ORN: 7 miles total, with 5 x 1 mile intervals at 8:22
One of the useful byproducts of my reflective drive home from the Rocket City Marathon nearly two years ago was settling on a global plan to run marathons more frequently. In so doing, each one becomes a little less of a huge event. This showed itself yesterday.
On a muggy, overcast Saturday morning , I tried to improve on the interval workout that whipped me badly three weeks ago. Big difference? I ran with water, taking a single 10 oz bottle in my belt. It made a difference. All five miles were consistent, within 9 seconds of each other, averaging 8:22. Interestingly, this pace, according to Galloway's Magic Mile Calculator puts me right at my usual marathon target time of 4:45. I enjoyed the workout and felt strong at the end. And, kind of a hoot to do a speed workout just a week ahead of a marathon. I note that Darrell may have done the same.
Later in the day, I made a trip to the grocery store. As I maneuvered my cart, I noted a perky young mom with two kids in her cart stop, look and start smiling at me. I did not recognize her at all; it quickly became clear.
"Did you run Sunburst?" she asked, expectantly.
At that point, I realized I was wearing my Sunburst Marathon T shirt from 2008. It made sense...she had just run her first-ever half-marathon there in June and it was, in her words, "one of the best days of my life!" We had a long, wonderful conversation right between the dipping chips and cheese cooler. What a hoot to talk about the race, why it was so enjoyable, the amazing experience of running down the tunnel onto the Notre Dame football field, the impact family has on running. We both chuckled as well about the audacity of starting a conversation with a total stranger based on a T shirt. Yeah, we'd both done it. I suppose that is evidence that one really enjoys running.
Next Monday, Darrell and I take to the heat and hills of the Heart of America Marathon in Columbia, MO. It's our fourth now-annual fall marathon together. He will fly east to St Louis on Sunday...I'll drive the 4.5 hours west from home, swoop by the airport to pick him up and we'll drive the 90-ish miles farther west to Columbia. We will have pasta with other runners Sunday night and then run on Labor Day at 6am. It's a small race...latest info says about 175 runners total. I was really surprised to note about 40% of the field has never run a marathon before...it seems a tough time of year and tough course to make one's maiden marathon voyage. So, it will be fun and a challenge. Early weather predictions point to a starting temp of mid 60's heading to upper 70s by the finish. Darrell and I have coordinated our outfits and, with neither of us uncomfortable with overthinking race-day details, we're figuring out just how we'll run it. One thing is sure; we won't be fighting the wildfires Darrell is avoiding in Southern California this week. I'll update my Facebook page from site and blog later about the event.
Enjoy your week. And persevere.