Saturday, February 17, 2007

Piece of Cake

That describes both my dessert last night (Happy Birthday, T.!) and how my nine-miler felt this morning.

It was actually a most uneventful run. No inclement weather or aggravating aches and pains to complain about. No near fatal road accidents or annoying catcalls to stew over. And not a single dog encounter or body bag to report. Completely and utterly uneventful. And that is exactly what I needed. Just a strong, solid long run without any unnecessary distractions to boost my confidence before heading into the next month of training when my distance really picks up in preparation for my race. 62 days and counting...

On another note, I got an e-mail notification this week from the director of the race events in my hometown this summer (last year, I ran the full marathon and plan to run the half this year). As part of a growing event, they're trying out an inaugural group training program that will meet every Saturday morning to do long runs together. I'm sorely tempted to join. Last year, I did every mile of my marathon training alone. Hours-long training runs with nothing but the thoughts in my own head could have potentially been a dangerous thing. I survived, obviously, but it'd be nice to have the option of doing training runs with the company of others. The group runs would have to be coordinated with my current training program... a little tricky, but not impossible.

The only drawback I foresee: I don't like following the leader. I've never joined a group exercise class because I know full well I'd have issues with obeying the commands of the skinny, bubbly instructor in her cute matching spandex outfit. I march to the beat of my own drum when I work out. When I feel like stepping it up a notch, I do it on my own accord, not because somebody with a ridiculous amount of energy is telling me to do it. So, I can see myself rebelling a bit during group runs, especially if it involves following a leader at a pre-determined pace. As soon as I felt the pressure to speed up when I felt like slowing down, the novelty of the "group run" would come to a screeching halt.

Maybe I'm being stubborn and running with a group would actually be very good for me, both physically and mentally. Or maybe I'll just keep on going like I am. Another several hundred hours with nothing but the thoughts in my own head won't kill me.

Will it?


BigJohn said...

Hi Angie,

I find myself in the same predicament. I like to be in the company of others unless I am working out. I am way to competitive in that regard. My girlfriend Louise is a very good runner, and for that reason we rarely go running because I cannot keep up. I run fast for shorter periods of time, and she will run similarly to you; long/far! I prefer to run 2.5 miles in say 20 minutes or less, while she will run 6 miles in a little less than an hour. I have tried to run with her on her long runs and made it about 4 miles before I quit. I cannot play softball with my district guys (I am a cop in Denver) because I revert (sp?) back to my pro ball days and take it too seriously (It also doesn't help that I have had my throwing arm operated on twice!). I hope you training is going well. John

robison52 said...

You may wish to consider running with a group as it'll motivate you to get out early, it's safer, it's fun, and others will support and cheer for you. Of course, if they are too fast and/or too slow for your ability than it could be a drag, but the only way to find out is to try it once.

Chad said...

I would say give it a try. I've never found a good running group, but I do like biking with others. Especially if it's a once a week event, then you can train on your own the rest of the time and then spend time comparing notes with others.

Good luck whatever you decide!

Chesno Slova said...

Obviously you have never been to basic training Ang. There is definately something that will get you going when someone full of "energy" is "instructing" you to run faster, do more pushups, whatever. It is really the only way I find enough motivation to exercise consistently. If and when I go running on my own, it is usually with the Army infantry singing cadence on my mp3 player. Now that's motivation. May have to let you borrow that.

See Zanne Run said...

i'm the same way - prefer running solo ... that way, i can just zone out with tunes & not have to worry about trying to keep up small talk or pace with anyone. now that said, while i did a majority of my training runs for my marathon solo -- i did occasionally run with a friend (my husband biked alongside for some of the really long ones!) - it made a difference and definatelyy broke things up a bit & made the long miles a little more interesting. so its' not so bad on occasion. think of it like interval training - just shake things up now & then. what if you just joined the group for every other group run or once a month or something like that?