Group Practice #12
11 miles on the schedule
Start time: 7:00 AM for the walkers, 7:30 AM for the runners
Location: Henderson Pavilion
The team reached the pinnacle in our training… their highest mileage yet! 11 miles!
We did our training in a new location for our team, we started from the Henderson Pavilion. My co-coach Jimmy suggested the route and at first I didn’t think I knew where we were going to be doing our miles. But the moment we started I had this “Oh yeah… I know this area. We ran here when I did marathon training in 2008, we just started from a different park, but it was the same path!”
It’s got some good hills on this path! And the route was right around 5 miles, so they got to do the whole thing twice (with some extra running through a parking lot to get the last mile tacked on.) Most of the team was complaining by the mid-point on their second lap about how hard it was. Some even asked why we were making them do something so hard when The Strip is so flat. Well… while The Strip is flatter, they’re just building up strength and endurance by practicing on hillier courses. Plus we make sure to move around to different spots around the valley, so that we don’t favor any one spot making it harder for some people on the team and easier on others to get to our locations. By moving around, everybody is going to have locations closer to their home and further from their home. Vegas is really spread out, it can take a long time to drive across the valley. (Thus the reason I don’t choose to go run on the other side of town all that often… it’s a long drive from home!)
I started out by running with a few people on our team that started with the walkers, but were actually runners. Then I paused at a point on the course that was the opposite point from where we started. That was going to be my station for the day. So in an area that was about .25 mile, I ran back and forth and back and forth and back and forth with different members of my team. I didn’t wear my Garmin, so I don’t know how much I actually covered, but I’m guessing I ran about 7 miles for the day.
Once the back of the pack got to me, I went into the finish with them. The day was really heating up by the end… well, at least I felt hot. Originally the forecast for the week predicted rain for our training, and even though we started with gray cloudy skies, the sun came out by the end. I’m glad we didn’t have to deal with rain, but I also wish that I had taken my sunglasses with me because by the end I was feeling very squinty!
The team is ready to taper… even if some of them aren’t ready to face it, we have some aches and pains. Some have been overtraining, despite the coaches warnings and I hope they follow the taper! But for the most part, they’re all listening well and following the schedule. I think our biggest problem has been shoe issues… several people seem to have been in shoes with a lot more stability than they actually needed and that has been causing some pretty big discomfort. I’m not quite sure what to think about this… but I think it’s fodder for a whole other post.
And a big THANK YOU to GU Energy, for donating gels to my team. They were fortunate to each be able to try a GU and see how much they liked it during their training. Judging on how they disappeared, it would seem that the Mandarin Orange, Strawberry Banana and Jet Blackberry were the most popular flavors! Lime Sublime was the last to be snagged by everyone.