Thursday, May 24, 2012

I cheated.....on my group and LOVED it!

I have missed both track sessions this week. I will fit one in tonight after soccer training but will have to forgo the other. I hate missing sessions and it doesn't happen often but I have 3 kids and this week has proved difficult between swim practice, soccer, swim meets, preK graduation (they do that here?!), summer splash day, etc etc etc. I had meant to go and put in some easy miles on the treadmill this morning after I had done my helper mum bit at my eldest's summer splash day but what I thought was an hour turned out to be all morning so here I am all dress up and unable to run. 
I am consumed with guilt too, maybe after tonight I will feel a bit better that I only missed out on one speed session? 

Ok, negativity over. I feel GREAT just now, full of running! I want to race so badly but swim meets will take up our Saturdays until the end of June so I may have to wait a while. 

I mentioned before I kind of run with two groups, I had trained exclusively with the same set of runners until relatively recently. I had heard about fast H for a while, she was going to be joining us but took her time! I raced against her in a half back in Dec and not long after that she started coming out with us on a Saturday morning. She is fast, she was a 400m hurdler (amongst other things - heptathlete) at college and i knew I needed to get together with her on the track. We now meet every Monday at 6:30 at the high school and she makes sure I put in a nice solid session! 

Then there's N, I had heard about her and knew she ran with another group here in Kingwood. She had seen me run my marathon here and wanted to train with me. I was in HEB one day and this stranger asked 'are you Vicky?' 'Emmmm yes, what did I do?!' :D It was the best conversation ever. Now I've said that, this is going to sound VERY vain, it was like having a conversation :D She was very matter of fact 'I want to get faster', 'me too', 'I want sub 3 hours' 'me too' 'we need to run together', 'yes we do'!!!!! 

But there is this awkwardness, it transpires about making the move between one group and another. She threatened to meet 'my' group for ages but never would. Then at last she did. She is a very gutsy runner, likes to work hard and LOVES big miles. She is not a fan of the track but knows she has to do it if she wants to get the kind of results she's after. So when she asked me to meet her and another guy at her groups meeting place one Saturday morning when I knew my group were meeting in the usual spot around a mile away, I knew I had to return the favor and say yes! It wasn't just the two of them however, it was the whole gang! The 1st thing one of them said was 'I just saw X from your group at Starbucks' (where we meet) and he threw me a quizzical look! 

I have lived in 3 countries now, on 3 different continents and both hemispheres and I enjoy (for the most part) the cultural differences. But what's really interesting to me is the differences between 2 running groups who all live within a few miles of one another! These guys like to talk shop! Within 30seconds I had been asked what my marathon PR was, I LOVE it, my other group don't tend to talk about running much which I think is a shame. They guys are off the chart running nuts (I mean that in the best way possible!) They are trail runners and ultra runners, you can instantly feel how much they love to run and it's not so much about the clock.
The run was harder than I'm used to for a Saturday long run, they threw in some tempo miles, which I'm supposed to do but to be honest I've found it difficult as I haven't wanted to dictate to the other members of my group during our Saturday run. 

Once finished these guys all strip off (in their cars) and get changed, some were pulling chairs out of their cars so they could sit down whilst they changed their shoes! I commented on all this activity and N said 'this is nothing, wait until it gets really hot, then we have a makeshift shower!' all of this in the car park at Kroger :D Both groups share one thing in common, they reward themselves with a coffee and chat after each run. I am not in that place yet, I have to dash home to rescue my husband from our 3 cherubs, the run is my socialising. Maybe one day I'll get to join them. I wonder what they talk about.......RUNNING of course!

I have since got to run with N a few times and will 'cheat' with the Kroger group again but for the next few weeks I am running solo at 4am ish before I have to become swim mum. 

All 3 of us are 30 something, mothers of 3. We have different backgrounds in running, H and I were competitive in our youth whilst N came to the sport a little later. H has always kept in amazing shape whilst I enjoyed a lot of partying in my 20's! N has the most marathon experience, she has ran around 8, Houston will be her 9th I think. Oh, we are all signed up for Houston in Jan. On paper I am the slowest at 3:13 (2012), then N 3:11(2012) and H has a 3:09 PR from her pre kids days. 

I am very excited to have these girls to train with and whilst we don't get together as often as I'd like, I am going to make a concerted effort come Autumn to get out very early and run with N as I then want to put in some more miles later in the morning so I can get some big miles in preparation for Houston. 

I am hoping that come January we will all be lined up with the 3 hour pace team ready to do battle (not against each other but with ourselves and  26.2 miles!) I am very excited and terrified at the thought of having to average 6:52 pace to achieve my goal but if it doesn't scare you then your goals too weak, right?!

So, if you get the chance go ahead and cheat, you won't regret it I promise!

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