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…

Advertisements

Group Run

Today’s Run

Time – 55:55
Distance – 6.0 miles
Pace – 9:14 min/mi
Elevation – 111 ft.

Group run with Runwell Edwardsville. Quick run, felt great, but it was cold! Glad I was running fast (for me) because it would not have been fun if I hadn’t kept the internal heat high.

Congrats, Jen!

Huge congratulations to Jen from Runwell for her 100-miler this past weekend! Way to go!

Stream of Consciousness While Running in Groups

Today’s Run

Time – 57:12
Distance – 5.9 miles
Pace – 9:38 min/mi
Elevation – 183 ft.

IMG_1337.jpg

Group run tonight. Got to go out with a couple of new guys and stuck with them. We worked from a 10:30/mile down to a 8:36/mile at the end (well, it was .9, but still, close enough). I felt much better than yesterday, and the weather was similar, but I had eaten a little more since that run and was able to go strong the whole time. It was a great run! Thanks, Jay and Tim!

What Do You Think About Out There?

Did I remember everything? I think I did. I’ve got my key, right?

Yeah, there it is in my pocket. Whoa, don’t run into the group in front. Why are they going so slow? Oh, I didn’t see that person on the sidewalk.

Don’t be pushy, Adam, just keep it together. Let the group stretch out a bit, you’ll enjoy the run. Just keep moving.

Wow, this stoplight is taking forever. I hope I don’t miss the next one.

It’s cold out here still. I want to warm up soon.

We missed the light…crap.

Okay, now we’re moving. Don’t run up on her heels. Stick with these two guys. They’re being really friendly. Just don’t forget their names. Repeat them a couple of times…

Is my headlamp on? Is it too bright?

Go around her. Just move past on the right. Follow the other guy. Quick feet.

I hope it warms up. I’m getting a little cold.

I should unzip my overshirt a little bit.

Breathing is good, legs are moving. I’m enjoying this…you just got asked a question, pay attention! What was it? Oh yeah…

Quick feet. Steady breathing. Move your legs. They want to pick up the pace? You can hang with this. You’re doing 10:15/miles. This is your standard speed. You’re fine.

Still cold. I thought it was going to get warmer. Are those guys up ahead stopping?

Don’t crowd these guys. Stay in your lane. You’re swerving like a drunken Uber driver…

Car? No, they stopped, don’t forget to wave.

It’s still pretty cool out.

Unzip more. Pull down the shirt. Fix the gloves. Fix the gloves again, they feel loose…

Turn around already? That went fast. 9:45/miles help.

Up the hill. Keep the leg moving. My arms are cold. Glad I wore the second shirt.

Wow, that’s quite a story he’s telling. You don’t have anything to add to that. It’s okay to just listen…

Gulp That 9:20 hurt a bit. You’re good. Keep it together. This rise isn’t a hill, just an incline…

When did it stop being cold? And why won’t my glasses stop fogging up…Oh, that’s rain…

You caught the three in front of you?! 9:12?! Okay…

Just keep moving. It’s not cold anymore. She said to go with the front runner. DO IT!

Quick feet. You can hang with her, even though she’s got a BQ (Boston Qualifying time).

Wait, she dropped the hammer. You can’t hang with her. You just got chicked. Smile 8:36?!

Annnnnd…DONE! I love running…

Crap. Did I remember to stop my watch?

What Just Happened?!

Today’s Run

Time – 58:06
Distance – 6.5 miles
Pace – 8:56 min/mi
Elevation – 196 ft.

pexels-photo-315938

Fast. That is the only word I can think of. Ran well, felt great, could have gone longer, but I’m not sure how much. Got to run with Shawn from the Wednesday night crew, which was fun. Thanks, Shawn! New Strava records for this one. Did I mention fast?!

I May Have Blacked Out for a Minute

I’m not really sure what it was about tonight’s run. I was thinking that I’d put a little bit of effort into tonight’s run, and I’d have fun running hard. Then I’d slow down and take it easy after the first few miles. But I just kept going.

And going…

And going…

I ran with the front group. The three of us cruised along and kept up the pace as we separated from the rest. I’m sure that plenty of the people behind could destroy me on their fast days. And that’s alright. The world is full of fast people who run hard. I’m not one of them.

But I got to run fast tonight. I led the group for part of the run, enjoying the speed and the feeling of working hard with others. My legs felt great. My lungs had air. I could really feel the speed was there when I wanted it. This is why I keep running. For days like this when I get to do it right.

