Monday, June 7, 2010

First Trail Run - Sunday 5/9/10 - 7 miles - 01:22:42

Bright and early on Mother's Day I set out for our first group run.  The other First Time Marathon runners and I met in Rock Creek park at 7:30 on a Sunday morning, ready to go.  This was to be my first foray into 7 miles, the farthest I'd run prior to that day was my 10k race, and I'd only done that once!

They split us up into our predetermined pace groups based on our recent race times.  They want our marathon pace about 1:45 slower per mile than our 10k pace, since I ran the 10k at a 10:40 I'm in the 12:30 group.  The groups start at 9 minute miles and go up to 13, we seem to end up a motley crew at the back as people float amongst the 12-13 minute groups. I thought it would be a real struggle to stay that slow and our pace leader didn't make it any easier.  Since I have no internal sense of speed I rely on my Garmin, our pace leader had hers too but she had it set wrong so we ended up averaging just under 12 minute miles.  Certainly not fast but it's all you're going to get out of us back-of-the-packers! Thanks to the slow pace and the nice weather I had a great, energetic and cheerful run. 

The atmosphere was relatively relaxed, if you had trouble staying with your group you could always drop back (and if you were in the last group struggling one of the dozens of coaches would stay with you).  There are no iPods allowed, not only for safety reasons but to make sure that you're maintaining a conversation pace.  Unfortunately I'm pretty boring to begin with and run out of things to talk about after the first mile so I mostly end up eavesdropping on other conversations.  Group volunteers bring orange juice, water and bananas for some post-race recovery and enjoyment but when we finished that run all I could think about was getting to my in-laws' house for some awesome brunch!

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