has started! Saturday was the kick-off meeting for the next round of the Distance Training Program (DTP) at Potomac River Running. We met at the store at 7 to meet the coaches and go over the program details. It was followed by an optional run. Since I was driving over there at the time I would normally run I decided to do the optional run. Unlike many others I was not racing this weekend.
The group of running buddies that I made during winter training were not there. I think one of them might be joining again but I know the others are not doing the summer/fall program. That’s ok though…it will give me an opportunity to meet new people. And there were plenty of other people that I knew from the winter program.
The coaches spent a bit time of talking about the details of the program and the “rules.” They also introduced themselves.
After the speeches were completed it was time to run. Since my regular running group wasn’t there I decided to just head out and see if I fell into a pace near someone. When I got out the door a lady came up to me and introduced herself. This was her first time doing the program and she was looking for someone to run with. It just happened to work out that we run around the same pace. Given how many people were there it was pretty amazing that it worked out that way.
We headed to the trail and started chatting. We started too fast as always but I quickly slowed her down. I know I have to run my pace. If someone else’s pace isn’t working for me I tell them I am slowing down and they can go ahead. She was ok with slowing down so we continued to run together for a while. We eventually caught up to another lady who was running pretty close to our pace. We introduced ourselves and became a group of 3. We were all chatting and getting to know each other.
Unfortunately it was extremely hot and humid and I just could not keep up. They wanted to do 4 miles which was ok with me even though I had initially intended to go further. When I got out there I was more than happy to turn around at 2 miles and I knew I could go back out at the end if I wanted to. Around 3 miles I needed to walk and told them to go ahead. I was overheated and fought my way through the last mile. I feel so out of shape. Two months ago I was coming off my goal races and I felt pretty good. Then I
slacked off took a much needed break, and now I need to build back up again. It will be a process but I know I can get my distance up again. With the summer weather I’m not sure what my speed will be like. I need time to adjust.
At the end I was just glad to be finished. I ended up walking back to the store with a guy that I recognized from the winter program. We chatted a little bit about our race goals.
One thing that I know I must focus on is my own goals. It feels like everyone else is training for a marathon while I’m only doing a half. I know that doing the half is what I want to do and I know that I could do a full if I wanted. I’m not any less of a runner than everyone else in the program just because I’m doing half the distance they are. I am running my full race distance and I want to focus on doing it well. I’m happy to be able to support the other runners in the program and I know they aren’t looking down on me for doing a half. We all run the distances that are right for us and we all support each other.
Sunday night I received the training plans…and it was totally overwhelming at first (as expected). I decided not to look too far ahead and to focus on getting through this week. I know I will have to ask for a modification to the plan for the end because my race is after the program ends but for now I can do quite a few weeks before changing anything.
Tomorrow is track night…and the workout looks hard but I’m ready for a challenge. I love running on the track so I’m going to go out there and do my best. Every running step I take is a step towards my next half marathon and about 5 races in between.