Push It To the Limit

Last night was my first run with Philly Runners Run Club.  It was quite chilly but I made the mile and a half trek to get to the art museum and met up with about 7 people from the group.  The run for the night was 8×400 intervals so we set off for a warm up jog down Kelly Drive to the starting point.

Along the way I talked to two of the runners about running Boston.  They were both training for it and they had each run it a few times before.  Just chatting with them about it for the mile or so warm up got me so excited and ready to take on these intervals…I thought.

The guy that seemed to run the group paired us up based on estimated speed so we would have someone to push against and with.  This was good and bad for me.  I have a ridiculously competitive personality in this kind of thing and of course I had to win.

The first one, we stayed together and ended up running a 1:20, faster than either of us thought we could.  Though to be honest, I have never really done 400 intervals not on a hill so I had no idea really what my time could or should be.  By number 5 I was pretty sure I was going to have to call it at number 6.  My calves were fasciculating while I was running to the point that I wasn’t sure if they would hold me up or give out while I was running.  When he lined up for 7 though, I couldn’t quit so I went out, knowing if I did 7 I was going to do 8 to get back.

There is absolutely no way I a) would have done that many reps tonight (I haven’t started officially training and speed work yet) or b) pushed myself any where near that hard if I was alone.

I have always been an advocate of running with a group for the social aspect, the safety aspect and the enjoyable miles that just fly by but I hadn’t ever participated in one that helped me really push myself to the limit.  As much as I am dreading this workout next week, I know that it will be so helpful once I finally do start training in a few weeks.

Tomorrow calls for 13 miles and I am meeting the same group to get them in.  It is supposed to be raining but much warmer (~60) so I will gladly accept that trade off.

Have a great long run tomorrow or Sunday, and go find a group to help push you to your limit!