Monday, July 15, 2013

My Running Group

Another weekend has come and gone and what a marvelous weekend it was!

My weekend began with my first back-to-back training run for Dumbo Double Dare as part of the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend. The race is scheduled for the end of August and so far, training is going well!

I know I talk about my running group often, but I never share the details of my running group. Sign-up for the Fall Marathon training season began last weekend, so what better time to to share? No time like the present, right? Winking smile 

When I decided to train for the 2010 Disney World Half Marathon (my very 1st, by the way), I knew I couldn’t do it on my own. 10 mile, 12 mile training runs…around MY neighborhood….lapping the same loop over and over and over again…WHAT?! (I would go crazy!)

Thankfully, my area has a great running group, manned by two fabulous individuals who help train and prepare us for running Marathons. I joined in the Fall of 2009 and haven’t looked back since!

I’ve made countless friendships and have completed a lot of races because of my running group. They are like an extension of my family, several even came to the funeral home to give their condolences for my grandfather. Can we say amazing people?! Yes, they are!

On Friday nights, I check start times on the website in order to formulate a plan for Saturday. Start times depend on each runners mileage for the day. Since I had 10 miles to run on Saturday, I should have arrived at 5:30 a.m. Yeah, whoops that didn’t happen.

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Saturday morning, I woke up late and was supposed to meet my friend Kelli and her husband Darren before beginning our run. I text her to let her know I was going to be late, and told her to go on ahead and run without me.

Since everyone in my running group is training for different races, our mileage isn’t all the same, and we don’t all run out as a group at once. As seen above, everyone’s start times are different depending on which race they are training for. I made friends with Heather because we were both training for Houston a few years ago, and Kelli joined us not long after.

During initial sign up, coach asks which race each person is training for and gives a schedule tailored to that specific race.

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So many races, so little time! The schedule above is only a half July/August schedule, not one tailored to a specific race.

Also, you don’t have to train for a marathon to join my running group…my coach also gives walking/fitness plans to those who have a goal of getting fit. I love that people of all levels, shapes, sizes, speeds, abilities, etc are encouraged to join!

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Once I arrived at our group meeting spot on Saturday morning, I greeted others who were still milling around before their run, I checked out the routes on our route board, then I had a 10 mile route band taped around my wrist by our base coach. Depending on the mileage for the day, a wrist band could hold anywhere from a 3 mile route, all the way to a 21 mile route.

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Directions in place, ready to go!

Since Heather was out of town and I missed Kelli and Darren, I ran my 10 miles solo on Saturday.

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We were blessed with yet another beautiful sunrise on Saturday morning. Early mornings are one of my favorite times of the day!

Ok, so here’s how the wrist band works. If you pay attention to your wrist band, you’ll see cones at various corners along the routes. Again, you have to PAY ATTENTION to your route band because several routes intersect and you might end up taking a wrong turn…which means you could either short yourself or end up running extra mileage.

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Hi cones! Along the course, we have stations with Kleenex, water/Gatorade, and a trash can.

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Purple/Blue Gatorade is my favorite! Prior to joining this running group, I accidentally drank some of their Gatorade at a race. Whoops! They didn’t yell at me, thankfully!

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Yellow cones are corner turns and blue cones are mile markers. This happened to be a turn around point for the route I was not running. See, paying attention helps in the long run…no pun intended. Ok, maybe so.

Despite the humidity (80%, thank you), I pushed myself and ran strong. I tried to stay under a 10 minute pace the entire run and I did!

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By the end of it all, I was drenched but I felt great!  I can’t wait for Fall and cooler, breathable weather once again!

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10 miles, done!

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After the run, I caught the tail end of coach’s seminar. She usually gives a post-run seminar during the first several weeks of a new season. Even though I’ve heard the information in the past, it never hurts to hear it again….especially since she has a lot of good information to share! During these seminars, she gives out advice, tips, do’s and don’ts, and allows questions of any kind.

A few things I left out:

  • Every person who signs up receives a training shirt
  • My coach is RRCA Certified
  • We are never left stranded….Even when I was the only one training for the Disney World Marathon a few years ago – I distinctly remember being the last one to finish an 18 mile training run and my coaches were still there waiting on me. AWESOME!
  • We have occasional Family Socials & Picnics
  • Pasta Parties are hosted before select Marathons
  • Hill/Beach/Track workouts are held during the week for both the Fall/Spring seasons

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I love my running group, the friends I’ve made through the years, and the support that is given - not only during training season but in life as well.

