The Power of a Group

March 21st, 2012

One of the things I have always liked about running is the singularity of the sport.  If I want to go run, I don’t have to find a partner or make a tee time.  I can walk out the front door and run.

Last year I started working the training programs at the local Fleet Feet store.  I have enjoyed running with a group and encouraging and coaching them.

This morning I ran with a group that I knew would push me.  It was great.

I am looking forward to my long solo run tomorrow but I am also looking forward to Saturday  running with the Fleet Feet group and the next time I run with the Wednesday crowd.

Sure, I can run by myself but I am learning that it takes a combination of experiences to become a well rounded runner.

2011 in Review

January 9th, 2012

2011 was a great year.  I had the privilege of working with a great group of runners training for the Country Music Half Marathon in April.  The training was through Fleet Feet.  The group’s  goal was to finish in less than two hours.

Then again in July I trained another group of Fleet Feet runners for the Women’s Half Marathon in September.  Some of the same folks were in my group but we also added some new faces.

After the Women’s Half I continued to train a group of about 8 runners.

On a personal side, 2011 was a banner year for me.  I set PRs in every distance, 5k (twice), 10K, half marathon and full.

So as I look forward to 2012, I know it will only get better.

Crossing the Finish line

May 1st, 2011


This spring I have have been working with a group from the local Fleet Feet store to pace and train a group of runners who wanted to break the 2 hour mark at the Country Music Half Marathon.

On January 8, more that 500 runners met to train for the April 30 race.

All the other groups were running at a particular pace, from 7:30 to 11 minutes.  There were also several run/walk groups.

My group was the only “goal” group. We started small but grew to around 15.

Yesterday was the race.  Not everyone was around when we took the picture but most of us started together.

We ran a classic negative split on a hilly course.

It was a thrill to see the joy and excitement as these runners reached their goal and cross the finish line with them.

2010 Chicago Training – Week 10

August 18th, 2010

The base building phase is over.  It is now on to the “sharping” phase.  My first tempo run was scheduled for Tuesday, 12 miles with 4 at race pace. With the afternoon temperature near 100 and the heat index around 116, I knew there was no way I could hit my pace and live to tell about it.  So, headed to the Y.  I hit my times.  I’m sure it helped that the treadmill is a taskmaster and kept me honest but it was a good feeling none the less.

Friday, Amy and I flew to North Carolina to spend the weekend with Mom.  We didn’t get in to after midnight and then I got up Saturday morning at 5 to run.  Late to bed and early to rise, does not make for a good run.

Here is the weekly totals:

Sunday: rest day

Monday: 5 miles

Tuesday: 12 miles on the treadmill at the Y with 4 at race pace.

Wednesday: rest day

Thursday: 11 miles

Friday: 3 miles

Saturday: 15 miles

Total for the week: 46 miles

2010 Chicago Training – Week 9

August 12th, 2010

I’m a little behind in updating the blog for week 9 but I figure late is better than never.

The summer is dragging on and at this point it just keeps getting hotter.  (Notice a pattern here.)  In fact, I finally gave in and did my first long run on the treadmill this week.  It came down to this question, do I kill myself with a heat index of 116 or a slow death by boardom on the treadmill.  I chose the treadmill.

Here is the daily damage report….

Sunday: rest day

Monday: 5 miles

Tuesday: 12 miles on the treadmill at the Y

Wednesday: rest day

Thursday: 11 miles

Friday: 5 miles

Saturday: 20 miles – It was 65 degrees when I started at 4 am.  It was worth getting up early.  Was still slow but my time was 15 minutes faster that two weeks ago.  There is still hope for the Fall.

Total for the week: 53 miles

2010 Chicago Training – Week 8

August 3rd, 2010

It was another hot week of training. A couple of days there were storms in the area so it was overcast a a little cooler. All in all, it was a good week.

Sunday: rest day

Monday: 5 miles

Tuesday: 11 miles

Wednesday: rest day

Thursday: 11 miles

Friday: 3 miles

Saturday: 17 miles

Total for the week: 47 miles

2010 Chicago Training – Week 7

July 25th, 2010

The weeks are moving on.  It was another hot week but I got in my first 20 miler for the training cycle.  It was the slowest 20 mile training run I have ever logged.  At least it is behind me now.

Sunday: Rest Day

Monday: 5 miles with core work at the Y during lunch.  It was just too hot to do hill sprints.

Tuesday: 11 miles

Wednesday: Rest Day and Core workout

Thursday: 10 miles

Friday: 3 miles

Saturday: 20 miles – Left the house at 4 am to beat the heat.  It was pleasant until the sun rose.

Total for the week: 49 miles

2010 Chicago Training – Week 6

July 18th, 2010

I enjoy training for a marathon.  I enjoy putting in the miles. I enjoy dealing with the scheduling to get the training in.  I enjoy working out the details of the race.  I enjoy feeling like I’m making progress toward a goal.

This cycle seem to be a little different in that I just don’t feel like I am making progress.  It is more of a struggle to maintain and persevere. At this point, I am attributing it to the heat.  (I am not ready to admit that age could be a factor.) With the temperature in the mid-90s and the heat index above 100 most afternoons, I am just happy to get in the mileage. The week I was on vacation gave me hope.  I was able to run in the mornings and saw my times improve.  I know I could switch to running before dawn.  Getting up at 3:30 am on Saturday is fine for once a week.  I just can’t bring my self to doing it everyday even though I get up at 4:30 on weekdays.

With at least 6 more weeks of summer, I guess my only hope is to hang in there and hope for an early fall.

Training for last week…

Sunday: Rest day

Monday: 5 recover miles with short hill strides. Core work at Y during lunch.

Tuesday: 11 miles

Wednesday: Rest Day

Thursday: 10 miles

Friday: 5 recover miles. Core work during lunch.

Saturday: 18 miles

Total for the week: 49 miles

2010 Chicago Training – Week 5

July 11th, 2010

With the return to work this past week, I also returned to running in the afternoons.  Needless to say, it was a return to the heat also.  Luckily, the humidity was not as bad the first few day as it was the end of June.

Sunday was a rest day.

Monday was a holiday for my company, so I got one last weekday morning run in. Ran 5 miles. In the afternoon, rode 10 miles with Amy.

Tuesday it was back to the afternoons for a warm 10 miler.

Wednesday was a rest day.

Thursday’s schedule called for another 10 miler.  There were scattered showers in the area. It sprinkled the whole time, very humid but at least it was overcast.

Friday was a 5 mile recovery run with short hill sprints at the end.

Saturday morning at 4:30 is was very foggy.  Even though the tempeture was in the mid-seventies, the humidity was 95%.  By mile 16, I was done and cut the run a mile short.  I was toast for the rest of the day.

Total for the week: 46

Happy 5th

July 5th, 2010

Since the Fourth was on Sunday, my office was closed today to observer the holiday. So, I got to extend my vacation one more day. It was very pleasant when I ran an easy 5 miles this morning. Then did yard work the rest of the morning. What a way to spend the last day of vacation.