Last night was the first night of the Half Marathon Training program with my local running club. I am so excited to be in a new group where I will be accountable to meet my goals. I’m in training for the inaugural Iron Girl Half Marathon in Columbia in April. I am so excited to get my butt kicked with a group and a coach.
Based on my fall 13.1 time and recentish 5k times I was placed in the 8:40 group. Say What?? Huh? Me, run 8:40 pace in a half…not since 2007 my friends…But um, ok. I am going to trust that I’m in this group for a reason even if it hurts. I want to do 9 min pace for the half, so if I can train faster, awesome.
Just got an email this morning from my coach. He is really funny and I think I’m going to like running with him. And I’m going to try not to be a total suck-up but you all know I will end up that way. These are his rules:
1. We start on time, every time. If the workout says “6:30pm” that is the moment we start the warm up. Same with Sunday long runs. Sooner or later, I will screw up and be late to a workout. Don’t wait for me, get going. You will know what to do. I will catch up.
2. It’s winter time. It’s cold. Dress appropriately. If you need some guidance on this, please contact me and I will try to help you as best I can. BUT, if you need to bitch and moan about how cold it is, you have the first mile of any workout to do that as much as you like. After that, you may only whine about the weather if you have purchased that privilege in advance. The price: you must arrange to purchase one adult beverage for any teammate in the group. A cappuccino or a vodka martini? That is between you and the teammate. If you have dressed appropriately for the run, then after one mile you should be warmed up and the cold should not bother you.
3. You are not allowed to be hit by a car. This ruins everyone’s day. Don’t do it. We run as a group, and we pay attention to our surroundings while we do it. Every car is being driven by a sociopath who wants to kill you. Adjust accordingly. We are good running citizens who keep to the right; we allow faster runners to pass us easily; we give a warning before we pass slower runners or civilians; and we are unfailingly polite even when we encounter rudeness on the trail.
4. No teammate runs alone. If for some reason you have to drop back on a long run or turn around early, someone will go with you. Sometimes that’s me, sometimes another teammate. Stuff happens sometimes on a run, and it is always easier to deal with in pairs.
5. Nobody is required to do anything (see exception above, #3). We are all adults here, and everyone made a choice to do this. The program will provide two key workouts per week and all the guidance we can offer, and after that it is up to you. I do ask that you keep to the program as best you can while we are here. If this group is too challenging pace-wise, move down. If it is not challenging enough, move up. Unsure about the decision? Come see me, and we will work it out. Lots of people will change pace groups, it happens all the time and it is not a big deal. Our target race pace is a 1:53 half marathon or a 3:47 marathon. For the half-marathon group, I would expect that you have run a <26 min 5k or a <54 min 10k race in the last year. For our marathoners, it would be a <24 and/or a <50, respectively. If those numbers look crazy-fast to you, then you may have bitten off a bit more than you planned to chew. If that is the case, come see me.
I like his rules. I’m going to pretend I didn’t read the second to last sentence in #5 because I want to give it a shot. I totally want to make this work for me this time round. The cold sucks. Trying to go fast sucks. But in the end, I think I can do it. I really do. Game on, friends….
(Can you see my anticipation and my love for cold weather as demonstrated @ Baltimore in 2010?)