JFK 50 Miler

August 31st, 2010 - Training - Lowell -> Tyngsboro - 13.1

Day 242 - Tonight ranked up there as one of the toughest training runs of the year for me.

My original plan was to run 18+ from Tewksbury to Nashua, NH to meet Rachel by 8:30 near the Pheasant Lane Mall. Yeah, I know, there's a thing called a car.

(My other car is a Pterodactyl)

My bailout points were 6 miles apart, the first one at Hookslides and the second one at my parents' place in Tyngsboro.

I left the apt much later than I had wanted (7PM). Sunset was now 7:20PM, so that gave me no more than 45 minutes to run in sunlight, and get off of the traffic heavy Rt 38, before the vampires came out.

(Even more reason to run faster)

It was still in the low 90's when I started out, and I don't think it dropped that much over the next 13 miles, even after the sun went down, and Edward was out looking for his next under age victim.

My first constraint was time. I had at most 2 hours to travel the 18 miles to Nashua, with 6 of it over uncharted territory, in the dark. Rachel was not going to wait for me much past 9PM to get my hurtin self up there, and I didn't feel like running 36 miles tonight.

By the time I got to Hookslides at 7:45PM, I knew there was no way I could get up to Nashua by 9PM, given the current conditions. I was also at Hookslides hoping to catch Glenn & Co on their GT5K Withdrawal Run. They started at 7PM, and were not back yet. The only sign I saw of Glenn was his formerly tree-battered Baja parked out backa.

I texted Rachel and told her to meet in Tyngsboro at 9.

I just wasn't feeling it when I tried to start back up again from Lowell. The legs were heavy and I was moving at no more than an 8:30 pace.

My water/Gatorade mix in my Camelbak wasn't cutting it either. It was just too humid and hot to be putting in a long run without some cold beer.

The other main constraint on this run was the darkness. I knew what I would be facing going up the Tyngsboro stretch of Dunstable Rd in the dark, and that wasn't pretty. Hardly any shoulders and a bunch of prick drivers trying to run you off the road. I had on all the safety gear, but I was still fearing for my life.

Like I said, the last 6 miles was going to be over uncharted territory, so I didn't want to chance it. After a little more than 13.1 miles and 1 hr and 45 minutes (8:05 pace), I pulled into my parents' driveway and called it a night.

I was just glad that it was over and that Edward would have to find his meal somewhere else tonight.

I generally like to run in heat (insert snicker here), but there was just something about tonight. Perhaps the air quality. Perhaps the fear of being molested by Edward. Whatever it was, I hope it doesn't happen again.

Footnote: I think part of the problem is that I've gotten so use to doing my runs with others that it's hard to do them without others! If you want to be my running buddy, let me know.

(Sums up how I felt on this run)


  1. Bad runs happen, and that's OK because they make the good ones that much better. And I've found that they're among the most important (especially when training for an endurance race) because it gets you good practice in overcoming adversity.

    Considering that you've now run for two thirds of the year, it really is amazing that so few of them have been this tough.

    Keep it rollin'.

  2. Indeed the air quality during this time seemed to set new lows... I had trouble just getting the crap to flow into my lungs - let alone get any oxygen out the crap.