We started off at about mile 13.5 of the course and immediately started on a gradual uphill until just before mile 2 and our first water stop. By this time I had fallen into a good 10 minute mile pace (just less to allow for some time for water stops) with Lauren and Mary who I had met on two previous runs. Just before and after the water stop the road went on a deep dive dropping 136 feet in 0.65 miles to the lowest part of the race course. The course then starts back up hill for the next 0.6 miles as you go through Wesley peaking just after you cross 128 where it slowly descends 50 feet over the next mile to Comm ave. At the firehouse we took a right starting to tackle the hills of Newton (which ultimately end in Heartbreak Hill).
The course was packed with runners from different charities which we had been passing all morning coming the other way (I guess we got a late start because of our clinics), and it was very evident here on Comm ave as many of the charities (including ours) had a water stops set up on the carriage road that runs parallel to Comm.
Just before a mile on to Comm Ave. the route peaked at 166 feet which is a net increase of about 30 feet from where we started but represented about a 130 foot climb from the low point of our run. I was pretty tired at this point but right at my 10 minute mile pace. At mile 5 there was another water stop but we passed on it as we were just going another half mile and then turning around so we would hit it on the way back. Another half mile and we hit Lowell Street which was our turn around for today, and we started making our way back. When we hit the water we stopped this time taking about a minute to get some water and down a Gu before hitting the road again on the decline.
You would think that because we're going net downhill now that we would be faster but by this time my legs were trashed and it was all I could do to hang on to the ladies and maintain a 10:20ish pace before hitting the big hill (I think our Coach Jeff named it Mildred...he says the jokes get better as the mileage goes up). As much as I wanted to walk up the hill I knew I needed to push myself in training to be better on race day so I continued my slow trot up to the water stop just before the crest of the hill. A little water and Gatorade and we're off again with a pretty good pace of just over 10 minute miles for the next mile and a half. After waiting for a light to change about a third of a mile from the church we put it into high gear until the end pushing the last mile down to about a 9:30 minute mile.
I headed around back to do some lunges and squats before heading inside to stretch and change. Inside I ended up talking to a group from last year which were all trying to do X number of marathons before they turned 25 or 30 (which made me feel kind of old) but it was great to hear how much they enjoyed the team and wanted to run again. On the way home I hit Whole Foods to get some food for the week but the fatigue was settling in and I forgot my wallet in the car. After running out I was able to pick up a few items and headed home for a big lunch!
11 mi in 1:52:58 a 10:14 pace
14 Weeks until the Boston Marathon!!!