T-minus two months

The runner’s “Christmas” is now two months away. Just 59 short days until the Boston Marathon.

I’m already excited.

That’s because it’s been seven years since I’ve run Boston.

Yes, Patriots’ Day is a ways off. But if radio stations can start playing Christmas music just after Veterans Day, then I can pound my chest about Marathon day.

I “celebrated” the two-month mark by doing hill repeats in Harvard, Mass. I’m using the many hills of Hah-vud to my advantage to prepare for the Newton hills come race day.

There’s this one not far from Route 2 that needs no explanation: Pinnacle Road. It’s about three-quarters of a mile long (high) and it takes me about six minutes to get to the top, the pinnacle. I ended up doing five near sprints up. My best was the second one (5:52); my worst was No. 3 (6:08). I was pleased to do number five in 6:03. Didn’t want to end the workout with my slowest time.

I plan to do 10 of them some day next month, which is going to be grueling. But I want to break three hours in Boston; I need to work hard.

Pinnacle Road seems to be popular among the “repeat” crowd. I’ve seen a runner coming up the other side of the road once, and today, as I was slowly jogging down after my last interval, I saw a cyclist huffing his way up. But the time I finally got to the bottom, he was heading back up for another. I gave him a quick wave – I was happy to be done.

It was a satisfying workout, but my day didn’t start out on such a positive note.

As much as I run, I hardly dream about running. But last night I dreamt I was running Boston. And it turned out like those other frustrating dreams I sometimes have – like when I’m back in high school and I can’t find my home room or I can’t remember my locker combination.

My Boston dream started out fine; I felt like I was killing the course and was way ahead of a pack. But then – I have no explanation why – I ended up in a auto body shop and I kept asking this guy if he could tell me how to get back to the race course.

He scribbled something on a piece of paper and gave it to me. All I saw was a spiral. I figured that meant I should head downstairs. So I did.

When I got there, the same guy appeared. He asked me what he could do for me.

“The marathon course!” I said, wearing a singlet and bib number. “Duh” I thought.

Finally, I got back on the roads, but I still hadn’t gotten to Newton yet. What? Another nine miles to go?

There were so many runners by this point; I couldn’t jump back into the race.

Then I woke up. At 5 a.m., sweating.

“That was horrible,” I thought.

After finally getting back to sleep, my daughter (she’s 7) came in and announced that she felt “worser” than she did yesterday.

She was coughing and sniffling, an obvious cold.

I decided to keep her out of school and we all went back to bed. She was still sleeping (my wife was too) at 10:15 when I set off for my run.

Now that it’s night time, I’m quite beat. But happy to have put in a hard effort this morning.

Two months to go.

Hopefully race day won’t turn into a nightmare.


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