Sunday (mid) morning I roused myself from a beautiful sleep to get the day started. We won't list a time, it won't help. After a few shores I knew I would decline to do after the upcoming 18 miler (including harvesting our Christmas Tree) I guessed at what to wear (what would the weather be 9 miles away??) construed a concoction of partially caffeinated Nuun liquid and stuffed Gu everywhere it would fit just in case my for 2+ hour run turned... well bad.
The course is a lolly-pop. Not in difficulty, but in shape with significant hills in three places, the beginning, the middle and the end. Under fair skies and in 45 degree temperatures (plural?) the run was on... down the crunchy driveway and onto the smooth asphalt. I sat back and clicked away 7:10s on the flats and held that effort on the climbs. Before I knew it I was 4 miles in and had to decide which direction to take the lolly-pop. I decided to go in the direction of the longer, but gentler 4 mile climb (rather than 2 miles the other way) and settled in two my first gel, mint-chocolate chip (2 thumbs up). Washing it down with my diluted coffee with lemon-lime Nuun I began the prolonged climb.
Further out into the back country I ran with such little traffic that I nearly had the road all to myself. I could count the cars that passed on one hand and the Christmas Tree farmers that passed on the other. The weather turned milder and soon my long sleeves were rolled up. As the climb increased near the last mile before the apex I settled into power running and kept things aerobic. Soon enough I was over the top in 1:16 and I hoped about an hour from Thanksgiving left overs.
The next two miles I was able to enjoy the fruits of the climb as the road fell away below and in the distance the views of the early ski season showed the snow guns hard at work.
Back to the flats and back under control with still a solid 6-7 miles ahead of me I completed the loop of the lolly and turned right toward home. A few more gentle miles along the babbling brook and even another runner led me to the final hills of the day. The patient approach paid off as I knocked each of the 5 ascents off in order (how else) and was back at home in 2:15, just as planned.
So, now with April still a figment of imagination I have reached a running time within 35 minutes of my goal time on the feet for Boston. While intensity will be increased the early goals have been attainable and enjoyable! Next week- 18 on the trails! (That is, unless we are having a baby... :)!!!)