Tag Archives: Running with Pace Groups

There's a Nap for That

I ran with my crappy group again Saturday morning, probably for the last time. It’s a 4:30 marathon pace group. Last time I checked, a 4:30 marathon equals a 10:18 pace and every time I looked at my Garmin, we were running a freakin’ 9:00-9:15.

WHY was everyone was running so fast? I ended up slowing down and running in the back by myself, then I kept running while everyone else was at the 1.5 mile water stop. The group caught up to me, then passed me, just before the next water stop at mile three. I knew I couldn’t keep that pace up in the humidity, so I turned around and ran the last seven miles by myself.

The run sucked. That’s three consecutive long runs of suck in a row, if you’re counting. I ran a 10:17 pace which isn’t bad (and is better than last week) but I paused my Garmin and walked a lot, so who knows if that even counts.

When I got home, I crashed. After a glorious two hour nap, I went to Crossfit for workout number two. We did a double deck of cards workout which officially wiped me out for the day. I took another two hour nap when I got home, which didn’t include the laying on the couch comatose time beforehand.

Before we left, our trainer gave us this.

His wife made those. He also brought us giant cupcakes that she made the week before. I’m fairly certain he is working out a plan to fatten me up so I never leave him.

Then, my trainer went on to tell me how he’d love it if I went on the Paleo diet. Suuure. I’ll get right on that after I finish those 10 pastries.

Saturday night at some point, I finally got out of bed so hubs and I could meet Lisa at Ember downtown. I thought it would be a good idea to make my trainer proud, so I started off the night with a no carb shot of tequila.

That’s part of the Paleo diet, right? Also, that might be the biggest shot I’ve ever had. Ridiculous.

We ended up going to three more of our usual spots including a stop to say hello to my co-worker, Lee, who can pretty much be found downtown on any given night.

Then I ended the night with another nap. That one lasted about nine hours. 🙂

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Running Drama

I had a really good run on Tuesday. According to my training schedule, I  was supposed to do a 2 mile easy run but I felt so good that I decided to do the next day’s tempo run instead. I ran 5 miles and I could have run more but I had to get home and get some work done. This is what I did:

  • 1 @ 10:00
  • 3 @ 9:06
  • 1 @ 9:40

I haven’t been able to run five consecutive miles, much less maintain a 9:06 pace for 3 miles in a long time. I didn’t stop to walk and I didn’t stop for “other things.” It was amazing. While I was on the treadmill, I really wished I had worn my special occasion rip-away clothes, because I was all like…

Wednesday, I went to the gym to do the easy run I skipped the day before. The schedule was 2 miles at a 10:43 pace which, on the crappiest of days, is a little on the slow side for me unless I’m running long. Knowing I was only supposed to do two slower miles must have helped me mentally because once I got going, I felt so good that I ended up running 3 miles and increased my speed for every mile (9:40 average). Then I was all like…

 (source)

After two awesome runs, I was super psyched for my first long run in awhile on Saturday morning. Third times a charm, right? First I had to get through Friday’s Crossfit workout. (Not the best idea before a long run, by the way.)

No equipment needed for that workout. We did the burpees for 25 feet, which I think equaled to about 10 of them (I wasn’t counting). I was, however, waddling instead of walking afterwards because my legs were so weak. When my trainer told me what I’d be doing beforehand, I thought it sounded easy. It wasn’t. Trust me. It didn’t take long to do but it was super tiring and my butt was sore the next day.

Saturday morning, I met my group for a long run. I had eight miles on the schedule but was willing to do ten if I was feeling good. I haven’t run long in at least five weeks, so hopefully that will give you some indication of how it went.

Four miles in, I wanted to turn back but the whole group was going a different direction and it was still pitch black out. I received this email from my old group a few days earlier, so I decided I’d rather run some seriously shitty miles than get molested.

