Tights. Tee shirt. Jacket. Gloves. Little G. Okay, go run two laps, doing strides along the straightaways (mmm these felt gooood), then a mile at marathon goal pace (basically a 9 minute-mile). Of course, my race strategy includes a negative split, so who knows if I’ll run more than a few miles right at 9. Tonight, try as I might, it was impossible to slow the pace much below 8:45. My first two laps were run at 8-minute pace, even though I felt as if I was ambling along. I finished the 4 laps in 8:23. I didn’t stress it; rather it was an excellent object lesson in how slow my race pace is going to (hopefully) feel the first few miles. All told, for this last Nike Pacers speed workout of the year, we ran 5 miles, and my lower leg muscles bothered me just the tiniest bit. (Much better that the great big bother they gave me yesterday.)
Back at Paragon, guess who was waiting to meet us? Catherine “the Great” Ndereba!! Wow wow, this is exactly the kind of thing I needed to jump start my enthusiasm for race day. She signed a postcard for me, I got an extra one for my friend TS, and then had someone snap a quick picture of me and Catherine. What a boost, completely inspiring! I congratulated her on her Olympic medal, and wished her luck in Sunday’s race. It’s so cool to think that I’ll be running (hours) behind this legendary marathoning woman on Sunday, over the same course.
I thanked the Nike Pacers for their training this season, shook hands with chatty Kevin (No hard feelings about me teasing you? — “Nah!”), and floated out the door to get the 4 at Union Square to Grand Central, to transfer to the 7 local to my home in Sunnyside. This workout was a turning point for me: I’m starting to get pumped!