There was a strong wind advisory in place for Saturday, it was advised to start at 10:00 AM. The night before I thought that was good, we should miss it for our practice. (Yeah… right. Like you can “schedule” the wind.) When I woke up in the morning, it was pretty evident that we weren’t missing the wind! In fact, we were going to run right into the wind for a good stretch of the training run.
We had 8 miles on the schedule for the day. The route we were doing was an out-and-back stretch in one direction from our starting point (a park in Henderson, NV area) to get the first 6 miles and then an out-and-back in the opposite direction to pick up the last 2 miles. The entire route was on a protected path away from traffic. Even the spots where major roads intersect with the path, the trail went under the road. These underneath sections have some switchbacks and a downhill/uphill associated with them. Even though we told the team to follow the path, including under the roads, there were a few that darted across streets to avoid the hills.
I started at 7:00 AM with the walkers. I started at the back of the walkers and jogged through all of them, chatting with each person briefly, before getting to our first turnaround. I waited at the turnaround until all of the walkers had made it there, then I started to head back through everyone. During this time I saw all of our runners that started at 7:30 so I paused to cheer them on. (This is where I saw a few people ‘cheating’ by crossing the street.) Then I continued through the walkers up to our next turnaround point. At that spot I stood waiting for the last of the pack to come through, so I could finish up with them.
While I was waiting at the second turnaround point by our water cooler, a couple of the runner gals on our team approached the turnaround. I told them good job, that they were on the homestretch and we have some water there if they needed it. They told me, “We need a hug! We were just talking about you and how you are so nice and encouraging to everyone on the team, no matter what pace they’re at.” Then they each gave me a hug. That was really sweet!
At another point, when I was making my way to the second turnaround, I stopped to walk/jog with a woman on the team and she expressed frustration about being too slow. She said, “Maybe I just shouldn’t have started something like this when I’m 45-years-old.” I told her that it definitely wasn’t too late to start and that she should give herself more credit. I said, “Look, you’re right smack in the middle of the whole group. You don’t have the pressure of having to perform like our fastest people do, and you don’t have the pressure of having everyone wait for you like the back. You’re just right here in the fun zone!” She laughed and that seemed to pick up her spirits.
A lot of the team was tired. I know the wind was zapping a lot of energy plus they are really ready for this taper. It’s amazing that the race is only 2 weeks out, then I get to watch my second team with Team Challenge tackle the half marathon. I’m so excited, for myself and for them!
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.