I ended up running the whole race with Nate, who I met for the first time at last Saturday's group run. He's training for the Green Bay Marathon, which is 6 weeks away. We started easy - I think our first mile was 7:50 - and then gradually picked up the pace. We were chatting away and before I knew it we were already 8 miles into the race - rattling off 7:00-7:30 miles, depending on the terrain. This is basically a 2 loop course and around mile 10 we hit the hills for a second time and things got quiet as our focus increased and the effort picked up. We brought it home pretty good with a couple of (barely) sub-7 miles and were able to catch half a dozen people in the last 2 miles.
I think if I didn't meet Nate last weekend, we surely would have met today because our pacing and strategy for the day was exactly the same.
We finished in 1:52 which is 7:13 pace - or about 4 minutes slower than last year. Of course, last year Boston was only 2 weeks away. With Grandma's still 11 weeks away, I think I'm on the right track. Tonight I was looking back at my Boston build-up and it's really no surprise that I ran so poorly (3:12). In the last 12 weeks leading up to the race I only had six weeks over 50 miles. It's no wonder everything ached by mile 16.
Obviously, I don't know what June 20th will bring, but I feel pretty good about where I'm at and the road ahead.
Quote of the day;
"Chad, you made me a better runner today." - Nate