Believe it or not, I’ve not always been a fan of running with groups. When I began running, it was actually to get away from the group/team thing. I was in high school, a member of all things team-oriented, from a competitive cheerleading squad to student council, and craved time away from my peers every once in a while.
I ran on my own as a way to de-stress, blow off steam (high school boyfriends brought the steam, did they not?), get out of the house, or simply to burn calories. No matter what my reasons were, I was accustomed to running being my solo sport.
What I’ve come to learn over time is that running is very much a solo sport because…
- It is you who gets yourself up in the morning, out on the pavement, on to that next mile;
- It is you who encounters the physical or mental wall on a run;
- It is you who enjoys the runner’s high afterward;
- It is you who chooses the songs that make up your playlist;
- And it is you who feels the sense of accomplishment at the end of a race.
What I’ve also learned is each of these factors is enhanced by a community of runners. Whether it’s one of your running buddies, or a group of runners…
- They can encourage you to get out of bed to meet up for a run;
- They can help you push through that mental or physical wall during the run;
- They relish with you in a runner’s high at the end of a hard run or race;
- You don’t need your playlist, you’ve got chatter buddies;
- Even though you each bring your own goals to the pavement, finishing a long run, relay, or race is something you’ve ultimately accomplished together.
I guess what I’m saying is, I’ve become a fan of the ‘group effect’ and am thankful for my community of runners, especially during this season of training!
…and to the Charleston Chapter of Team in Training. No way would I have finished these last few weeks without your collective enthusiasm! Thanks for welcoming Sarah and me into your Saturday journeys!
Seven. Seven weeks. Seven weeks remaining. (Great, now I’m humming the ‘five dollar foot long’ Subway commercial jingle)
This past week of training proved a little challenging for me, but I soon found out I was not alone. Several folks with whom I run were experiencing some physical and mental challenges with training as well. Regardless, I got in some miles and the breakdown looked like this…
Sunday Mental health day. I literally did… not much! Kristin and I hit up Eat, Pray, Love which inspired an evening of cooking and wine. No guilt, these nights are a must!
Monday Tried out a new studio, Bikram Charleston, thanks to Groupon ($35 for 10 class pass vs. $20 drop-in fee per class? Yes please.) Anyway, I met up with Paul, who has been going steadily for a couple months and talked this place up! As I mentioned in this post, I place value on incorporating different teachers, and really different styles of yoga, into your practice. I’m glad I went and look forward to going back. Beware, you will sweat your arse off, so hydrate!
Tuesday I hit the Woodways for four miles of intervals (three on/one off again), broken up by arms + legs/butt + abs + stretching. I will forgo leg/butt strength training during an interval workout from now on, that was just bananas.
Wednesday Enter my mid-week wall. I set out for an early morning eight. Granted, I made it to seven plus, and was happy with the mileage I logged. However, something affected me in a new way.. not sure if it was the rate at which I was sweating out everything I was putting in, if stress was hitting me again, or what. Despite getting plenty of fluids, fuel, and rest, I ended up with a massive headache (not normal for this one) and persistent nausea which caused me to go home mid-day. I rested up, shook it off, and didn’t make major training plans for Thursday.
Thursday Sick day… still not up to snuff, and not sure what was up, but I rested.
Friday Determined to make Saturday’s long run, I rested, hydrated, and fueled.
Saturday 18 MILES! That’s right, I survived a jaunt from The Battery, up East Bay, over the Ravenel, through Old Village, to the end of Pitt St. Bridge and back. So thankful for the TNT group; we banded together and finished our race. Let me tell you, hitting the MtP side of the bridge (read: the one and only hill in Charleston) at mile 13 was… interesting. I had every intention of walking that beast, but the group I was with pushed each other and agreed to make it to the first arch. We did, and it felt fantastic. Ok, I’m lying, but I was proud of us.
I followed with an ice bath and was a little too tired to stretch immediately, so I listened to the legs and rested them. I may have also treated myself to a pedicure, selfishly because I wanted a foot rub and was willing to pay anyone to dish it out. Today’s recovery ride was necessary. I did some intense stretching afterward as well. Bring on the week, hopefully headache and nausea-free for all!
Though my weekday mileage was lower, I enjoyed the variety in my workouts (including yoga) and had a really strong 17-miler on Saturday…
Sunday: Recovery spinning session at Eco for about 40 minutes, followed by abs and stretching
Tuesday: Mixed up the yoga routine and headed downtown for Dave’s power vinyasa (75 minutes), where I may have held tree pose to Avril’s ‘Sk8er Boi’. Whoever said there’s a first time for everything likely found themselves in a similar situation I presume.
Wednesday: Beach run (5 or so miles) to the end of IOP and back. New scenery makes for a nice workout and there’s always something/someone/some Speedo to see at the beach.
Thursday: Interval workout on the dreaded mill for 4 miles; 3 minutes on, 1 minute off for a total of lots of sweat! This was also supper club day and an excuse to load up 48 hours pre-long run! (I’ll post my opinions on carb loading sometime…notice we loaded up two days prior instead of the night before?)
Friday: OFF + enjoyed a couple of beers amidst my day of hydrating for Saturday’s killer run
Saturday: Early rise for 17 with TNT all around downtown again. I find that when I eat some oatmeal (mix-ins were tbsp peanut butter and tbsp raw honey) pre-run, those are my strongest workouts. I fueled throughout with a mix of Gatorade and water… we hydrated every 2-3 miles. Around mile 11 or so, I took a Hammer gel even though I didn’t feel I needed it, I knew I would. All in all a very strong run followed by an ice bath + stretching + night of rocking out with Will Hoge! I’m pretty sure he’s the reason my recovery went so well ;-)
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Sunday Should have done a recovery ride on the bike after Saturday’s 15, but opted for a day off
Monday Still feeling a little fatigued, opted for 30 minutes of yoga
Tuesday Instead of a track workout, did 4 miles of intervals at 3 min on/1 min off
Wednesday Set out for a minimum of 6 miles, and ended up doing a little over 8, including the bridge, which made me a sweaty beast to say the least
Thursday Easy 4-miler around DI
Friday 90 minutes of Ashtanga Improv (series II) with Kristin proved a little too intense for the night before a longer run… we’ll be keeping yoga at the beginning of the week
Saturday Easygoing 10-miler around downtown with the TNT group; weather was perfectly overcast and breezy (still humid of course)
Two months to go, have you donated?