Good practice this weekend! We did 9 miles on a course that is a 3-mile loop, which means we repeated it 3 times. This course also has some good rolling hills which cause some complaining, but we keep reminding them that if they can do those hills they’ll be fine for the race because The Strip is pretty flat.
We started the walkers at 7:00 AM, so I did my first lap pacing the fast walkers to do 14:00 minute miles. I was impressed with the way so many of them were maintaining that speed. Once I finished the first lap I stood with one of our mentors (who’s injured and has been injured since the beginning of the season, thus she’s been serving as a moral support role as opposed to a training partner) until the runners started to come by (the runners started at 7:30). Then I joined in with the group, running with one of team members who brought a one-year-old boxer that she was dog sitting. That was fun because it gave me hope for Jade. The boxer was named Ramsey. I ran a lap with them and after that Ramsey had run 6 miles. She was concerned about the dog running more, since it wasn’t her dog and she wasn’t sure what it was capable of, so I said I would take the dog and walk a while, keeping an eye on people as they passed. But the second she passed the leash off to me and started running, Ramsey wanted to run more. So I took off with the dog, catching up with her to pass the dog off and finish the loop.
After my last loop we were still missing a few runners so my co-coach Jimmy and I took off running to double back and find the last of the group. While running we chatted about his Ironman goals for the next year. We found the first of the back-of-the-pack, the couple that I separated last week. I walked in with them while Jimmy went on to find the other two.
The couple walked the 9 miles at EXACTLY the max pace they could use for the course time limit. I’m glad they’re getting closer to pace and are pushing themselves more. In total I covered 10.5 miles, most of it running while most of the walking was done at a good power walk.
The last two stragglers are a mother-daughter team. The daughter is around 30-years-old and is about to start radiation treatment for thyroid cancer. Due to her upcoming radiation she is off her thyroid replacement pills, which contributes to exhaustion. We’ve come up with a modified training schedule for a couple weeks, then she’ll be back on her Synthroid for 3 weeks leading up to the race. Her doctor said she can continue with the program and she has her heart set on finishing, so I’m going to do what I can to help her reach her goal.
For all the people who complained about the hills this practice, they need to be ready for our run at Red Rock Canyon next weekend, that will be more intense!
I am coaching a group of runners for the organization Team Challenge. They are fundraising for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America while training to run the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas half marathon in December.