Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Michele - Tortoise or the Hare?

I went to my first TNT training run on Saturday. I had missed the first one due to my allergies and the second because of a previously scheduled camping trip. I've been running - just not with the TNT group.

The run went extremely well. There were only 4 or 5 people in the "Half Marathon" group, a few in the advanced runners group and most in the "Full Marathon" group. There were so many people there that I wasn't sure who else was in my group. Us half marathoners had to run 3 miles. It was an easy course they had set up and a beautiful morning! First we ran up the Eastbank Esplanade (next to the river) towards the Steel Bridge and then ran over the Steel Bridge. At that point, the half marathon people turned around and headed back towards the start. The marathon folk ran a total of 4 miles and the advanced group 6 miles.

When I first started out I noticed that everyone was running at a pretty slow pace. Now I think I normally run slow and this was slower than I usually go. I decided to hang with the pack. I thought "Now this is so much easier!". After some time, I realized "Damn, if I keep at this pace I can run much further before having to rest. I like that!" Eventually the pack spread out more and more but I kept a slow place and walked briskly when I needed to catch my breath a little. I made it back to the start and checked my Nike+. The course was actually 3.38 miles and my pace was 11'10" per mile! That was my best average yet. It dawned on me that when I was running on my own that I was running faster and then I had stop to walk more often and my walking was slower as I tried to catch my breath. This slowed down my overall average. Keeping a slow and steady pace gave me a much better time (go tortoise!). Although some of the 4 mile group actually beat me back to the start, I did beat the rest of the 3 mile group (according to the sign in sheet). This made me feel pretty darn good about where I'm at in my running.

After the run, the fabulous mentors had supplied us with fruit, bagels, donuts, etc. It was a good feast to replenish our energy. I went home feeling much better about my place in TNT and knowing that I can and will meet my goal!

Quote (because I liked Liz's quote!)

"The body does not want you to do this. As you run, it tells you to stop but the mind must be strong. You always go too far for your body. You must handle the pain with strategy...It is not age; it is not diet. It is the will to succeed."
- Jacqueline Gareau, 1980 Boston Marathon champ