Group Runs Make Things Happen

Today’s Run

Time – 51:56
Distance – 6.0 miles
Pace – 8:37 min/mi
Elevation – 76 ft.

pexels-photo-357140

Group run! Fun with the crew at Runwell made for another fine, fast outing. I like running up front and pushing to keep pace. I made a race for the turnaround with Sean, which slowed down my fourth mile, and I spent the rest of the run playing catchup. I had to push really, REALLY hard to stay with the leaders, and I was about 50 meters back most of the second half. It was tough, but worth the effort. New 5K Strava best (26:24)!

Group Running Has It’s Benefits

Competition is a good thing when it motivates you to be better than you thought you could be. I ran hard by myself on Monday and did a 5K in 27:32 and 6 miles in about 54 minutes. Tonight, I ran with others who pushed me to be better and I did a minute faster for 5K and two minutes faster for 6 miles. That’s huge!

There’s something to be said for the idea that I haven’t yet found the limit of what I’m capable of today. I think I was pretty close tonight. There was probably a little more in the tank, maybe another 10 seconds per mile at most, but that was about it. It was a good night for running, and I was able to make sure that I was running in front and enjoying it.

One of the runners, Richard, said to me that he liked running with the front group because they made him run faster than he did on his own. I’m seeing the same thing. Running with others matters. But it’s not an everyday thing. I can’t do this three or four times a week. I’d burn myself out unless I had a couple people that liked to run slow on slow days and fast on fast days. That’s where these larger groups come in. There’s about 20–25 people at the runs, with lots of people running at all different paces and distances. It’s easy to find someone to run with who is going your pace for that day.

I’ve been using this group as a way to push myself and, so far, I’ve been able to hang out near the lead pack. I know that as the speedier runners show up more as the weather changes, and race plans and training change, and as the holidays come and go, I will find myself struggling to keep up with the front group. Having ran hard these last few weeks, however, shows me that I can go a lot faster than I thought, and, with continued practice, I’ll be able to keep up at quicker paces in the future. I’m sure that the end of speed is nigh. I will cross over between the improvements of more exercise and the decreases that come with age eventually. When that day comes, I’ll be disappointed, but I’ll also know that I can continue to run further and further because that’s the next great frontier.

You know, there’s a 240-mile race in Moab…

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