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Who needs to think to run?
Saturday, I ran eight miles of trails and suburban streets I had never ventured to before. Monday, I ran five miles in downtown Baton Rouge, complete with pick-ups and a scary run up and over of a bridge I will tackle during my next half marathon. Last week, I did a circuit workout complete with planks (ouch) and high jumps (double ouch) at a local school.
I can take no credit for all this awesomeness, though…
I’m not the most adventurous runner, but my training group is helping to change that. The group is organized by a local Baton Rouge running store, Varsity Sports. It prepares novice and experienced runners for their first or fourteenth half marathon. The best part, especially during an exceptionally busy Fall I’m having, is that there is no thinking involved!
We run every Monday and Thursday at 5:30 p.m. and Saturday mornings at 7:30. At the beginning of the week, I check the calendar to find out where we are meeting and what the run looks like. There is usually a map, which is sometimes helpful to print out. I show up, run with the group and then I’m done.
It’s not all perfect. The speedy runners blow by me and frequently lap me. I’m always in the slowest 10% of the group and sometime I’m anxious I’ll get left behind in unfamiliar territory. That hasn’t happened yet, but I do run with my phone just in case I need the map feature to figure out where I am and how to get back. Our leaders are great and the speed demons are supportive, too.
Mostly, the Varsity run group is fun. I’ve met new people and there are fun event runs, like last week’s Halloween costume run and Monday’s post-run yoga session. More importantly, I’m running more, getting stronger and faster and feeling great. And isn’t that the point in the first place?
The Varsity group focuses on December and January halves. I’ll definitely keep running with them until the Woman’s Half Marathon in Baton Rouge on December 9th. My goal is to keep it up until Rock’n’Roll New Orleans on February 24th, but I may have to turn my brain back on and think about training again in mid-January… In the meantime, autopilot it is!