I met up with the Striders this morning for my debut tromp along the famous River Oaks route. The route was ~8-11.4 miles with opportunity to run the full 11+ or take any of several shortcuts for the shorter mileage. My plan was just to do 8 this morning, so I availed myself of each and every shortcut and even added one or two of my own. Total miles - 8.9
Splits - 13:55 / 13:49 / 13:46 / 14:20 (shoe malfunction) / 14:00 / 13:51 / 14:05 / 13:53 / 12:53 pace for the last .91 miles
Average pace - 13:51
It was a beautiful morning, a little warm and humid but the summer weather is fresh enough in my mind that I can still appreciate 65 and muggy. No hard breathing this morning. Just a light pounding to acclimate to the concrete in preparation for the 14th. I played more with average pace on my garmin. Sorry, David!!! I pretty much kept the clock running, even through the shoe malfunction and through water stops. It was fun trying to spot water while running throught the Houston streets. Of course, the fountain at Kirby and Shepherd I knew about. Matt gave me a tip on a popular but obscure water spicket behind the Pilgrim's Cleaners at San Felipe and Willowick. I didn't see the Pilgrim's when I got to the corner but found an outlet behind the gas station there.
Oh, and my vote for the New Co-Rulers of the World goes to Lisa and Jack. With no advanced notice that they were even going to do this, Lisa and Jack spent their Saturday morning serving the Striders water from their own water station that they set up. Then, if that doesn't qualify them for rulers of the world, they packed up and came and found me, about 5 or 10 minutes behind rest of the runners. They pulled over and flagged me down and gave me a bottle of life-sustaining water. They were my angels today. Just goes to show you, you're never alone when the Striders are around. Kudos to Jack and Lisa. You guys blow me away.
Breakfast after was a blast. I talked race strategy with Bessie and Steeve. First timers Hillary and Jessica were at out table too so this is one lucky guy. :o) I'm just trying to soak this all in, all the advice, encouragement, and friendships I've made. I'm frankly overwhelmed with it all. Life is good.
For the most part, that was it. My last long run before the marathon. Just 3 short runs on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday next week. Then 2 day's rest, carb loading, and expo'ing before the big day.