Running to Augusta – November 20, 2021

TheWife’s knee is bothering a bit so that she didn’t want to run in town this morning, so I decided to do my long run today. However, there were a series of “other stuff” going on and as a result, I decided to delay my run until the afternoon. 
Not a big deal, but then TheWife offered to pick me up in town, if I wanted to run to Augusta from the house. Of course, I took her up on the offer. 
With all the changes in plans and stuff, I decided to shorten the run to an 8.0 miler down to the Leighton Road Water Substation by Bond Brook. We discussed the logistics and decided that I needed to leave the house around 1:00 PM and she would be there to pick me up around 2:10.
The temps at the house (35*F) were definitely colder than in Augusta (41*F), but I dressed just about right. If it had been 40* or so at the house, I might have chosen my running vest versus the running jacket, it just meant a little extra sweat towards the end of the run. Plus, I fought the bright sun being in my eyes almost the entire way — no ballcap, just a watch cap to protect my ears. Not the best way to be on the look out for dogs on the loose or other things that I prefer to be aware of when I am running.
Memo to self — think about wearing a hat with a visor when running into the sun and use a buff to cover your ears.
Since I had decided to run a shorter distance for the long run, in my infinite wisdom I started out a bit quicker than usual, but needed to find a blue box before I got to the Middle Road. That solar array construction site had one just off the road and I had reached emergency status by then. I picked up the pace at Annie’s general store and by the end of mile 2.0 I was going a lot faster than I usually start my longer runs or else visiting that blue box helped an awful lot.
However, I got back to reality on mile 3.0 because that little hill on the Middle Road by Pam’s Daycare is one of those little hills that you don’t realize how much it slows you down. At least, not until you go back and look at the graphs.
Once I got to three miles, I started to pick up the pace a little each mile, except for another quick pitstop into the woods just after 4.0 miles — yeah, I know, but I am not used to running in the afternoon and the body had its own schedule to go by. At mile 5.0 I was pretty tired of the sun being in my eyes and the headache that accompanied it. Although the traffic on the Middle Road was pretty heavy, and I found myself on the dirt shoulder quite often. 
Mile 6.0 is right at the corner of Outer Civic Center Drive, the sun was finally on my shoulder and I had a bit more room to avoid traffic with the tar shoulder. So, I managed to pick up the pace up the hill to the stoplight and then began to push a little harder to Leighton Road.
Right before the turn onto Leighton, I saw TheWife drive by in our bright red transit – it is pretty hard to miss. The potty breaks had put me behind schedule. I still had over a mile to go, so I picked up the pace, so she wouldn’t have to wait too long for the old guy to get there. I also knew there would be a certain amount of banter directed my way because I wasn’t where I said I would be.
Oh well, it did get me to move a bit quicker and by the time I got moving down the hill towards Bond Brook, I was moving pretty well. Even TheWife commented that I was running “really” fast for an old guy. Then she proceeded to pester me about where I was when she drove by versus where I claimed I would be.
Hehehehe. I told you the banter would happen.
This turned into a nice little progression run from mile three onward.
It has been almost two years since I have done this route and while I was almost a minute slower than last time, I was in a LOT better shape at that point and a few pounds lighter. So, I was very pleased with how I felt during today’s run and know that I had plenty left in the tank when I got done. If it was a race, I probably could have gone about a minute a mile faster, but that would be about all.
The more I run in the Saucony Speed 2’s, the more impressed I am with them. They don’t get in the way of how I run, no hotspots, and most of the time the only time I think about them is to notice that I wasn’t thinking about them.

An excellent run and the best part is that nothing broke at the faster speeds and I still feel pretty good tonight.Come with me now — the best is yet to be.

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