A Running Kick in the Butt

Saturday morning, I got up at 5:00 am to run with my group. I definitely don’t miss getting up that early to train or force feeding myself breakfast for that matter. I haven’t run with them since the official season started and I’ve only done 3 long runs in the past 3 months (two 8-milers and one 10 miler). Aside from an occasional three mile speed run, I haven’t been running at all. But I do have a sweet new pair of kicks, so I thought I might as well use them.

I think I mentioned before that marathon training last year really slowed down my average pace. I was running half marathons at 2:05 – 2:10 and by the time my training was done, I was running them at 2:20. My goal is to get faster and to see continual improvement. There’s no point for me to register for a crap ton of races just to run them all the same as the last race. And that’s what happened last season.

So when my running buddy, Brad, asked me what I thought about him moving to a faster pace group, I told him what everyone tells me: to get faster, you have to run faster, so do it. (Plus, this girl always tells me that if she can run a 20 minute PR, so can I. Also, she is delusional.) But the more I thought about it, the more I thought I should take my own damn advice. So, I did and joined him.

I went out with the intention of running 8 miles and had to quit at 6. My endurance is gone which sucks but I knew that would happen with the not running and whatnot. It was hard keeping the faster pace especially with the insane humidity but I think this run was the little kick in the ass I needed.

One of the pace leaders in the new group has run 53 marathons and the other has run 150 marathons (that is not a typo). The new group is at least half the size of the old one, they take no walk breaks, and there’s no socializing at water stops. The group has a 4:30 marathon goal pace and actually train for that pace. My old group’s goal pace is 4:30 – 5:00, a crazy wide range. And most of the pace leaders in that group run a 5 hour marathon (or slower) so no one is training for a 4:30.

I love my old group and I hate to leave them, but I think the change will be good for me as long as I can keep up. So, that’s the plan. New group. New faster running goals. Training for the Space Coast half starts in July. That should give me enough time to stop being indecisive about the Austin Marathon in February.


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22 responses to “A Running Kick in the Butt

  1. 150 marathoners?? What the heck! That is crazy but that running group sounds awesome. I wish there was one like that around me. Heck, I’m sure there is but I’m too lazy to look it up haha.

  2. I think this is going to be SO, SO good for you! I’m glad Brad pushed you to joined the next group. I think I ran too slow last summer/fall – and while it was good for my first marathon, I know I can train faster — and so can you!

    I might have to join you on a shorter morning run, because not running long distances is KILLING me right now — and I need a reason to wake up at 5am. Never thought I would miss it so much!

    • Paula

      I would loooove for you to join me! I just need a little more endurance to keep up with you. 🙂 Or we could always do our own run around your place too.

  3. Austin Marathon – DO IT! It is a fantastic race. I ran the half last year, and I can tell you it is so well organized, there is great crowd support, nice swag, an excellent t-shirt, good weather (at least there was last year), good course, etc. etc. etc. Sure, there are crazy killer hills, but that’s part of the fun, right?

    And it sounds like a faster pace group is what you needed. I see a 4:30 finish in your future!*

    • Paula

      You had to remind me of the hills, didn’t you? I’ll just do your famous karate chop up those hills. Is it bad that I picked this race just because I really want to visit Austin?

  4. I love when I see Austin mentioned in your blog post 🙂 Way to kick the pace up a notch! I’m sure it’ll be a struggle in the beginning but after a few weeks you’ll adjust a bit. So worth it. Your little birdie friend is on to something, that whole “train fast, run fast” thing. Hey she could come run too! Hear that Melissa? I’m volunteering you to run a race in Texas next year 😉

  5. I am not delusional. OK, so maybe a little, but not about that. You totally have more speed in you!!! I think this is the beginning of some super fast running for you!!! #justsayin

  6. Amber K

    I can’t even imagine doing one marathon, let alone 150. I think my brain just exploded.

  7. Allyssa

    I’m not a “fast” runner either. My half PR is 2:10 and I was paced by an ultra-runner friend who was the only thing keeping me going at my goal pace otherwise I would have let my mind convince me to slow down for sure. Anyways, I think this new (faster) group is going to be perfect for your next season of races! I think you should stick with them and push yourself to hang with their paces. In a couple months I’ll start training for my first full marathon and my goal is to be able to keep that previous half mari pace. So I know I’ll have to be working on my speeds in advance so that I don’t get too slow as I start to add distance.

  8. How did the new shoes work out? Good for you…getting back into what you love! 😉

  9. My old running group has splintered off quite a bit into different pace groups. I think it’s a natural progression. A lot of them have gotten much faster. Ultimately, you just have to do what you think is best for you. I agree – there is no point spending all that time training and not making any improvements.

    • Paula

      I thought so. I didn’t even see that Courtney and Kristi Lynn had a group this season. The group up from ours is two dude pace leaders. One of them looks like he should be in Rock of Ages, which is awesome.

  10. I tell all my single lady friends to hit up running club to meet the babes. They run in the faster groups, so it’s motivation for them to run fast and be able to chat. When I run with the club/group, I run in the 5:45-5:50 group (that is km, not miles…let’s not be hasty) and I am a parent magnet. Every mother and father of a high schooler wants to chat to me about college in the US. I am the running guidance counselor of the group. Way to step up your game. Quality over quantity…I like it.

  11. Verlin

    And, dare I ask, how the shoes worked out? I told you, I’m good for many more “shoe” posts. Good for you for stepping up the pace. Nothing like some old fashioned peer pressure to kick it up.

    • Paula

      So far so good but the furthest I’ve ran is 6 miles, so there may be a bitchy shoe post yet. I feel like I’ve got a lot more pent up shoe anger in me that really wants to come out but these shoes have been on their best behavior so far. They must have been talking to the others.

  12. Yes! I needed this post…I need a kick in the ass when it comes to my pace. My pace is a whole minute slower than this time last year and like you, I know it has do to with the endurance of marathon training. I want a fall half PR SO BAD!! So your right, I need to suck it up and run faster. Cheers to speed my friend! Let’s pretend that Aaron Paul (or Jesse Pinkman if your into the bad boy aspect;-) is waiting for us at the finish of the run with ice cold water….that should get us to move faster 😉

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