A Good Long Run — October 16, 2021

I drove into Waterville to do my long run. On the way there, I mulled over several routes and finally decided to run one that I haven’t done before. But have run on all the roads as parts of other runs or races in the past. So, while it wasn’t one of my usual routes, I was familiar with where I was running.

I have been reading 80/20 Running by Matt Fitzgerald — again and decided to start out slower on purpose and then just run comfortably for the entire run. I was out there to get the mileage and wasn’t worried about going fast. Plus, I was wearing the heavy Karhu Ikoni 2020s and when I wear them, I know subconsciously and consciously, I have decided to run slower.

Screen shot of my run from Strava
Screenshot of my run from Strava

This was one of the most consistent mile split runs that I have ever done. No, it wasn’t fast, but I felt great all the way through the run and could have gone further if I had wanted to. Although, the left Achilles was getting a little grumpy during the last mile, so I didn’t do anything stoopid, like going down around Silver Street to get in 10.0 miles. Not that I would do something like that. 🙂

Getting back to the run.

I had forgotten about the hill going back towards Thomas College. No, it isn’t anything crazy, but it is a steady up, that creeps up on you and when you finally realize that you are slowing down you are almost to the top and lost more time than you expected. I hated this little hill when running the “One in Five” 5K there more than a couple of times, and it cost me way more time than it should have each time I ran that race.

One of the reasons that I chose this course was that most of the roads have a breakdown lane on both sides, except Web Road and Ten Rod Road. So, of course, when I got on the Webb Road, or this section the Webb uphill Road, there seemed to be a lot more traffic than usual. Actually, there was more traffic on all the roads than I have seen in a while.

Looking up Webb Road
Looking up Webb Road

Even so, I did replay a few scenes in my head, from the only race I have ever won as an adult, and what I was thinking in this section of that race. Yes, going up this hill was part of that race a few years back. I even remembered the shoes I was wearing that day — Skechers GoMebs v1 in blue and yellow.

Coming to the finish line at the Terrier Trot 5K
Coming to the finish line at the Terrier Trot 5K

I have not run in this direction on Ten Rod Road, but going South is easier than going North. It is mostly downhill, but today it was a bit of a wind tunnel. Usually, on my runs into Waterville from the house, this is where I start to struggle, just past the Trafton, cross-over it is 8.0 miles from the house. So, there are points on this road that don’t have such great memories. Especially, some of those runs where the shoes didn’t fit properly.

I remember one particularly bad run, where I had to sit on the side of the road and had to take both shoes off for a few minutes to collect myself, before getting going again. Boy, did I want to throw those shoes into the woods, but running barefoot would have only made things worse. They did go away rather quickly later that day.

Once I got on Trafton Road, that old gastric issue really began to complain, and I had to find a stretch of woods that offered some privacy. Otherwise, the road has been completely re-done and is not a hazardous place to run on now, which was nice. However, there is a LOT more traffic with the addition of the I-95 off/on-ramps on the road.

Ah, back on the River Road and three miles to get back to Hannaford. I was good and maintained the easy pacing along here. This stretch of road I got to know quite well when SD2 lived in Waterville because I would run from home to her house a couple of times a month and meet TheWife there while she visited. I still remember one winter day when I had to wear my Pearl Izumi n1 Trails because it was so crappy outside and how great they did that day.

I did pick up the pace a bit past the church, though going downhill helped a bit, I am certain. Though definitely not at the speeds that I did for the 5K races I have run here. Although it was faster and I was feeling better than several of those long runs from the past. I even managed to pick up the pace slightly more during the last mile. Even so, I didn’t push that hard and felt good all the way back to the truck.

Which, surprisingly, was precisely where my watch beeped telling me I had finished my 8.0 miles.

The Karhu Ikoni 2020s are heavy shoes, but at the same time, they are comfortable and do not bother my feet to run in them for long distances. Even though they are better than the Fusion 2021s, the wet road grip is not quite up to what I expect from my shoes. I didn’t feel all that secure on the wet tar and wouldn’t want to be rushing in them in those kinds of conditions. Otherwise, they are the shoes I am reaching for to do my longer and recovery runs.

I really enjoyed this run. It was a nice trip down memory lane for me, and I was focused more on enjoying the run than pushing the pace. The left Achilles continues to improve, and I could push it up to about 10 miles, without it getting too grumpy. However, it still has some healing left to do, and I need to be smart about things and stay conservative for a bit longer. I have zero desire to screw up that leg again and have to go back to rehab square one.

Overall, a great, easy run where I did exactly what I wanted and smiled after I finished. Especially, when I realized that nothing really bothered me and thought about the memories that I had brought back to life for a moment or two.

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