Nov 14, 2016

Roxbury and Fall Festival Races

I have always wanted to run the Roxbury Half Marathon but missed it each year for various reasons. But not this year. This race is part paved road and part dirt road with a fair amount of hills. I have run in the area before including the full marathon but for some reason the hills seemed a bit steep now. Maybe its the slow progression of aging making them seem worse! I didn't train in any specific way prior but have run frequent 18-20 mile runs on weekends. I am by no means a good long distance runner but it occurred to me that I've reached a point where training is not as important to complete a long distance. Speed suffers without training though. The new Asics I had ordered hadn't arrived so my feet were in for a rough day on the rocks.

 There were several friends running as well as familiar faces from the local Roxbury running crowd. It's a small race without fanfare which actually makes it fun.
Joe and Tracy
As usual the race started almost without notice except a simple "go" from the race director. We started down the small hill towards town. Then out to Wellers Road of mostly dirt and rocks on a gradual downhill. It was easy to maintain a 9:00-9:30 pace. As I ran I could only think of the uphill on the way back. For most of the uphill I stayed around 10:00/mile which was good. By mile 8 I realized I could have a decent finish time but needed to push hard on the hilly 3 mile loop portion. By mile 11 the adrenaline and music was kicking in. I pushed hard and finished in 2:05. Actually good for a hilly half with an elevation gain of 600+ feet. The two bathroom breaks didn't help.

It was my 31st half marathon and my 632nd straight running day in my streak.
In 3 weeks I return for the full marathon. Hopefully I will do as well as this half.

Fall Festival 400
This was an inaugural ultra in Southington's Camp Sloper. The concept was to allow 400 minutes to run a two mile loop multiple times. Runners could do as little or as much as they want. I chose to do 3 laps which was 6 miles. The weather was great and the course was clean. The first 1/3 was a very technical uphill. The remainder was open woodland and grass trails on a gentle downhill. This was well run and just plain fun. Next year I will challenge myself to go the full 400 minutes.
Goofing around at the Fall Festival 400