What a great run today. It was cold (about 27) and frosty, but a wonderful day for a run. I got to Hinckley Lake early enough to do 12 before the rest of the Dead Runners showed up. And they were a most excellent 12 miles. The 3-mile splits were: 24, 22, 20.5, 20.5. So I can call the entire 6 miles for laps 3 and 4 a tempo run. First 6-mile tempo in a long long time. I felt good, and although the hills were tough, I did good too.
Things slowed down when the gang arrived, because we hit the trails. Mostly about a 9.5 minute pace, although some seemed faster. Lots of hills out there today, too.
Debbie met all of us at DoubleSides for breakfast afterwards.
Here's Rita's take:
Dan Horvath, Dan Fox, listgod Bob Hart, Tom Bieniosek,
George and I met at Hinckley this morning for our hour-or-so run.
Dan H ran 12 miles before the rest of us arrived. We stood
for a bit waiting for the 8:30 am start time as the men
exchanged kidney-stone horror stories. We were all
thinking of Charlie Kirchner this weekend.
Almost everyone ran in shorts today.
This morning's encounter was greatly enhanced by the
company of Tom Bieniosek's older daughter Genevieve
and her boyfriend Bren, both visiting from Maryland.
They are very fit young people who tackled the hills
of Hinckley with aplomb.
The course seemed hillier than ever to me today! We ran from
the lot maybe a little faster than usual? Dan H seemed
not a bit tired, in spite of his 12-mile warm-up. Drat.
We departed the paved path at the crest of the first hill
in favor of the frozen trails.
A downed log across the trail inspired us to consider
cross-training in the form of power lifting. Listgod Bob
declined, saying that the only thing that would move
if he tried to lift the log would be the disks in his spine.
For the supple among us (including George and Bren and
maybe Dan Fox, but certainly not I), the log provided the
chance to practice hurdling technique.
From there we split into groups going different directions. I
went with the group that set out for the Buckeye Trail, which
seems to go only uphill from that point. After the largest,
longest, I-had-to-walk-a-bit hill, we descended slightly and
eventually reached a road (I don't know which one) that
intersects State Rd, so we returned to the pavement. Dan
Fox remarked that the decision to run on the paved surface
and the ensuing damage to his legs will certainly shorten (by
minutes!) his lifetime running career. On the plus side,
the rolling ups and downs of the roads provided a clear
preview for Dan Horvath of what running on Maui will be like.
Bob Hart and I charged down one of the longer descents,
reminiscent of the early days of the neodeads.
Back then, Joe J, Charlie, Tom, Bob, Mike George, and
any other of those guys overly burdened with testosterone
would plunge down the hill from Carriage Trail to the towpath,
with utter disregard for downed logs, ruts, rocks, and rough
surface. Yikes! I always held back, avoiding what could
be truly breakneck speed on the rough trail.
Today on the smooth pavement I was much braver. I need
to practice my downhills for Boston anyway, so I kept up
with Bob. Dr Tom and the two Dans stayed behind us a bit,
but they all passed us easily on the ascents.
En route back to the parking lot, we encountered Bren running
solo. He turned to follow us, and soon afterwards we met
Genevieve running solo. She turned and was swept up in
our wake as well. We reached the lot after this tough (for
me) run that lasted a mere 58 minutes and measured
5.93 miles on my Forerunner.
All together again, we used Bob Hart's tripod and George's
camera for a group photo (next email) before we got too chilled.
Girl Scout Trefoil cookies were served, and the running gods
were toasted with hot dark-roasted coffee---with the customary
neodead additive---by those who brought their freaking coffee mugs.
Debbie Horvath joined us afterwards, breakfast for nine at
DoubleSides. Dan Fox got the Boca burger; perhaps he should
have got two in order to build strength for Rocky Racoon in 2 weeks.
We talked for a long time about digging wells, gmail,
the early days of the World Wide Web and Mosaic and bitnet,
strange dialects and inflections in the American English language,
upcoming neodead race agendas, lost Boston t-shirts, and
a town called Athol. So many conversational threads
escaped me but these are a few.
After the encounter, George and I entered I-71 northbound just
before what looked like a coyote bounded across the ramp in
front of us. Dan Fox, I assume you saw it too?
No plans for next week yet.
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