Thursday, July 09, 2009

Running Solo (a rambling post)

Here in Houston it's time for all the marathon training groups to begin!

The fall marathon groups began a few weeks ago, but the Houston Marathon is a mere 27 weeks away and it's time to get the training going! With the exception of training for my 1st 1/2 marathon in 2001, I've always trained with a group. First, it was Houston Fit in 2002, 2003, 2005 & 2006. Next, it was Woodlands Fit in 2008. I skipped 2004 and 2007 due to a little thing called pregnancy - yeah growing a baby in the belly doesn't go well with running 12, 15, 18 or 21 miles - unless you're Paula Radcliffe.

Quite frankly, I think training alone sucks. Although I was a member of Houston Fit in 2006, I had just begun a Saturday MBA program and was forced to do a few of the really long runs alone. Like I said, it sucked!

This year, the hubby's schedule is all goofy and not really conducive to running with any of the local programs. No weekends off, plus he leaves at the ass-crack of dawn to get to work (out the door by 5 am) - that means no early morning Saturday runs with the peeps. (Unless I want to recruit my parents to be babysitters - I'd rather save that for the occasional "date nights"!) And, because I am training for tri's all the way to August (or possibly even October), I use Tuesday evenings as my swim day - that means no track workouts with the peeps. Trust me, I'm a slow runner and need the track workouts, but my swimming sucks even more than my running!

So while my running peeps are training with Strides this year (they opted not to return to Woodlands Fit for various reasons), I will be running solo. My usual Saturday morning runs will be done on Friday least for as long as I can stand this frickin' heat. I am guessing that one of two things will happen

  1. I will become less of the social runner, forcing myself to focus more on my times and get faster, or

  2. I will lose some of the motivation I usually get from my running peeps, be a wuss, take more walk breaks, etc.

The goal is to go with #1, although I am sure there will be the occasional days when #2 will win. Those days better be few and far between!

I've also made another decision. I'm doing the 1/2 marathon again this year. Maybe San Antonio and then Houston. There's a part of me that wants to train for a full again, but I decided against it for 3 reasons:

  1. Call me a pansy, but I don't wanna train for a full solo. Hours at a time on the road with out the running peeps is just not fun to me.

  2. I have small kiddos who are very, very active and want my full attention. Let's face it, after some of those long runs I am toast! Weekends and evenings are the only precious moments I get to spend with my kiddos and I wanna make the most of that! Maybe when they don't want me around (like in their teens), I will get back into the higher mileage.

  3. I am enjoying the triathlons too much. Originally, I was going to make TriGirl in August my last tri for the year and then start increasing my running mileage. But now I am leaning towards doing a Tri as late as October and probably won't be increasing the mileage a ton between now and then.

So there you have decisions for the training season. Hope you have a great one!


Jamoosh said...

Nothing at all wrong with the half. I'l probably sign up for the Surfside Half.

Meg Runs said...

I've had to make a few marathon training sessions on my own...for work/family reasons and it wasn't too hard until I hit the higher mileage. Now that my kids are almost out of the house...and since they were in jr. high...I've had a lot more flexibility. IT WON'T BE LONG...enjoy those kids!!

Sarah said...

Half marathons and tris are where it's at! ;) That's what I've been doing for the past 4 years, at least...

Jen's Journey said...

I have a half coming up in Oct up in Denver and I am training by myself too but that is how I have always ran etc....

Best of luck with your training! Looking forward to hearing about it! As you have done these before, feel free to share any tips! I did the Houston half years ago but I was very over weight and I did not train for it so I walked most of it. I want to run strong this one I have coming up!!!

Hope your week is a great one and you reach all your goals!