The Hills

After a strong speed workout last night, I’m feeling good about this year’s race. I’m in a much better position on January 25 than I was last year. At this point in 2016 training, the stress of a lenghty training program had almost caught up with me. I was less than a week away from the first in a series of calf strains. Those injuries limited my training time in February and March. And, the decreased training increased my finish time in Boston. I’m sore today, but I should be. All in all, the change in my training program is going to be a huge benefit for this year’s race.

I also spent some time last night planning my hill training for the last half of this cycle. Iowa City has the Benton St. hill, a monster along the southwest edge of town with a 10% grade over its steepest points. I’ve never run the hill. From the bottom or the top, it’s pretty intimidating. It’ll be a real asset, though, in my Boston training. I’ll benefit from both the uphill and downhill. I’ve marked six runs on the calendar that will use Benton St. at some point in the run.

I wondered, while planning my hill training, about the grade of Heartbreak Hill. It’s an odd question, as I ran it in 2016. But I was completely blasted out by that point in the race. I came across a great mile-by-mile guide to the Boston course. The ten minutes or so it took to read the article was ten minutes I spent smiling. I recognized many of the landmarks. And I started feeling the anticipation building again for this year’s race. That’s a clear measure of the life impact of a single pass along the Boston course. In a word: huge.

82 days to go. I’m feeling stronger and much more realistic about that race in New England on Patriot’s Day.

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