WARNING! We need to be on the lookout for “the weird Brazilian kick boxer guy” (yes, that’s what we call him). He likes to touch women and will just jump in and start running with any group. Call the police immediately if you see him (you’ll know him) and remember to NEVER run alone, even in beautiful Winter Park! So, this means, if you break away from the group for some reason, be sure someone is with you!!

By the time it was light out and I felt comfortable breaking away from the group, I was eight miles into the run and four miles away from my car. So that meant I had no choice but to do them.

Capture

I ran 11 miles, walked one, and stopped my Garmin whenever I walked. I’m really surprised I had a 10:33 average pace. It was so humid, I expected it to be worse. Either way, it was a terrible run and I hope next week goes better.

And now for the drama…

I hate my new running group. So much. I mean, I like that it’s a faster group and that my friend Brad is in it but I hate everything else. One of the pace leaders doesn’t give a shit who he leaves behind. He just keeps running and doesn’t watch out for people who may be having bad days. I was left behind at a water stop Saturday morning. It was dark out and I didn’t know the route, so I was really lucky that Brad knew where he was going so we could catch up. The other pace leader never finishes with the group. He lives in the neighborhoods we run through, so he always leaves at some point and runs back home and no one knows where he is. Honestly, the only thing keeping me in the group is Brad. I love running with him because we are basically pace twins and he keeps me motivated. (Our half marathon PRs are exactly the same – down to the second. And we ran them in different races.)

So, I’m not sure what to do. Go back to my old, slower, Brad-less group that I love and possibly not improve my speed? Or stop being a complaining jerkface and just run in the new, faster group with Brad and try to ignore the fact that the pace leaders suck and start bringing GPS for when (not if) I get lost?

 

 

 

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Tips for Running with a Pace Group

A few months ago, I started running with my first running group. The group that I’m a part of has many different groups that are divided up according to your expected race finish time.

Because there are so many people in my expected finish time (4:30 – 5:00), there are several different groups that are training at my target pace. So far I’ve run with three of them. One of the groups is large (about 40 people), one is approximately 15 people, and the smallest group has 4 people. This is what I’ve learned from all of those groups.

1.  Show up on time

Pace groups leave right at their scheduled time, so show up 15 minutes early so you are warmed up and ready to run on time. If you’re late and the group has already left, chances you’ll catch up to them are slim.

2.  Run against traffic and always yield to traffic

You need to be able to see the traffic coming so you can react. Don’t expect cars to look out for you on the road. Cars and bikes have the right of way. Move out of the way for them or allow them to pass. Also, wait for walk signals at traffic lights. Oftentimes you’ll find that cars will stop for you, but don’t expect that they will.

You think you’re so smart.

3.  Tell someone else in the group or a group leader if your going to use the bathroom

Someone will wait for you so you don’t have to run alone. Oftentimes the running route is different depending on your distance, so you don’t want to be left behind and get lost.

4.  Leave your headphones at home

You might think you need them and some people in running groups do listen to music, but your run goes so much faster without it because you have people to talk to. Even if you don’t like to chat while you run, it’s fun to listen to everyone else’s conversation and it makes those long runs go by much faster. Also, no headphones means your more aware of what’s happening around you.

Harsh.

5.  Bring a light that makes you visible in the dark

A lot of pace groups start long runs early in the morning and not all areas will be lit. Make sure to bring a headlamp, glow stick, or another type of light that makes you visible to others. I have run directly at someone on the sidewalk before and not seen them until it was too late.

Why? Why are bunnies so rude?

Also, anything that helps light your path is beneficial. Tripping on a curb at mile 5 of 10 is never fun when you have to limp a few miles back to your car. Plus, you don’t want to risk injury. You’re already doing that by running high mileage anyway.

6.  Learn the route

This isn’t always possible if your group changes the route often, but you want to pay attention to street signs and landmarks. I got completely lost from my running group when the faster runners were in front of me and the slower runners stopped for someone going to the restroom. I had no idea where I was. Luckily I found a random runner and decided to follow him, which lead me back to my group.

Do you have any tips I forgot about?

Oh, and thanks to Michelle for inspiring this post. Smile

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