I had an epiphany last week. Trying to decide on staying in the slower group and be comfortable and GOOD at that pace. Or. Move to the next pace group and challenge myself.
I decided to take a run with the faster group to see what I could do. I was nervous, and uncertain...Until I completed last Saturday's run!
My original group was scheduled for 6 miles at 10:30 pace. My new group was scheduled for 8 miles at 10:10 pace. I know that 20 seconds doesn't seem like a lot. But when you're running for over an hour, it is.
I was in for a little surprise when I was informed of our route plan. YOW! We did some of the toughest ( run up steep hill, turn right run up more, turn left, a little more) hills I've ever run. I've heard about these hills before. I now KNOW about these hills. So that was about the first 4 miles or so. We came down hill, carefully, avoiding all of the sand left over from the ice, and my legs said "thank you".
At mile 5 I hit the water stop, popped an Accel Gel and finished the last 3 strong! While at the moment of climbing those hills, I was re-thinking my decision to run with this faster group (and my bananna I had for breakfast), I was more than satisfied with myself at the end of my run. And alive.
Recovery---- I'm a big fan of recovering. Do I mean go and sleep all day after you run your long run? No. Even though that's what I did in my first season of training. I mean have some protein imediately after the run, a nice big breakfast, tall glass of water/powerade, and maybe an ib profen if there is any inflamation. (Which I get after about 10 miles. The muscles have to recover after an extended run! So even after speed work and hills, this is so important!!!! So I grabbed a protein bar, a chocolate milk -believe it or not is WONDERFUL for recovery and a big bottle of water and drove home. High. I certainly had that runner's high that comes around every so often.
I rested for a bit.... I felt very energized and ready to take on the day. So, I did a little shopping,cleaning,cooking etc. Much different than my last training season of spending the whole Saturday in bed! I eventually relaxed for a little while with a cat nap and certainly crashed in to bed last night! Over all, I felt wonderful.
I'm a little sore today, but not in pain. Nothing a little light yoga wont fix!!!!
After evaluating how I felt after -physically and mentally- I decided that I will make this my home group.
I have had lots of seasoned runners, and coaches' support on this decision. I am taking their advice and doing it!!!