As soon as I finished the marathon in October I swore I wasn't doing another one, but clearly I cannot be trusted! I am registered for MCM again, and Virginia Beach in March 2012, possibly running Philly in November 2011. Since then I haven't been running too much (a 5k, half-marathon and 10 mile race), usually just weekend runs with some members from last year's 12:30 pace group. I was pretty undecided on actually doing it again I found out that most of my buddies were in and I knew we had great coaches. So here I am, again, running for a good cause.
The first run of the Montgomery County Road Runners' First Time Marathon (MCRRC FTM) began bright and early on a beautiful Mother's Day. I suited up in my CWX capris and new shirt and was at the park by 6:50AM.
The park was crowded and buzzing with the excitement emanating from participants new and old. Unlike last year I wasn't scared out of my mind and Coach Andy commented that I looked ready this year. Quite the compliment!
We had three wonderful coaches - Don, Kathy and Mike. I know Kathy well and she's super-duper awesome, Don is one of the nicest guys I've ever met, and this Mike fellow was a really nice, supportive guy. In addition to my buddy Kathy, Hengameh and Joelle from last year's 12:30s were also there today, and I know a few more will be joining shortly. We had a few members that had done the program before but I didn't really know, along with a couple of total noobs. Coach Andy and his running buddy Jan also hung with us today.
As they said during the announcements, this should be the easiest run you've done in a long time. And so it was, we ended with exactly a 12:30 pace (including two brief walking water breaks). And negative splits! I don't think I've ever actually done that before, so thanks guys!
The run was uneventful, on a course I've seen a million times. We ran slow and steady and enjoyed the weather and the company of friends new and old. I think some of the new folks were getting a little anxious, kept running in front of the coaches and pushing the pace. I know how it goes, I'm pretty sure I did the same thing on my first run last year (I recall Hengameh and I being referred to as "horses galloping back to the stables"). They may stay with our group, they may not. Heck, even I considered moving up a pace group but I'm in it to run with my friends, not necessarily to improve. Running 7 slow miles on a near-perfect day is quite different than running 20 miles at that pace on a miserably hot, humid August morning. But no matter who stays or who goes I think we have a great group this year and we'll have a lot of fun over the next 26 weeks!