Monday, June 20, 2011

Jumping Ship to a Different Running Group

Last week, after returning from Ragnar, I was excited to start training for the Chicago Marathon.  A local running store was conducting a program for anyone to sign up for, which I did.  I thought it was going to be wonderful.  (Did you notice the key word: thought

The group meets on Thursdays for a mid-week run and then on Saturday morning for the long run of the week.  Thursday was the first day.  I was ready, and really looking forward to it.  I only live about 1.5 miles from the running store, so I decided to run there and back.  Therefore, I wanted to run with the 5 mile group, to give me a total of 8 miles for that day.  The other options were 3 (too short), or 7 (too long). 

The  people got organized, and the 7 milers were off.  Next  up was the 5 mile group.  I looked around at the various people that were about to head off with me.  I decided to go near the front of the group, thinking that there would be a divide in pacing.  We took off, and the pace was 10  minute miles.  I figured that they were just getting warmed up, whereas I already was.  I thought they would pick up the pace on mile 2.  However, we actually slowed down for mile two, logging at 10:15 pace.  The front of the group, where I was at, kept at that pace for the remaining miles.  There were quite a few other runners behind me as well. 

The people who were running were nice.  It was easy to make conversation with them; however, I was analyzing the miles in my head.  I considered them "junk miles" because they did not do anything for me.  The pace was so slow that they almost became challenging to complete.  I lost interest in it, which rarely happens when I run.  I know my legs cannot afford to have junk miles put on them, so I knew I had to do something.

After the run I asked the director if there were going to be a greater variety of paces for the Thursday runs.  She said she wasn't sure.  She then was asking me about what pace group I hoped to run with for marathon training, which I responded either the 8:00 or 8:30.  Then, she told me that I should run with the 9:30 or 10:00 group because I've never done a marathon and I don't know how my body would respond to the distance.  If she found out I was diabetic, she would have probably told me to not run it.

I was upset.  I know that sometimes I let my emotions take control instead of letting my head do the thinking, but I was mad that the lady made those comments to me.  She doesn't know me!!  Or my ability!  It is true that I don't know what I'm capable of come long runs in preparation for the marathon, but I feel like I'm in better shape than most people. 

After that talk, a couple came up to me.  They said they noticed me from the gym I go to because they belong there as well.  They also heard what I was asking and said that they thought another running group might be a better fit for me.  They both run a lot of marathons and the lady qualified for Boston, said that the other group balances speed training with distance training and interval training.  They told me the website, and I looked into it.

I was sold at the first fact I saw: They have a hospitality room at the Chicago Marathon which means using real bathrooms before the race.  Yes, please!!!  They also meet on Sundays for long runs, Tuesday for speed workouts, and Thursday for tempo runs.  Sounds like  a winner to me.  They also have three training plans that they incorporate: beginner, intermediate (me), or PR/advance. 

I went on Sunday for the first long run of marathon training - 9 miles - but that is a different story.  You can hear about that tomorrow.

Would you jump ship and join another running club? 

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