Today is a big day - it is my first day as a member of the Bob Ronckers Running Spot Training Group for the Hyde Park Blast Run. The Hyde Park Blast is a 4 mile run at the end of June - the course goes through some of the most beautiful neighborhoods in Cincy and after the run there's a huge party to celebrate!
The first training run kicked off at 8:30am this morning. I woke up at 7:15am, had a piece of toast with peanut butter and half a banana. At last weeks informational meeting, some of the coaches suggested it was important to eat around 200-300 calories before a run, to make sure you have enough fuel to help push you through the run. They also promoted good hydration throughout the days leading up to a run, making sure you drink plenty of water 2-3 days before a training run. So, I woke up, put on my jogging clothes and new Saucony shoes and then the nerves set in. That's right, even though I was the one who signed up for this, for some reason I was really nervous when I was about to get in the car to head to the meeting spot. I didn't let them get the best of me though, and I showed up - joining the beginners Run/Walk group who would be training with the pace of Run 2 minutes,Walk for 1 minute.
I managed to hang with most of the pack the whole time and as a group we decided to do the suggested route twice. We were scheduled for a 1.15 mile route, so we ended up completing a 2.3 mile run. I learned a lot today - about running form, how to tackle the hills and that it's okay to stop and walk if your body needs it! I was glad to hear that this run/walk option was available in this training program. It's a good place for me to start and I'm looking forward to challenging myself to work up to the Run 3 minutes/Walk 1 minute group. And maybe by the end of the program, I'll be jogging along with the beginner runners, who are clocking about a 12 minute mile.
They gave us a suggested schedule to work on in addition to the Saturday morning and Tuesday evening runs that are part of the program. I'm really excited for this challenge in my life. I'm proud to have taken the first step and I'm looking forward to seeing if I can "become a runner". Some of you reading may remember when I tried the Couch to 5k program, which I had good success with, but didn't end of finishing, though I did complete a 5k back in March of '09, which was a great feeling. As I've tried to keep up with my workouts, I've found over the years that I really benefit from a group setting - I enjoy taking group classes, like boot-camp workouts, spinning, etc. Now knowing that, I think this 4 mile run training program is going to be a great match for current skill level and my desire to participate in group activities!
How about those of you reading, what are you doing to stay active? Do you like working out with a group or jamming solo to your iPod while you pound the pavement? Either way - good luck with your goals, what ever they may be!