The long wintery 16 miler
This Saturday I went back to the scene of the crime: The Boston Marathon Route. Last Saturday I ran my second 20 miler. This was the first time I ran part of the Boston Marathon route. On the 10 mile, twice around loop, I had to run heartbreak hill twice and part of the Newton Hills. I was not ready.
Today, for the 16 miler, I knew what I wanted to run for at 10 miles. I wanted to go back to that 10 mile loop, now that I know it. Today was the first of two snow storms we are suppose to have. I tried to run ahead of the storm but that didn’t happen. I arrived at the heartbreak Hill store at 7am to start my 16 mile run.
At first it was good, light now, quiet, lots of snow plow trucks. The week before in which I had struggled, there was no struggle. For some reason I’m still slower than I was last year. I kept on pace. As I continued to run the snow continued to fall and visibility became an issue.
The fun, interesting, and annoying part of running on part of the BMR, is that everyone else is on it too. I noticed the packs and packs of white male runners. While I was running in quiet, I would hear talking and then a pack of male runners would pass me. There were several packs on the route this morning. I thought it was very funny on many levels. These men represented the assumption of “ runners” and “ runner’s bodies”. All were thin, muscular, and wearing shorts. They were running these hills as if we were on flat pavement….whatever
Later on in the day ( 8a.m.) some of the volunteers came on the course setting up their water stands, in the snow. And I kept on running……………
At point, another pack was running towards me. This was a mixture of men and women. As they passed me there was one black women who run by and said hey, how are you. I smiled and responded back. I had on my Blacks Girls Run Hat, this was a black women who I know from instagram. We exchanged more words. That put an extra pep in my step. On my 16 mile run , I saw 4 black women running on it. Another I saw, I knew from going to trackwork. My thought, only 4, myself makes 5 in the three hours I was out on the route.
Going up heartbreak hill a second there, there was a cheer squad for the runners. One of the cheer squad ladies asked if it was ok if she ran with me to the poll. I said sure because I didn’t know if it was proper to tell her no. She ran to support me but she was talking to me. I don’t like people talking to me while running. She wanted to have a conversation. I was too tired to tell her to stop talking to me. She talked and ran with me to the poll that was on heartbreak hill. I thanked her. Then I ran without her. And the snow felt on falling. After I left my “ running partner” I ran for two more miles. Then I turned around. Which meant I had to now run up the hill in the slushy snow made which made for a challenging run up.
As I was running up, several runners smiled at me or said “ good job”, “ keep it up”. Which I can respect. I smiled in kind. When I reached my miles I had to stop. My body was soaked and cold. I was proud that I repeated that loop.