One of my good friends joined the LA Leggers running club two years ago and really enjoyed the commitment and community she found there. So, at the beginning of their new year (August 2010) I joined with her. Their goal is to train for the LA Marathon, which I did last year, and wasn't considering doing again this year, but I thought it would be great to have a community of runners and to be held accountable for getting faster and doing some long runs for no good reason. I was comfortable running long distances at a 9:30 to 10 minute mile pace, but I also knew I wanted to be faster. I can run 5-6 miles at an 8 minute a mile pace, but my goal is to do a marathon under 4 hours and that's just not going to cut it. So, I joined the 9 minute mile pace group. And I quickly found out they run some of their miles sub 8 minute! And it feels great and painful at the same time (masochism, I guess that's a running thing?). The beginning was pretty easy, a few 5, 6 and 7 milers every Saturday morning. I have to admit It was nice to get the long runs out of the way and have the whole rest of the weekend to relax and not worry about fitting it in.
A few months later, ss the holidays came rolling around it was nice to have a set time to do a long run and not get too carried away with the parties, drinks and food. I had to run with others much fitter and faster than I, and I wasn't going to make it harder on myself. So, the great news was that for the first time in a long time I didn't gain any weight over the few months of holidays.
But just as the holidays were ramping up, so was the mileage of the Saturday morning runs. Being that I was not running the LA marathon, I saw no need to do the longer runs with them. And honestly, it was getting harder and harder for me to keep up with them as well. Though they have done their fair share of longer runs, I think 22 is the most so far, the most I have done with them was an 11 miler about 2 weeks ago. And that was though, to sugar coat it.
These past few weeks have been difficult to motivate myself to get out there to join them on these runs. I am not feeling the need to put in that kind of mileage on a Saturday morning, but at the same time I start feeling guilty (or maybe it's just competitive) that I am not running the same type of mileage that my group is. So, usually around sunday afternoon I head out my door and do something comparable to their mileage I missed the day before. I usually fit in a couple of 8:30 minute miles, but mostly they are right around 9:00 or 9:15, sometimes a 10:00 here and there or up a hill.
I guess the point is my motivation needs a big kick in the butt. I think a race goal is in need. I really wanted to do the Big Sur or the Ogden Utah marathons, but thanks to Runner's World, they sold out early, So, I am still looking. If anyone has any has any great marathons to point me to in the May-July range I would love to hear them!
Here's hoping my new Lululemon running shorts help motivate me for now. Thanks Amber!