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.