Housekeeping: A reminder that we are sending a Blue Line Beginners team to the Louis Dirker Memorial Race in Stow on Aug. 19. We chose this race because teammates who prefer smaller distances can choose between a 1-mile and a 3-mile race on that day. Others can use this race in place of one of their weekday training sessions. To be guaranteed a tech shirt, you need to sign up by Friday at If you sign up, be sure to send me an email at so I know. We want to stay in touch so we can meet before and after the race.

Akron Marathon Vice President Amy Freeman had been doing some early Blue Line Beginner Saturdays with us, but hadn't been able to come out the last couple of months. That gave her a unique now-and-then perspective of us as a group. After Saturday's trial run of the Goodyear 10k, she said she couldn't get over how much we had changed. Gone were the newbies in cotton t-shirts, breathing heavy after a 3-mile workout and looking unsure of ourselves. What she saw Saturday was a group of new athletes, dressed properly and tearing up 4-mile and 6-mile courses without looking particularly stressed.

I looked around at those gathered beneath the Goodyear sky bridge at the post-run water station and compared my memory of those early weeks. I saw what she saw, and there is no question in my mind that sharing this summer's experience has pushed us farther, faster than any of us would have been able to go alone.

Anyway, how about that morning, eh? If only race day could be that perfect! We had 50 BLBs turn out for the trial run, and we can thank Akron Marathon staffers Anne Bitong, Carrie Washnock, Lauren Hoyle, Alex Walls and Amy Freeman for planning it, posting signs, playing music and manning two water stations. The course was a nice suprise as well - a rather straight and smooth route that will give us a great opportunity to beat June's 8k performance.

This coming Saturday, we'll return to Silver Lake for one final group meetup before the Aug. 12 race. The details were on this blog post:

Here is this week's training plan for those doing the 10k on Aug 12 and the relay in September. Please note that you may have a copy of a plan that has some blank spaces on this week. This plan is the correct version. Saturday's long run/walk is 4 miles; the final number is total weekly miles:

Here is this week's training plan for those doing the 10k on Aug 12 and the half marathon in September. The red box notes Saturday's long run/walk, and the final number is total weekly miles:

Thanks to Beacon Journal photographer and BLB teammate Karen Schiely for the group photos. Seeing her work that camera Saturday, I suspect another fine photo post by her for Tuesday's "Karen's Korner." Keep watching...

- Paula