Friday, February 5, 2010

The importance of community

People often think of running as a solitary sport - just you and the road. To a degree, they are right. I've done some of my best thinking on the road...

Lately though, I've really been relying on the importance of community to keep me motivated through the winter months. I find that when I have a place to be, and people to be with - I'm much less likely to skip the workout, and not to slack off if I am feeling tired or lazy. To that end, here are some groups that have provided camraderie, support and inspiration:

  1. NYRR Running Classes: I have been taking the weekly classes since January 2008. They have groups for everyone ranging from "I can only walk for 30 minutes" up to sub-6:00 minute milers.
  2. NY Flyers: My running club. We have group runs in Central Park on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7pm. It's a good group of regulars - and we'll usually do anywhere from a 5 - 6 mile workout at a consistent pace between 8:00 min/mi and 9:30 min/mi depending on who is there.
  3. NYC Tweeps: A bunch of NYC runners that use Twitter. We do group runs (usually involving food) meet for speedwork (or just drinks afterwards), or get together at NYRR races.
I feel like I'm struggling a bit this spring with my motivation - but thanks to these guys, I have a reason to get out there - and fun people to do it with.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Totals for January 2010

Mileage: 102.30
Time: 16:15:17
Avg Pace: 9:32 min/mi
Avg Speed: 6.3 MPH

So far, January has been a good start for 2010. I put in some decent mileage, PR'ed at the Manhattan Half Marathon, and set the tone for a good year. I made the decision to forego a spring marathon (didn't give in to peer pressure), but rather to focus on my short distances, and accumulate races to complete the 9+1 Guaranteed Entry into the NYC Marathon as quickly as I can.

That way, I'll go into the start of fall marathon training feeling strong, fast and motivated.

I also made a concerted effort to branch out - and find more running buddies to keep me going through the winter. I joined the New York Flyers, and have been regularly attending their weeknight runs, as well as leveraging the club for weekend run partners. I also hooked up with a group of NYC Tweeters, courtesy of my old friend Ansky - so there are a lot of people to make plans with when I don't feel motivated to leave the house.

Next race: NYRR Gridiron Classic - it's a 4 Miler, and I don't plan to PR there, since I'm feeling a bit under the weather these days. Just planning to go out and have a good time (but then again, that was my plan at the Manhattan Half as well).