The pinnacle of the group’s training… 12 miles on the schedule today! I kept trying to encourage the group when they expressed concern over this distance, they did 10 miles at Red Rock, this course should be a lot easier!
Since I was taking this whole week off from running, I wore jeans to practice today, just to discourage myself from running. I knew if I wore running clothes, I’d probably run. (Well, I ran a little bit anyway!) We did an out-and-back then out-and-back course… then repeat. I started out with the group on the first stretch, about .7 miles and then stationed myself by our water jug at the turnaround. The walkers started a half hour before the runners, but it wasn’t that long before I started to see my runners showing up.
This is where I hung out for the morning. My water stop was windy and cold, and even though I was bored for a brief moment, most of the time I had people to cheer. The view through the tunnel gave me a great vantage to see my Team on their way toward me. I got to see the walkers to the turnaround, the runners turnaround, then the runners come by again, then the walkers. Once the last walkers hit my water stop, I walked back with them for a ways, but stopped when they hit the next out-and-back stretch and I encouraged the runners in to finish.
Strange moment: I was standing completely by myself watching for team members, when a guy walked right by me and he looked like he was covered in… well, motor oil. His skin, clothes, hair. It was really creepy. And he walked in my direction, getting about 5 feet away from me before turning and angling a different way, kind of stumbling as he walked along. It was weird, and for a brief moment I was a little concerned! How does someone get covered in oil (or some kind of similar substance)?
Most of the Team finished quite a bit before the last walkers. But when they finally did finish, they average a pace that would get them about a 4:02 half marathon. The time limit for the Las Vegas RnR is 4:00, so hopefully they’ll be safe once they have some race day energy to propel them along.
Next week we step back to 8 miles. I guess it’s entering our “taper”, although they still have more weekday mileage than they will after next week when we enter the official taper.
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.