Yesterday I ran the NCR Marathon with Coach. He was recovering from the JFK 50, so, I had a remote chance of keeping pace with him. Going out to the 13.1 mile turn around we were kicking 9 minute miles. On the return trip we slowed a bit and finished in a respectable 4:41. This is a well managed low thrills race presented by the Baltimore Road Runners. The race could be best described as a race for runners by runners. I did not see any cell phone talking; I pod wearing zombies that have seemed to infect the larger marathons. Everyone knew how to run through an aid station which was a welcome relief. The crowds were sparse due to the limited vehicle access to the trail which prevented the endless bombardment of "Eye of the Tiger" and "Rocky" music. Best of all I only saw one cow bell. Unfortunately this was being rung by a fellow Snail.
The race conditions were perfect, cool and sunny with a few refreshing breeze. The aid stations were well managed and placed about 3 miles apart. The Snails managed the Monkton Station stop which with the exception of that dam cow bell was the best one of the race. On the way out Coach and I were looking forward to seeing our friends. We were greeted as royalty as we approached the station. It was like we had a dozen individuals solely focused on our needs as we entered the aid station. When we were tiring on the way back, we counted down the miles to when we would see "Our Snails" as a way to make the miles seem shorter. On the return trip the snails once again fed and water us and sent us down the trail.
After leaving the snails for the last time we had about 2.5 miles of the trail and 2 miles on the road to go. The trail portion went fast but the uphill run road portion was a rude welcome home. My quads were fried, so we took a few short walk breaks during the last section of the course. We crossed the line and were quickly tended to by the finish line crew. A medal, handshake, foil blanket and bottle of water were given and we were directed to the school cafeteria for the post race festivities. There was ample food (chicken soup extraordinaire). All in all it was a very good day.
On the training front all is going very well. I continue to work with the Swim Coach and Personal Trainer. The Swim coach has me working on endurance and kicking drills while the PT is focusing on posture and core training.
I signed up for another Triathlon last week. The Nations Triathlon http://www.thenationstriathlon.com/ in D.C. I just could not skip a race so close to home.