Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Running In Groups

I have new feelings toward running. I am getting stronger and I can run farther. Last Saturday, I ran 4 miles without stopping. It was the farthest I have ever run. Every Saturday during my training, I will be running the farthest I ever have. It is exhilarating and terrifying at the same time.

I was running with the ZOOMA Training Group. I can’t tell you how much running with a group makes a difference, especially when you are trying to push yourself. For some, it may be the group mentality that helps runners pushes themselves; no one wants to be the person who walks amongst the others who are running. For me, it is purely competition. I do not want to be last. I have found some great people through a MeetUp site. I have found sites for biking, hiking, and running. At first, I was intimidated. In many ways, I still am. All the same, running with people who are stronger than me has helped me improved my training. In the past three months, I have moved my running base from about 1 mile to 3 miles. I have increased my speed at the same time.

This philosophy does not work as well for me during race events. I spend a great deal of time trying to convince my friends to run in the events with me. I am genuinely excited to finish the race together. Yet, I regret that decision, as soon as the horn sounds for the beginning of a race. It is amazing to me that I may have become a stronger runner than some of my friends. The same people who were beating me last summer are the ones holding me back.

This year, I have done 3 5ks – so far, they have all been with Charm City Run.

Jan 1 – Resolution Run 5k – 36:23: I had a few setbacks with my foot and back. I still finished.

Feb 6 – Super Bowl 5k – 33:38: I ran with a friend, who wanted to walk a bit. It wasn’t until the second mile that I decided to just keep going on my own. It was hilly, and I walked a little here and there, but I was impressed myself with my improved my time.

March 13 – Kelly Shamrock 5k – 31:28: This was a mostly downhill course, but over 4000 runners. I could have done better if I had not had to dodge all the walkers and slower runners. I also had the same problem of being faster than my friend.

I struggle with running ahead of my friends because I feel like I am providing them the motivation the way my running partners helped me. Is it fair to leave that behind to shave off a few minutes on the clock? When is it appropriate to push forward for yourself and not the group?

No comments:

Post a Comment