Week 2 of the twenty-week 2009 Reebok SunTrust National Marathon and Half Marathon Training Program, powered by volunteer coaches from my running club, is done. Or at least the long Saturday run is over. I have to run the track workout Wednesday evening.
Last week we all met at the Georgetown Running Company, normally the hook-up point for the marathon runners. After we listened to elite athlete Samia Akbar speak about running, we went out for a 6 mile run on the C&O Canal Towpath. It took an hour and the run was along the Potomac on nice soft dirt. I created the route. Yes, it was nice.
I direct the HM Program. Today we met at Gotta Run, our normal starting point. The fast coach wasn't there so I took out the rabbits. We went 7.45 miles running up to Ridge Road, down to Four-Mile Run Creek, over to the Potomac and on to National Airport, back up to Ridge Road and home. Do you get the idea that we ran up a ridge twice? I created the route. No, it was not nice.
We did it in 1:05:02. The four runners I was running with politely let me lead and set the pace. They didn't know where to go anyway. During the sixth mile, going up 23rd Street, which I call Restaurant Row, to get onto S. Arlington Ridge Road the second time, D, who ran a 1:32 Half in Baltimore last month, pulled even. He looked at me and smiled. "Go on, go on," I gasped as I feebly waved him on. His face brightened and he lit out up the hill, surmounted it, trotted back down and came up it a second time with me. Evidently the other three didn't feel like showing off because they stayed put behind me.
Last Wednesday was the Program's first track workout night. All these fasties showed up then too. The routine was 6X400 at tempo pace. I was the fastest of the three coaches there so I dutifully fell in with the fast group. Three guys rocketed off to a series of splits in the mid-80s, and I hung with the rest of the faster group many meters back. I did 90-92-96-98-92-93. I didn't lay a glove on those three students way up in front.
Man is this stuff great or what?