New York (cold). Tucson (warm). Run with Pals (good).

Earlier this week (March 1st) was the opening day for applications to the 2007 NYC race. I had it on my desktop calendar, my PDA and written on the kitchen calendar… and I threw my hat into the ring, so to speak. So now I wait for the lottery results sometime in the first week in June. Now in this next sentence I’m going to tell you that should I get accepted, I may (probably ?) submit a cancel to guarantee a 2008 run. You see, I’d prefer to take a trip to the Southwest in the winter… Arizona, New Mexico, Texas… somewhere warm. This thought occurred to me when I chatted with CG about how long this winter seems to have been here in the NW… Dreary. Chilly. Wet. We want to look forward to December, so we’re going South and not East.

Closer to home, we are now in week 6 of the buildup to Capital City on May 20. Sunday’s (yesterday) run was the first training run where I pushed… or was pushed. It was supposed to be a simple 10 mile slow/steady run, but the group split along the Green River trail and the short-loop folk headed back to the store and a few of us continued north. After the 3 mile initial warm up “jog” Eric, Ruben and I inserted a first tempo segment for 1/2 mile at 7:25/min… slow jog back to the rest of the group and continued steady for 2 miles. Eric added another tempo segment (1.5 miles) at 7:20/min to the “bird loop”, finishing with an all-out sprint in the last 200 yards. The hardest thing in all the mixture of speeds was to stay focused on posture and even arm-swings. Eric calling to (at ?) Ruben and me alternately… “ARMS !”… “SLOUCHING !”… He’s right though, it does make a difference when you pay attention to good form.

Here’s the other thing… and you’d think it was self evident, but… Running with a group does indeed keep you more honest, more determined to go that extra distance, more likely to actually run to the finish mark and not ease up early. Tempo runs/segments ? Yep… you do it with 100 percent from “go!” to “ok, done!” when you are all in it together. I hadn’t expected to run like that on a day my calendar said “Long/Slow/Distance”. I was tired afterwards, but felt I had achieved something. So, yes we all love the solitary, peaceful aspect of our running but when we need to improve – substantially – the best thing to have around you are friends who can keep you going and keep you honest. My advice is (and it’s worth exactly what you have just paid for it) – Join a running group.

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~ by John Rankin on Mar 5, 2007.

3 Responses to “New York (cold). Tucson (warm). Run with Pals (good).”

  1. I agree John – the feeling that “the other guys haven’t stopped so how can I?” is a great motivator and always makes me give that extra effort that I would not have put in on my own.

  2. I agree whole-heartedly. I love running with a group. Not only does it keep you honest, it keeps you motivated.

  3. I’ve always been a lone runner and preferred it that way – until recently. I’m starting to wish I had running partners more and more. I think i’ll put an ad in the newspaper or something :) – I was in NYC during the marathon in November. I was visiting a friennd and didn’t realize the race was that particular weekend. I actually have a funny story about getting stuck in the crowd of marathoners somewhere on my blogsite, but all I have to say is the weather was mild and perfect for racing and it seemed so exciting to be a part of it! The whole city turns upside down over their marathon. You have a lot to look forward to when you do decide to participate.

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