I swapped distances on the weekday runs because I got overheated and overtired on what was supposed to be 8 miles through the Meadows – nice to be able to cut it short. I did get to see an airplane landing.
I finally moved into second place in Easthampton with my last very long run, but I neglected to note the exact percentage (I completed a record 48 streets in one go, so it would be over 90%) . It was an extra-exciting one because friends who live on one of the downtown streets I’d saved for last came out to greet me. I gave them the window when I expected to be there, and they had to be up early anyway. What a lift to see friendly faces and hear encouraging cheers! I ran through a lot of older neighborhoods, more interesting than the cookie-cutter developments.
On the hydration/fuel front, I think I’m finally at the point where I notice my body’s responses well enough to play it by ear. That’s one of the reasons to keep chasing big physical goals like this; it fine-tunes my sense of where my limits are and what’s changing with age. I ended up with usually 5-6 gulps of water every 2 miles, a Medjool date every 3 to 5, and a salt cap every 8 to 10. I’ll bring enough for the marathon so I can up the frequency if necessary, but I’m confident I’ll recognize the signs and won’t have to rely so much on a schedule.
Finished 10/4 and backposted – I hope to catch up before the marathon!!!
Weekday runs – Northampton
Long run – Easthampton
Avg pace/fastest split
Tue 9/14 (58°F/91%)
Wed 9/15 (75°F/95%)
Bad run – supposed to be 8 but cut it short and swapped days
Because of the 10-mile race on Sunday, I did my first 18-miler on a weekday. I finished 76.59% of Easthampton and moved into third place (less than 5% more to get to second place, so that’s within reach in week 13!) I lost the record of half of River Street and all of Old Stagecoach in a Runkeeper crash; I could mark them manually complete but I also like to see those purple lines replacing the white! The route including going basically straight up to the Mt Tom state park on Reservation Road, as the elevation map helpfully shows. It was a foggy day and many of the photos didn’t come out very well. Not shown: a van shouting “Eat Greatly at the Whately” (ad for the Whately Inn but parked in Easthampton); a mannequin torso in a yard (thankfully evoked Greek sculpture more than sheer creepiness).
Thursday photos – Easthampton
Black Birch 10 Miler, Sunday September 12, 2021
It was so incredibly exciting to run an in-person race again – my first since December 2019, I think. Impact Racing puts on some of my favorite local events, but this was one I hadn’t done before. The course is out-and-back, from Black Birch Vineyard in Hatfield up into Whately along some scenic hilly dirt roads. I plan to wear my KDA shirt for races from now on, so this was its first outing. It’s so thin that RaceDots, my impulse buy from the NYC Marathon expo in 2018, actually worked properly for the first time, and will actually protect it.
Super-duper exciting: my recipient Chris, her husband Barry, and their new dog (sweet 7-year-old dalmatian Rhoda) came and cheered me on at the start and the finish! I wish I had gotten a photo of us when we hung out after, but we were busy swatting away the zillions of mosquitos.
I was certainly slow (2:06:23, 22/25 F50-59, 137/153 total), partly because it was on the hot side, but it was so much fun. The organizers encouraged bringing your own hydration, which was good practice for the marathon anyway, and I started out with a date every couple of miles but soon felt like that wasn’t working for me. Some great playful banter with a 60-ish dad running with his daughter; we’d already had a teasing exchange when I passed them, and they caught up when I stopped to take a photo of a “Toad Valley” sign. I explained my rule was to stop for photos and saying hi to dogs – “You’re right on that last one!” We passed each other back and forth several times, the fake-competition escalating. I finished first and said “So close!” as they approached the finish line, so he’s got his eyes on me for the next time. A yummy glass of white wine (the Epic maybe?) and a delicious vegan burrito with guacamole at the finish completed the experience. Hurray for races! I had two more 5Ks before the marathon, but the Hospice Meadows Run for 9/25 went virtual and I decided to apply my entry fee to next year’s in-person. So I only have the Fort Hill 5K to look forward to before the marathon itself. Very soon, since I finished writing this 10/3!
I’m behind on this again – posting 9/30/2021 for the week ending 9/5 – hey, at least it’s the same month! I am discovering that as I age, I lose not only physical stamina but also attentional stamina. There’s been a bunch of work stuff going on that’s soaked up way more of my energy than I’d ideally let it. Always learning, always trying to grow…
On the medium (8-mile) run through the Meadows in Northampton, I spotted an old apple tree, on a semi-abandoned verge, with an abundance of very large windfalls. My sample tasted much juicier and sweeter than typical wild-reverted apples, so one of these years I’ll fetch some to make a pie. Then near the airfield I think I saw maturing chestnuts. So much to forage if one pays attention!
The long run took me to 70.52% of Easthampton – stuck at #3 – but I dipped into Southampton to complete part of the western edge and I SAW A BEAR! Always super-exciting. Just over the city line on Glendale Road, I heard crashing in the brush and it emerged onto the road. Before I could get to the camera on my phone it noticed me, did almost a cartoon double-take, and rushed across the road.
The other notable aspect of the long run was adding in fuel – specifically Deglet Noor dates to try something different taste-wise from the Medjool I’d used the last time. They don’t have as many calories and I was aiming for 100-120/hour, but reaching that would have meant pretty much bringing the whole container. Instead I just stuffed a bunch into a baggie and ate 2 every two miles, cutting down to one at a time near the end. I’m not sure it made much difference. My body is well-accustomed to burning whatever’s on hand, glycogen or no glycogen. Thank you, fat-adapted metabolism (if that’s what’s going on)!