Sunday, October 01, 2006

Another 20 Baby!

Yesterday morning I left the house bright and early to meet the Brooklyn-based Chicago and Nike marathoners to carpool to New Jersey, where we would undertake a 20-mile run on the trails at the Delaware & Raritan Canal State Park. It was a cool, slightly crisp morning, and I was the first to arrive at the meeting spot. For a moment I thought I'd misread the email, and resigned myself to running loops of Prospect Park - however, within a few minutes some of my teammates began to arrive.

We piled into the cars and drove to Jersey. I rode with husband-and-wife team Pete & Jamie, and learned in the 45 minute car ride that women speak an average of 20,000 words/day, and men average 7,000. Heh, seems about right. I also learned that Pete runs about the same pace as me (10:45 minute miles on a long run), so we decided to run together.

The cars congregated in the parking lot of the state park, and Head Coach Ramon gave us his usual razzing and then an overview of the run, which would basically involve running along a trail for 10 miles, then turning around and running back. The coaches had set up water stations along the route for us (aw!) but most of us came equipped with our Fuel Belts and were packing Gu.

Pete and I set off together, and pretty quickly shook the morning chill. The run was very flat and very pretty. Running with Pete was great (thanks, Pete!) and we finished the 20 in 3:45 (or ~11:25 minutes/mile) - a little slower than I ran it the previous week, but still respectable, and I didn't really push myself - I just wanted to finish it strong. (At left: A teeny tiny picture of me looking rather happy after running 20 miles!)

My goal pace for the marathon is closer to a 10:45 minute/mile, which might be aggressive with the hills, but I think the energy of the crowds on race day will help me along. And I hope the SF hills don't slow me down too much!

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