Are you a part of a running group? Does your area have a group that meets for long runs? If you don’t have a running group, do you have a friend or friends that you run with? Please share, I would love to hear about your experiences!

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Don’t forget about my Pixie Power Giveaway going on right now! Giveaway ends TOMORROW! Good luck! :0)

30 comments:

  1. I so wish I had support like you do. I have went through several running partners especially those close to home. It would certainly help to get more in a routine. I desperately need to get back to running 3-4 times a week especially with Fall Half training coming much less to have the incentive to attempt training for a Full. That is so great that you have that.

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    1. Thank you! I am glad we have such a strong group here because I don't think I would get up on Saturday mornings to run alone! Sorry your running partners keep falling through - hope you find something/someone that works out soon!

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  2. I think I really need to look into finding a group near me. Maybe there is a beginner group or something! Sounds like a wonderful support system!

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    1. That's the great thing about ours too...they accept all levels! Hoping you can find something similar near you!

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  3. Your running group is awesome!!! I am totally jealous! I run alone for 70% of my runs. I long for a group like that in my area!!!!

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    1. Thanks, Sarah! Hoping you are able to find something similar in your area!

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  4. What a great support group. I had a good friend at my last job that I'd run with after work and it was so nice. The miles fly by when you have someone fun to talk to!

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    1. I agree! It's great to have someone to talk with during a run!

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  5. Sounds like a great group. I wish I had the time for a running group, but my schedule is so crazy I could never match up with one!

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    1. Totally understand that, too! It's hard when schedules are so different!

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  6. That looks like a great group - very well organized and I love all the fun things you get to do along with the runs. I'm part of USAFit - our current group has just under 50 members. It's awesome to train with other people, and like your group, the coaches wait until the last runner comes in.

    Just curious, what is the fee for your group?

    Oh, and my running club is doing an Easter in July egg hunt this coming Saturday...yes, stealing the idea from your post about it! :)

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    1. Exciting! Glad you found such a great group to be a part of! Our group fees are $100 per 6 months.
      LOVE the Easter Egg hunt in July! You'll have to let me know how it turns out! :0)

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  7. Sounds like a great group, I would participate more in the group runs in our local club but it is easier not too since I live so far out of town. Maybe when the kids are bigger...

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    1. I understand that, Christy! I don't live far from our meeting spot so it works out for me, but I can't imagine having to drive really far that early in the morning to meet up for a group run!

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  8. Sounds like an awesome running group! I have a running group too...I helped start it. We are called the Sole2Soul Sisters. Our main goal is to help train ladies to run. It's awesome and a wonderful ministry to be a part of!

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    1. Your group sounds incredible, Mindy! Love that you were able to help start it up!

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  9. That's so awesome...I'm a little intimidated in joining a running group because my pace is a lot slower than most people. Maybe one day I'll suck it up and do it :)

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    1. That was my initial fear too, Jen. I liked that my group had a variety of runners at different speeds, shapes, and sizes...and at all different fitness levels, too! I ran "solo" with this group for 6 months before really making solid friendships and finding friends at my pace/speed. I totally understand where you are coming from!

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  10. aww love that you have had so much fun with them!! I am finding running friends, but haven't found a large group that I consistently run with yet

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    1. Thanks! Running friends are great, too! :0)

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  11. 5:30am start time for a run!?!?! I would've missed that time, too! Hahaha

    Our running store does something similar. I was always intimidated by the coordinating or routes or being on a distance with someone at a faster pace than me. Maybe I need to give it a chance though.

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    1. Yes, those mornings can be early, especially the 21 mile days! Yuck! I've heard of running groups being held by a running store...it's neat your area has something like that! You should try it...who knows, you might make new friends along the way! :0)

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  12. This sounds like such a great group, Karen! Makes me wish I lived in SWLA!! :)

    I love the picture of the sunrise, too. Gorgeous! Makes getting up early worth it, doesn't it?? ;)

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    1. It really does! Early mornings are just so peaceful and relaxing. :0)

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  13. I sometimes wish I were a runner so I could be with a running group. It seems like such a supportive group of people to surround yourself with!

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  14. Love this post! Definitely the push I needed :)

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  15. I belonged to a group on the west coast. Loved it! I haven't found a group yet here in the Midwest. I need to work on that. Great post!

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