Beginning last Thursday night, we turned a long weekend into an extra long weekend, and drove down to New Hampshire to spend a few days in Portsmouth. I managed to stick with the running plan, doing 7+ miles on Saturday, and my first 18 mile run on Sunday. Not knowing the town, I scouted out a route on MapMyRun, and came up with this guy. Both my runs were done within this loop. What the route lacked in sidewalks, it made up with in scenery. It went through some of the downtown, and some of the swankier areas also, with some very nice houses and lookouts over the water. Here's a picture of one of the houses, with a widows lookout. "Back in the day" wives would sit here, watching for fishermen returning from sea.
For my Saturday seven mile run, I went with Faith Ann. It was supposed to be seven miles with strides, but I took a bit of a different approach. Since Faith Ann takes walk breaks every few minutes (every seven minutes on Saturday), I did short sprints during her breaks, and jogged back to join her as she started her run again.
I was pleased with how the 18 mile run went on Sunday. It was a bit humid, but I started early enough that it wasn't too hot. My overall pace was 9:23. I stopped at the van for 1.5 to 2 minutes after my first and second loops (after 6.8 and 14 miles) to re-fill my water bottle and eat some energy supplements. Other than those two intervals, most of my miles were done at a pace under 9:15 minutes per mile.
With that run in my pocket, I'm now psyched to run the Boyden Loop - and then some - with Andrew and Mike! It will be my first 20 mile run, and I'm very much looking forward to it, both for the run and the mingling with these guys. We may not share the same running ability, but I do feel a certain level of kinship knowing that Mike and I both have sensitive nipples. Please see this blog post of his for an explanation.
So there we were in Portsmouth, and Faith Ann says "Boston is only an hour away". So ... we took a trip down and went to the aquarium ...
... and we also visited the Bill Rodger's Running Center - see the mediocre photo at the top of this post. It is a nice little running store, in the heart of downtown Boston. The prices were reasonable, and Faith Ann added to her collection of Asics Gel Nimbus running shoes, this time buying version 11.
Apparently I have normal pronation with arches that are slightly high. With that in mind, I tried on a few pairs of shoes and ended up getting a pair of Mizuno Wave Rider 11's, and a pair of Reebok Premier 3D Trainers - both felt good and didn't cost me an arm and a leg. I'll break in the new ones gradually and see how they work out. I'm ambivalent about the few shoes I've run in - I guess I'm not very picky.
Looking forward to the week ahead and the run in Maine with Andrew and Mike!