Saturday's long run went off without a hitch. DH and I had Thai food (Pad Thai and Crab meat fried rice) for dinner on Friday night, so I had plenty of carbs to sustain me through the run. I awoke at 6 am, so I could complete 6 miles before the larger group got there. The group training for the Boston Marathon had assembled and was just starting out as I pulled into the zoo parking lot. They were the speedy ones - I could not have kept up with them, even if I did start with them.
It was cloudy and slightly raining when I started running at 6:55 am. I trudged along the towpath, noticing that the water level on either side had risen, due to the rain. Not enough to be alarmed about, but I had plenty of time to imagine what would happen if the water surged over and submerged the path as I ran. Not a very pleasant thought.
I headed back after 3 miles, so I could be back at the starting point by 8 am, fuel up and join the other group. On the way back, the Boston Marathon group overtook me a few yards from the parking lot, and I had the pleasure of watching their long loping strides, as I scurried along behind them.
After quickly gulping down a few mouthfuls of gatorade and water, it was time for the second loop. I kept pace with Jack, a seasoned runner with a 25-year running record, several races, half and full marathons and injuries behind him. It was a rather brisk pace, but I had enough energy in me to keep up the pace for a few miles. Conversation flowed, and before we knew it, we were at the 3-mile point, where Jack turned back. I ran a half mile further, then returned. The last 3 1/2 miles were at a slightly slower pace. When I completed 13 miles, it was 9:05.
35 miles for the week.
I joined the group for breakfast at the Somerset Diner. I had my favorite, a 3-egg Country Omelet with onions and mushrooms, hash browns and their delicious coffee. I am normally not a coffee drinker, but exceptions are made, when something tastes this good!
At breakfast, I met Les from the group (who I had not met before because he is much faster than me), who is a coach for Team In Training. He told me about his fund-raising experiences and the teams he has trained in the past.
I have vague plans for a fall marathon, but since my tendonitis episode, I have been taking running one day at a time, savoring the experience and not training for a specific race. But when he told me that they were going to start training soon for the Nike Women's Marathon and to let him know if I was interested (he waved away my rebuttal that registration is now closed), visions of hot firemen danced before my eyes. I was of course, interested, but very skeptical. I would be lousy at fund-raising. And with work commitments, would I be able to find the time for training and fund-raising? Besides, it will only be my second marathon, so I was considering a more local event, not one on the other side of the country.
On the other hand, it might be a wonderful experience. I could meet amazing people (apart from the firemen), get some real coaching, and might actually be able to help people. What say you? If it is even possible to get in, should I go for it? The Information Meeting is in 10 days, so maybe I should attend and see if it is something I can commit to? The decision is up in the air for now.
Since I read in Run Faster about the benefits of hill training, the evidence is stacking up in favor of the overwhelming benefits of running up and down hills. I can no longer justify the ostrich approach, bury my head in the sand and pretend hills don't exist. NJ is not known for rugged and hilly terrain, so yesterday, resigned to my fate, I drove around, looking for the elusive mountain (or molehill). I had heard about a hilly 10K path in the vicinity of where I live. After some driving, I found a relatively steep but small hill, one mile long, 6 miles away from home. It is a very busy local road with a narrow shoulder and no sidewalk, so I will have to be really careful, wear reflective clothing, and hug the occasional tree when a car comes hurtling along at breakneck speed. It will have to do for now. Hill training, here I come!