Thursday, January 6, 2011
Running in the Rain: Part Two
At 5 the rain stops for the moment. We all keep our ponchos on, assuming the worst. Five plus miles to the only toilet and the hydration I started at home is looking for a way out. The night is dark and cool. The clouds hide the stars we saw on our first 4:30 training run of 20 miles. Roosters crow from somewhere out in the darkness. Run, walk, run. Our water angels have already been here (how early did they get up for us?)and left coolers of cold water, electrolyte fluids, cups and trash bags. We joke and head out, some removing ponchos now wetter on the inside than out, which are then stuffed in the back of our stretchy pants. Still no rain, but as the light breaks, we can see the low, heavy, dark clouds above. Passing Mile 5, we know the bathroom isn't far away!
Our set goal is a 16 minute mile pace. We calculate that this 23 miler will take six hours and eight minutes, not including stops for water and bathroom breaks. We travel with our Pace Group aptly named The Sun Risers by previous running warriors. This is the fourth year of the National Breast Cancer Marathon and those who went before have come back to to lead us Newbies and those brave enough to do it again. They cheer us on when we are tired and rein us in when we are prancing along too fast, especially at the start, when we are all enthusiastic and rarin' to get going. Our mentors want us to finish without injury, so we can go the distance in the real race. We LOVE them, of course, because ours are the best!