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9 Divided By 3 Equals 9 on the Ninth

Posted Jun 13 2009 12:39am
Today being Febuary 9th, it's time for

Non-Runner Nancy's 9 on the 9th Sweetheart Shuffle. Being one to never pass up a challenge, I signed up!

The plan was to do hit the local park and run 3 miles prior to the Team in Training scheduled 6 mile run to make the 9. Well, you know what happens to the best laid plans.

Morning came and I was up plenty early to get to the park by 7:15 to do my pre-run, but time just slipped away and I spent some time chatting with Deb instead. (Much nicer, I think, than running around in the sub-40 breeze for an extra hour.) So, the next plan was to add 3 at the end.

I got to the park and met all the Team in Training folks. Much to my surprise, out of 15 or so first timers, there were only a couple of us doing the Frederick full. Most were doing the Frederick half, San Diego half or Mayor's Midnight Marathon Half in Alaska. Regardless, after a few comments from coach Karen and a brief presentation from the owner of a local running store, she explained the route and we were off. For the first mile and a half, I was able to run with one of the coaches. Nice guy. Was kinda wierd for me to not be running either alone or in a room full of treadmills. He was running a half, so only had 3 miles on the schedule -- at 1 1/2, he turned back, I kept going.

Mile marker two was the water stop. For sure, the biggest benefit of running with the group. They had water and Gatorade put behind a big green transformer. When I arrived, there were four or five others ahead of me. I stopped for a couple of minutes, then headed off, leaving the group behind to socialize.

The three mile marker was the turn around point and I hit the water stop again on the way back. This time, on my own. Now four miles in, I've been able to run without stopping, other than for water.

After a quick drink, it's back towards the park. At about mile 5 1/2, the run goes on a gradual, but long uphill grade. Now, I'm walking, but feeling pretty good about getting to this point with only stopping for water twice. I trudged up the hill, then came back into the park. Total distance measured by Garmin: 6.25 in 1:16:48, a pace of 12:17/mile, including stops .

So how did I get to nine? Well, I got home and my eldest was at his basketball game. I went inside briefly, then took off by foot for the 3/4 miles to the middle school where he plays. After the game (a heartbreaking loss) I finished with two on the treadmill.

9 miles done, 3 "runs" in 1:48:27, an overall average of 12:03/mile. Not bad for my first street running (well, 7 miles of it, at least) in almost 3 months.

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