|This Is Me Sometimes|
I did want to talk about my first ever experience with group running because, well, it was my first. I have occasionally run with one other person, but this was definitely my first with a large group. I have been wanting to do something like this for awhile, but I got a nudge in the right direction by a fellow-running co-worker who invited me to meet up with him and his wife. Additionally, the meeting place was at a pub 5 minutes down the road, so I guess the stars just aligned, and I had no excuses not to go.
|It was a lot like this, minus the beach, sun and warm weather.|
Overall the run was great, but I had run the day before, and my legs were a little tired. I tried to keep a good pace, going a little above a comfortable pace, and the course had some pretty solid hills. Additionally, everyone running received a free pint glass and appetizers! I am glad I went out and did it, and I look forward to similar experiences in the future. I don't know if I will go out every week, but I would like to get to know some of the people better. I read an article in the most recent Runner's World about how we should all mix up our routines by running solo AND running in groups because of the benefits of both. This is something I will continue to talk about with time.
I would say the best benefit that I noticed about running with someone else is that they definitely make you pick up your game. Considering how tired I was, there was no way I would have gone as fast I did without someone there. Even though it isn't a race, I found my competitive nature kicking in much like it does during a race. This was definitely one of the advantages mentioned by the magazine. The key was to get out of my comfort zone, and I did that, but I like that there are real benefits to it. I love running, but I like knowing that every bit of training I do has a purpose and an advantage.
The biggest change I made this week was an increase in the intensity of my weight-lifting cross-training. I decided to take a Crossfit-like approach to my gym sessions, increasing my speed from exercise to exercise, keeping my heart-rate up, and varying what I am doing. I find this easier if I set up a circuit, or if I use a workout of the day. The biggest addition to these circuits has to be the use of dead-lifts and power cleans. Dead lifts are especially important because they work so many muscles, including the core and lower back. Power cleans are also a fuller body lift, and both are super challenging and form specific. It is really going to take me some time to become comfortable with these techniques, but I like the challenge.
Okay, it's really only one failure, but I am not proud of it. I had to skip my long run yesterday because I had gone out a little too hard the night before. This was a wake-up call for me, so I really don't see me doing anything like that again (aside from St. Patricks Day) up until the marathon is over. To be honest, I don't drink often, and I still think of myself as a drinker when I do. I think my tolerance was way down, and I wasn't used to the higher alcohol content of the craft beers I was drinking. I really need to crack down on this kind of thing and get serious. My diet and my habits need to get perfected, and I need to crush this race. I did get in the long run today though, but it was a miserable business! My legs felt like bricks, and I just didn't have the energy I would have liked. Plus, the weather was beautiful all day until I got home, and then it decided to get windy, cloudy and cold.
Do you find admitting your failures as a beneficial practice?
What kinds of failures have you had that were wake-up calls for your training?
Do you run solo or with groups? Which do you prefer? How often to you do each? Who do you run with?