in Hamden and the Southington dog park I could tell you which tree is what mile, how far we went, how fast we are going (without my phone), where the slight hills are, my favorite intersections, where I got hit by cars, point out the worst porta-potty in the state, you get the idea. That will also be discussed this summer I’m SURE.
SO I was having the time of my life site-seeing mountains, snow, trees, houses, birds, all those other things I mentioned. After I ran the 16 miler through New Haven before Austin and had a blast I knew mapping runs and site-seeing were parts of the journey that made running fun for me. Nate was NOT having a good time and getting stressed out because we were running on several main roads with kind of a lot of traffic. Also respectable. That being said I’ve been hit by TWO cars on the linear trail in crosswalks and ZERO times on the shoulders of highways. So there’s that. We’ll have to hash that out when the snow melts and the trails are acceptable.
Lastly- my friend Billy PR’d his running distance. He’d been growing as an athlete with normal marathon challenges- his shoes, running form, winter training in ice and darkness, transitioning from Crossfit, and now is the part where for the next 3-4 weeks he’s going to be running further then he’s ever ran before. That can be a lot. Every new season the first cycle of long runs seem impossible and I definitely remember my first 15 miler! All of them really. So here he is- victorious! We are watching Nate running longer because his Garmin was .2 miles short of our iPhones (haha but now Nate’s outnumbered so I don’t have to over run.) Now it is time for a recovery beer. 9 weeks til Providence!