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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

All By Myself

I did run my scheduled 3 miles last night -- it was hot as hell (at 7:30 pm, it was still nearly 90 degrees out there) and the bugs were nasty (damn little black things always want to fly into my eyes and nose), but I finished it.

I'm using Hal Higdon's Novice 2 program as my basis, but I tailored it to fit my schedule a little better. Essentially, I am running 4 days a week (a fifth day can be added or it can be a cross trianing day -- I suppose it will depend each week on how I feel) with 3 shorter runs during the week that build over the weeks (the peak distance in the middle of the week is 8 miles) and 1 long run on the weekend that peaks at 20 miles.

So, my next step is trying to find a running group. When I trained for Disney, I trained alone, and that made those long runs tough. Actually, I like to run by myself, but anything more than 12 miles is a bit tough when you're all alone -- thus, I shorted myself on many of my scheduled long runs in the course of training for Mickey's Marathon. I don't want to repeat that mistake.

Yet, I'm not totally excited to find a running group; in fact, the thought of joining a bunch of runners on a Saturday morning fills me with dread. Partially it's because meeting new people is always a little nerve-wracking, but mostly it's because other runners kinda freak me out (with the exception of all of you, of course). Will I look "runner" enough to them? Will I run "runner" enough for them? Will they judge me? And more importantly: how annoyed with them will I be? Will they be all peppy at that hour on a Saturday morning? Will people try to make conversation with me?

The situation kinda reminds me of college: Even though I was an English major, I hated hanging out with other English majors (such nerds :)) and it wasn't until graduate school that I started liking the company of (some) fellow English geeks. Same situation: Even though I'm a runner, being around other runners kinda makes me feel like tearing my hair out. Is it too clear a reflection of my own personality? I'm not sure, but I do know that I need to get over it. I don't know if I can do another 18 or 20 miles alone.


Marcy said...

I am the EXACT same way! I also like being alone (most of that is due to the constant screeching of children I have to listen to 24/7 :P ) but I wonder how I'll do when I get up there in mileage.

I wouldn't be too excited about joining a running group either, BUT I always find that the things I think I'm going to hate end up being pretty darn good :) If it gets too too bad, add a little vodka to your Gatorade bottle :P JK!

Froyd South said...

That is why Jesus created the MP3 player. You can just zone out the peppiness.

ws said...

I'll apologize in advance for a long comment...and, yes, it is hot - it was 80 around 6am today. But, if it is cool in Chicago in October, I think you'll benefit from hot weather training.

Like Marcy, I totally understand how you feel re: the running group. Back in January I did a 18.5 mile long run on my own, but for me it got depressing after 12/13 miles too. So, this month I'm going to run with the running group here on Sundays for long runs (it starts .5 mile down the street, so it totally accomodates my laziness). They are very enthusiastic, but I can't make it work on other days and if I did run with them more than once (or at most twice) a week I think it would make me crazy too. I worry about pace - what if I can't keep up, what if I want to go faster, is that rude, will people give me the evil eye, etc. Besides, I also think I talk to myself when I run and that would seem quite weird to other people, I suspect. And, I feel rude listening to music when I'm running with others. But, I don't think I'll be able to do 22-24 miles on my own in August. So, I'll have to take the plunge also.

Other than running here (i.e. on Palm Beach) I don't know that many other places to run, otherwise I'd volunteer to join you on long runs.

keith said...

you have nothing to worry about...you'll be the life of their little party and throw them all into fits of insecurity.

that's my pep talk.

ws said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
toughcookie7 said...

I trained for the majority of my first marathon alone, only because most people weren't stupid enough to sign up for an April marathon in Michigan and train through the winter. But I remember my 17- and 18-mile runs being absolutely brutal. So for my 20-miler, I found a friend to run with. I honestly don't know if I could have gotten through that run by myself.

I would try a group and see how it goes. You may end up finding some people that are just your pace, and if the group doesn't work out, you can recruit them for small group runs.

teacherwoman said...

I can totally understand the dread of running with others...especially strangers at first. And I couldn't imagine doing those long runs with people I don't know very well.... I would feel as if I am holding them back!

Maybe you will enjoy it though! Take the risk and see how it goes?!?! Let us know what you decide!

Firefly's Running said...

I like to run alone even though I do not admit it. That's what my iPod is for.

miss petite america said...

i thought i was the only one who felt that way! i joined a group breifly when training for my half last year. i didn't make it to runs all the time because my schedule ended up really conflicting. the upside was that i learned a lot about long distance running from the vets. the downside was that the group was anti-mp3 player and i had to listen to a couple of really chatty people drone on about stuff i didn't really care about.

but really, you never know who you might meet. they may be super cool.

streak said...

I ran for years in Broward county and never found a run group. I was born and raised in Coral Springs and ran with a neighbor who was on the high school cc team, but never did find a group. I did all my long runs at the beach though and enjoyed other people being around and the atmosphere helped break up the boredom come mile 12ish. If you start at Oakland blvd and head south or Deerfield beach north. The ocean breeaze helps a little. Good luck!

Mendy said...

I can relate sooo very much!!!! I semi-trained with a group that I'm actually going to do Chicago with too, for the Myrtle Beach Half. I say semi-trained because of scheduling conflicts too. Unfortunately, my worst runs were with them. Nothing against them at all. They are great! But, I felt so much pressure going into them, because they all are faster than me, and so from the first step, all I kept thinking was, "I can't hold this pace for a whole 10-12 miles". Each one of the girls significant husband's took turns hanging back with me with my slow pace - All I could do was just apologize over and over. So, I don't know if it was a physical limitation on my part, or that I just worried too much about staying with them (which I couldn't - and not on any of the runs).

We all are training together again (and we actually starting to talk about this week), but, I won't be able to do all the long runs with them. Maybe, things will change!

All in all, I enjoy running by myself more than with anyone, but, don't know if I could do it throughout training.

brunettechicagogal said...

Running groups saved me when I was training for my marathons. In fact, I led a pace group one year. And I'm so not a morning person! I was not at all chipper until at least the 5th mile. But the camaraderie can't be beat when you start getting into the high mileage. I definitely think you'll benefit from a training group. Of course you're "enough of a runner!"