Category Archives: group runs

Pulling It Back Together

I’m finally on Spring Break this week. Unlike Spring Break in college which usually involved a beach, a beer bong and a week of hungover running, I’m using this break to get caught up on sleep, running, life and school. Much less exciting, but much needed. While I’m getting my head out from under water, here are some links to keep you entertained that I meant to write on weeks ago and a new funny runner girl blog to read:

A Family Affair

Physics I can actually dig.

The Runs on My Run.

I’m so grateful for a free week to get caught up and the timing is perfect for New Bedford. I’m hopeful that another strong week of training with plenty of time to rest will result in a great performance next weekend.

Know When to Fold Em

Being a coach does not necessarily mean you coach yourself well, an issue I’ve been struggling with for a few months. I know what workouts I should do and what paces I should hit, but it doesn’t mean that I execute well or that I’m objective when I evaluate my performance. As such, I’m really excited to take a new approach this spring and work with a coach. GMAA* is offering coaching this year with Kasie Enman, a female runner about my age with lots of running success. She’s a great fit for me both because we share a training philosophy and because she’s an easy person to be around. History illustrates that I do not thrive with a coach who favors yelling or punishment. After seeing Kasie’s training plan, I feel confident that with another person shepherding my progress, my goals are in reach.

The other benefit to working with Kasie is that I have a guaranteed Tuesday night workout date with Kasie and other runners working towards the same races. Just like long runs are best when you can share the misery, group workouts encourage accountability and cooperation. For example, tonight has 2 to 4 1.5 mile repeats at 10-mile pace (about 6:35 for me). Alone, that workout would be miserable. With company, however, it’s survivable.

Have you worked with a coach before? What were the benefits?

*Coaching with Kasie is open to any GMAA member who plans to run one or more of the USATF races this year. See www.gmaa.net for more information.

Special Thursday Fun Run with Brooks (1/26)

SkiRack hosts a run every Thursday at 6 pm that covers 5 to 6 miles and is a great way to connect with other area runners. On Thursday January 26th, it’s an extra special run as Trish from Brooks will be joining to showoff Nightlife clothing. Demos may also be available. After the run, there will be a social gathering at a local restaurant for beverages and food. Mark your calendar and join us for any or all of this fun mid-winter evening.

Another VCM Training Resource

If you’re looking for a class to help you prepare for Vermont City, here’s another resource. Classes are great for keeping you motivated, providing guidance and connecting you to other runners preparing for the Vermont City Marathon.

Thirsty Thursdays

In college, Thursday night was the first night of our weekend and we would head to Cagney’s for $3 Long Island Ice Teas. Needless to say, not a lot of running happened on Friday mornings.

Thankfully, college is over, and Thursday nights are now reserved for fun runs at SkiRack. The Thursday night runs are back! Every Thursday night, a group run will depart from SkiRack at 6 pm for a 5 mile or hour run (whichever comes first) at a relaxed pace. It’s a great way to meet other runners, stay motivated in the dark of winter and kick off Friday. I’ll be leading some of the runs, as will other local runners like Joe (SkiRack’s shoe expert), Will (SkiRack’s marketing dude), or Sam (Marathon 201’s coach).

All are welcome. Please wear reflective gear and dress for the elements.

 

Run Your Can Off 2011

I did this event last year, and it was a blast. I got to eat Pop Tarts, ran 3o miles and it served as my “how Sarah got her groove back” race. Not to mention, it was a good cause.

If you’re around on the 12th, check out this event. It’s a great way to get your run in and do a little good.

http://runyourcanoff.blogspot.com/

 

The Lone Wolf

(Names somewhat masked because I didn’t ask permission…hope you know who you are)
I’ve always approached running as a solitary activity.  After all, no one else can get you from miles 20 to 26.2. It’s you against the Wall and the world. In the past few months, however, I’m starting to rethink my approach and realizing the wealth of opportunities for learning and improvement from running with a group.
My first inkling that I didn’t have to do this all alone came in the December half marathon. Rather than fight the pack of guys who joined me at the mile mark and do my customary “drop ahead or behind, anything to run alone move,” I hung out with them.  They told me about the history of a beautiful tree. One shared his experiences coaching a local high school. We pressed on together. We took turns leading but stayed in a pack until mile 8, when it was time for me to drop the proverbial hammer per my race plan. Unlike mile 8 in other half marathons, I was surprised almost an hour had passed. I was surprised to find responsive legs. I was surprised to mourn the loss of my pack. 
A further rebuttal of my lone wolf way has crept up on me as I become more involved with the local running group.  On Sunday, I joined them for a long run.  Not that anyone would believe it, but I am incredibly shy about running with other people. Tell you my life story, pitch you a research paper or sell you ice cubes in January, fine.  But you want me to run with you?  Um…I got over it and met them for an 8 o’clock run. And I didn’t even vomit from nerves. We set out as a big group, then splintered off as the paces spread out.  We got to have those first conversations of “What do you do?” and “What have you run?” and the inevitable Vermont question, “Oh! Do you know so and so?” as we plodded on through snow, slush, ice and wind.  Towards the end of the run, there were just 4 of us left.  I was badgering M with questions to get him to slow down. In the interim, I was gathering details from everyone’s lives, running and otherwise.  In the days following, it has occurred to me that by running alone, I was missing much of the texture of running. I was missing everyone else’s story, everyone else’s “best running lesson ever.” For that matter, I was missing everyone’s best life lesson ever.
This was corroborated on our mini group run tonight. My friend Katie and I planned to run and I wanted to check out SkiRack’s Thursday night fun run, so I convinced her we wouldn’t go too fast and we headed out with S leading us. During the run, I discovered that S not only has a Masters in Sports Psychology, but also manages to balance a travel intensive job with running and coaching. Talk about a wealth of knowledge of which I would be totally unawares if I were out there plodding alone. As I prepare for Boston, and for another racing season, I’m hoping to absorb his knowledge via osmosis. 
Running alone some of the time is character building and just a logistical necessity. Especially in smaller marathons, there is a distinct possibility you will spend some time alone and if you aren’t mentally ready, well hang on, it gets really dark in there. However, with highs of 5 this weekend, I admit to looking forward to having other people to share the road with. Looking forward, I’m excited to be a human sponge, soaking up hundreds of cumulative years of racing and running knowledge that I would otherwise be wasting. 
So to M, J, B, K and others from Sunday, to Katie and S tonight, to the guys from the Roxbury Half, thanks for shedding some light on why you all have been running together for years, and for letting me join the pack.
Run On.
S