Running Boston, Jun 2013

Posted: 6th June 2013 by mockjogger in Running Away, Training Runs
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I have spent the best part of this week in the Boston area. I expected a change of scenery but got more than I bargained for, as it turns out that GoogleUK’ing “Weather Boston” brings up Boston UK not Boston US. So I was prepared for 18 degrees but not the volcano-like 35 degrees that hit me when I got out of the airport. We don’t get that very often in Scotland.

Lake Quannapowitt

Lake Quannapowitt

Anyway, for the first time on one of these trips I brought my running gear. After two flights (Edinburgh – Amsterdam – Boston), I arrived at the hotel, got some water, put on my mizunos and Edinburgh Rock’nRoll Half Marathon T shirt, and headed out to Lake Quannapowitt, a gorgeous piece of Massachusetts parkland with boating, softball games and nice houses with pristine gardens along the edge.lake q run

Off I went on a 3 mile circuit of the lake trying to shake off stiff muscles. I had originally planned to do two circuits but with the heat and journey’d up legs it quickly became apparent that it was not going to happen. My body was sending me urgent “What The ****?” signals. So I settled for one lap and called it a moral victory.

Afterwards I was thirsty as hell. I consumed all available water then headed to a supermarket for more. I thought I would get some fruit smoothie to recover some vitamins. They only had yoghurt smoothie so I got that instead. I opened it quickly but the consistency was so thick I couldn’t get it down fast enough. Then I wondered if it was wise to consume a gallon of probiotic yoghurt in one go anyway. So I abandoned that plan and went for some Sam Adams Boston Lager instead. Good decision.

Middlesex Fells runThe next day I knew I had one more opportunity for a run before work would take over for the week. So I headed over to Middlesex Fells Reservation, also in the Greater Boston area. I had read that the Reservoir Trail was a reasonable 6 mile walk and figured it would make a good outing. The next thing I know I had embarked on what would be the toughest run I have ever had. Tougher than my half marathon by far.

It was 32 degrees and humid. I started running and got into tree cover thinking, “this is nice”. But I soon found the course was up, down, up, down, tree roots, rocks, shingle, up, down, repeat. I have no experience of trail running and I guess I was finding out what the “trail” part of the “reservoir trail” meant. After 3 miles I was struggling. It was hot and hard.

A "reservoir" part of the Reservoir Trail

A “reservoir” part of the Reservoir Trail

After 4 miles I wanted to stop. I told myself that if I did that now, how could I prevent the same thing happening when I hit the hard part of an actual marathon? Then I got lost. I kept my head down and kept running but I was not enjoying this. Fortunately I picked up the trail again and just kept the head down. At 6 miles I embraced the car park like a long lost oasis, sat down on the grass and could barely raise enough energy to open up the boot to get some water.
A "trail" part of the Reservoir Trail

A “trail” part of the Reservoir Trail

I’ve run much further than this at faster pace. I’m not sure if it was the heat, the constant up/down, the difficult terrain or the remaining jetlag, but the run brought a reality check to my training and progress. I have a long way to go before I can run a marathon. My only positive take is that I didn’t stop when it got tough, and hopefully that will help me some day.

Speaking of jetlag, I’m supposed to be running the Livingston 10k Fun Run on Saturday – just after I get the long flight home. Oh oh.

  1. David says:

    It was hot here for sure. I live nearby, so I guess I need to try out your routes! Welcome to Boston!

    • mockjogger says:

      Thanks – the last time I was in Boston (January) it was the exact same temperature that I left in Edinburgh. But not this time! You are indeed fortunate to live in the Boston/Greater Boston area – it must be my favourite part of the US.

  2. cormac andrews says:

    Really enjoyed your blog. Have been to Boston a couple of times but, to my shame, have never gone for a run. Next time I’m there the running gear will go with me.

  3. I always wear compression socks for my long-haul flights, they prevent my feet from swelling up.

    It’s amazing what difference the heat makes to us runners who aren’t used to it. It means drinking so much more water, days before to ensure you’re hydrated. Enjoy the rest of your stay in Boston 🙂

  4. mockjogger says:

    Ah – compression socks…. Maybe something to add to my shopping list, except, I don’t know any *guys* who wear them. I’m a bit confused about what really hit me on that last run – jetlag, heat, the hills or the rocks and trees. Or the combination of the above. Maybe I just didn’t have enough water on board. I’ll be hydrating on the flights back home, if wine counts:)