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Thursday, April 28, 2011

04/27/11: First run with long distance training group...OR...stepping outside my box

Last year in May I started training for my very first half marathon.

I did it all on my own.

Well...me and Hal Higdon's beginner half marathon training plan. :-)

I stuck as close to the plan as I could....and made adjustments when and where necessary. I ran the half, and completed it within 23 seconds of my goal time.

Success!

Now it's nearly May again, and I'm starting to train for my very first full marathon.

I pulled up good ol' Hal's full training plan and put it on my calendar.

And then I got an email from the local running club. They host a distance training program every year.

I have to admit...the long 16, 18, 20 mile long runs by myself are a little scary to me right now. Mainly, for a logistics point of view. I'll have to schedule the runs in loops, or multiple out and backs....so I can refill (or replace) my water bottles. Or, I'll need to schedule it with access to gas stations or public fountains (which are very unreliable). I'll also need to carry fuel, and I already feel retarded carrying around as much gear as I do now.....adding more fuel is going to make me look like a pack mule. :-)

(Yep, I'm a Capricorn.....we think about these things. AND, my dad was a Virgo....they are incredibly INSANE about these things!)

And, on top of it all, my sweet and loving hubby is more than slightly concerned for my safety when out on these long runs by myself.

So....I signed up for the training program.

They have a speaker come talk to the group every Wednesday evening, with a group run after. And then a long run on Sunday mornings.

Last week was the initial "this is what the program is about, sign here on the dotted line" meeting. And last night was the first official Wednesday speaker.

It was more of a "Running 101, here are the basics" type of thing....geared more for those that haven't run at all...but a refresher never hurts. He's mentioned the different people he has arranged for speaking as the program moves forward, and they sound interesting!

After the speaker, we set out on the group run.

Now, anyone that knows me, knows that I'm quite possibly the (initially) shyest person in the world.

Initially??

I mean, once someone talks to me, I'm all over it. But initiating the first encounter.....(gulp)....kills me. So I was beside myself with the number of people that just came up to me to chat. I ended up teaming up with one girl, in particular, to run with....but since it was a group run, there were other similar groups around us. Everyone was talking, laughing, and motivating each other.

I'm still, even though I know I shouldn't be, very self conscious of how slow I am compared to others. Also, probably the only one that uses run/walk intervals from the very beginning of the run. (which I didn't do last night) But I'll get over that eventually I'm sure! :-)

I was also surprised to find that she, like me, usually runs early in the morning. I think we're going to try and meet up to run before work sometime soon, and see how it works for us. Would be nice to run in a different place, and with someone....whether we're talking as we go, or just running along enjoying the morning...company could be fun!!!

(3.02 miles, 10:43 overall average pace)

6 comments:

C2Iowa said...

I wish I had something like that around here. Try not to worry about pace and walk/run stuff. Compare you against you.

Keep us posted on your training. Sounds interesting to me.

Nej said...

I've always been jealous of my aunt in St. Louis...since there is a Fleet Feet right around the corner from them (basically). She always talks very highly of their running programs. So, finding out that our local running store has one, I was excited to give it a whirl. Might not be for me, but won't know until I try. :-)

Fran said...

That's so cool Nej that you joined a running group! We don't have groups like that over here but I would love it and join it if we did.

Have fun with training with your group.

Mike said...

Running groups are to far away from where I live, so I am a loner :)

Faith Ann said...

That's awesome!! So great to have clicked with someone on the first night!

I'm always self-conscious about using run-walk with other runners too. I always think it makes other people think I'm a lesser runner (which I probably am!).

I've been doing my short runs without walk-breaks lately (just 3-3.5 miles) just to get myself used to running that way again. However, for longer runs, I will *always* be a fan of regular walk breaks and will use them from the start of the run.

Heidi said...

Oh how fun! I'd love to run with a group occassionally, but the times with our clubs here don't work for me. Those long runs can get rather boring on your own. In fact, when I was doing it through the fall/winter with a good friend, it even got pretty tough to keep it interesting between just the two of us. Nice to have a bunch of people to yak with. Hope it goes well for you!