another weekend, another long run in the bank.
The Flyers act as pace leaders for the two Long Training Runs that NYRR puts on for the marathon each year. Great way to get in your long run and help the NYC running community as well. They do 4 loops-the full 6, the lower 5, lower 5, middle 4…and you have the option to do the full 20, or less to fulfill your training needs. So I chose to do 16 at 9:30 pace.
I got there bright and early today (6:30…yikes!) Compared to the heat wave this week, the weather felt “chilly” (though it was probably in the 70s at the start and warmed up to the 80s by the end.) Checked in and picked up yet another oversized pace leader singlet (though better than last year’s-I had done the last 2 loops, so there were only larges left by the time I started! oh, and the pace leader singlets were unisex) and headed on over to the 9:30 group. Me and a coupla others positioned ourselves near the font of the first group. We waited for the faster groups to leave, and off we went. First loop went pretty well, my watch showed we were pretty much on pace, but I felt I needed to drop back just a little because it seemed like the leaders were pushing it just a little.
After we finished the first loop, we usually take a couple minutes to re-group, let people use the portapotties, grab gatorade/water/gels. I took some gatorade and a gel with water-and I didn’t think I took that long-probably no more than 3 minutes, but by the time I was done, my group had already left-I was a little annoyed at that, and there were a few others in that group who were in the same boat. So we all just decided to form our own little 9:30 group, and that worked out very well-they were a bunch of very nice people, and we even picked up a few others along the way. I was a little nervous about pacing without the other leaders to support me, but every split was dead-on…less than 5 seconds faster or slower than 9:30, which everyone seemed to appreciate!! going up the east drive, we saw one of the other 9:30 leaders who I guess got left behind by her group, so she just joined our little party 🙂
2nd loop just flew by, and I made sure to wait around on the transverse to make sure everyone had time to do what they needed to do, plus another group was coming in behind us so we did some consolidation. 3rd loop went just as well with the pacing-in fact some of the people in my group were disappointed I wasn’t pacing the full 20!! 🙂 (hmmm…maybe a certain other blogger’s pacemaster skills were virtually rubbing off on me today? now if only i could do that in a race!) so we finished up the third loop and thanked everyone for running and sticking with it and wished them all luck on their fall marathons 🙂 16 miles down-and a fun 16 miles it was!!
afterwards, just hung around for a bit and socialized. saw one of the other 9:30 pace leaders who was in the group that left me behind and she said that they had wound up speeding up-damn, it was probably a good thing I didn’t go with them for the 2nd/3rd loops. The Flyer bloggers were out in force, and all I spoke to sounded like they were very pleased with their runs-Sister Smile, jbl, Runner26, Sara-and I’m assuming Jon also had a good run too, though I only saw him in passing when I was finishing up my second loop. (oh and I think I may have possibly seen another blogger near the baggage area as well-but not 100% sure!)
So, 16. Longest run since the fall of ’04. The 9:30 pace was a very wise decision, much easier on my body. And I can still keep going…in a way 🙂 You see, last year this time, the 9 miles I had done at last year’s Long Training Run was my last run for a month. No signs of stopping now!! On tomorrow’s plate will be an easy recovery 3 miles. Then next week the long run gets scaled back a little bit. No worse for wear, though can seriously use a nap after this morning’s mad-early wake-up call…
now playing: “nobody knows me (peter rauhofer’s private mix)” ~ madonna