A clue: Kate Abbott's worst marathon result is 10 minutes faster than my best marathon! A hint: Alyssa Duble is even faster. A question: why am I running long with these ladies? Answers:
So, unable to say "No!", today I accompany K&A on the first two-thirds of their 40-mile training excursion. I keep up, just barely, at their sub-12 min/mile pace. We cover a marathon distance in 5:05. Whew!
A rainy night dawns cool and damp. On Friday at 8am we meet at Reston Town Center near milepost 18.5 of the W&OD Trail. We strap on fuel-bottle belts, tie extra clothes around our waists in case of hypothermia, and set off westwards. The conversation is fun and wide-ranging. From the start I lay the groundwork for dropping out early: "I need to get home to my family." ... "I have to go to the office this afternoon." ... "The traffic will be horrible for me to get home." ... "You're going too fast for me." ... "I'm getting dehydrated." ... and so forth. All true!
Of course, I'm tempted a few times to keep going—40 miles has a nice ring to it—but then I come to my senses. I persuade K&A to modify their initial plan to do 10 miles out, 10 back to the cars, then repeat. We proceed past the quarry overlook that Mary Ewell showed me last year (cf. AwesomeAdonis) and turn around at 2:32.5 when both GPS units say 13.1 miles, in agreement with the mile markers. We pause at portajohns, water fountains, and vending machines. During the return journey young Alyssa runs far ahead of Kate and me, eventually out of sight. As we approach our starting point she returns—Kate has their car key. I stop my watch at 5:05—by chance we've averaged almost perfectly level splits. I donate some electrolyte capsules and antihistamines from my cache, wish the women well for their next 14 miles, and abandon them.
(cf. Jog Log ...) - ^z - 2008-10-03