There’s a fat kid somewhere in my past that’s shuffling down the side of the road for the mile run in P.E. class. I thought about him in my car on the drive home. I thought about the feeling of being the second to last guy to finish. I thought about the pain of those runs, both physically and mentally, as I knew that I just couldn’t do better. I thought about how, even though I felt fast, I’m not…yet…

And that’s what I’m going to do next. I’m going to be fast. I’m going to do it through days and days, and miles and miles, of running at the right paces. I’m going to run slow when I should, and fast when I can. I’m going to find a race to do that let’s me run hard with people faster than I am to see how good I can be.

Where’s my calendar? I need to find a free weekend. The goal is not changing. I’m still gunning for Squaw Valley in some June in the future. But, until I get there, I’m gonna do this. Because I know that I can now.

Partly Inspiration, Partly To Blame

Today’s Run

Time – 50:13
Distance – 5.01 miles
Pace – 10:01 min/mi
Elevation – N/A (This app is getting worse)

22279924_1225977964173195_7629330272093464112_n

Group run with Runwell tonight. It was a new trail that I hadn’t run before, and it got DARK quick! Since it was a trail, though, no need for the vest. I probably am going to have to get a headlamp in order to keep up with the miles for this winter. Either that, or get over the spirit-draining existence that is treadmill running. Not a big deal, I know, but running outside is 90% of the inspiration. Sun, air, temperature, and sounds all come together. It’s why they say that time outside is good for you, according to the health experts at Harvard.

Fun Stuff Found Online

We’re not full-blown cord cutters here, but we do watch a lot of Netflix, iTunes season passes, and YouTube through our AppleTV’s. They are easy to use, and simple to manage subscriptions, so I like having them as our devices of choice.

This leads to a lot of discoveries and interesting watchings through YouTube because we get suggestions based on viewing history. Of course, we like Casey Neistat, Wranglerstar, Sage Canady, and others, but one that I found at the beginning of this running journey is Billy Yang. He’s a filmmaker and YouTuber living in L.A. He’s actually part of the inspiration for my desire to run Western States.

I guess you could say that makes him partly to blame. Sorry, Billy…

Check out the film that started it for me here:

First Christmas Came, and Then It Didn’t

Today’s Run

Time – 54:10
Distance – 5.04 miles
Pace – 10:45 min/mi
Elevation – 146 ft.

21765594_1214974568606868_6709257217192225525_o
I’m in there…somewhere…

Running with the group at RunWell Edwardsville tonight. The run was quiet because I didn’t bring my AirPods, so it was a night of hearing the wind, and my breath, and the sounds of my feet on the pavement. I ran alone tonight, which was nice for the silence, but I started and finished with a group so I didn’t feel alone. I like this group.

Christmas Came Early, and Then It Went Away

I got my Christmas present tonight. I bought it from the running store and then I turned it over to my wife. She’s hiding it for another 3 months. It was a good deal and I wanted to support the local store. Now I have to wait.

This is going to go well…

Runner Seeks Companion(s)…?

pexels-photo-221210
Is anybody out there?

Today’s Run

Time – 55:06
Distance – 5.03 miles
Pace – 10:58 min/mi
Elevation – 244 ft.

It was supposed to be an easy run, until I dropped a 9:49 for mile 5…um…okay.

Let’s Meet Someone New

I went running today with a local group. It was my first run with them, and there was a bit of a crowd. Probably in the neighborhood of 15–20 people were hanging around, getting ready to go out for the run. It was an out and back, and I think that it maxed out about 7–8 miles. I signed the waiver, said hi to the leader, and stood for the group picture. Then we were off.

I’ve gotten used to running on my own. I start off easy and try to work into my pace in order to keep down the Exercise-Induced Asthma and side stitches. It works for me, and I can usually negatively split my runs.

As the group steadily pulled away, I realized two things. I hadn’t actually met any of them, and I wasn’t as fast as they were. I was concerned and a little annoyed, because the group didn’t quite seem welcoming. I will admit that I didn’t put forth a lot of effort, so it’s not like it was all on them. I just didn’t know what to expect. Dynamics in these things can be very different depending on the group.

But I kept running and followed the roadway out to the path. It was a trail I knew well, so I was planning to enjoy my run either way. Then I started to pass people who had turned around or were still going my way. And they were all super friendly! Lots of hellos and waves to make me feel like I was a part of the run. Very cool!

I caught up to a couple of people and then met up with a guy (let’s call him “Mike”) and we ran together for about 3 miles. We talked about our kids, my weight loss, his runs over the past year, and other miscellaneous topics. I had forgotten how much fun it was to run with other people. Mike needed to slow down with about a mile to go, and I latched onto another guy who had passed us. Suddenly, I was doing 8:15 pace and feeling REALLY good. It wasn’t something I was going to do for an hour, but there might be a 5k in there somewhere. That’s very intriguing.

Overall, a good group. They meet regularly and run local, which makes for a good time, and supporting the local group is always important. I’m looking forward to doing it again next week.

Maybe, next time, I’ll say hello first…