Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Group Runs

Today was a spinning workout again.  It wasn't much fun today, though I did beat my previous average power output by quite a bit.  Oh, by the way, I think I may have accidentally lied about being a centaur in this post.  I think I may have been looking at calories, not watts.  Who knows.  Anyway, I added the workout stats here:

DateWattsRPMDistance"Flat Road" Gear
 11/214878unknown10
11/61588921.610
11/132068119.711

I didn't enjoy the workout because I didn't like the instructor.  She wasn't very motivational, the music was all over the place, and I wasn't a fan of the workout design.  It was a lot of long, seated climbs.  I have more complaints, but there's no point.  I think I'll just avoid her classes going forward.  I kind of felt bad for her, because she did try occasionally to be peppy, and she got no love back from the class.  Clearly that's just not her personality, and it was obvious that she wasn't feeling it.  It would probably be what I was like if I tried to be a spinning instructor.  Which is why I wouldn't ever put anyone through that.

What I really wanted to write about today was group runs.  One of the big reasons I wanted to go back to 8 hr shifts (vs 12s) at work was so I could keep going to group runs.  And now....I don't go very often.  I could go more, schedule-wise, but I've been choosing not to, for several reasons.  Let me use tomorrow as an example.  I have a specific workout on the schedule.  I'm pretty sure it's bad form to show up to a group run and then do an interval type workout.  It's kind of funny though, because if I don't have a hard workout planned, it's silly to go to this group too, because my easy pace is way too slow for them.  I totally don't mind meeting everybody and then running on my own, but the problem is that some (or all) of them will slow down so I can keep up for the first couple miles, but not slow enough that it's easy for me.  So it basically becomes a tempo run for me, and I still feel bad that people had to wait.  The answer has been that I only go to Wednesday group runs when I have a tempo run planned, but that doesn't always work either, because rarely, somebody slower than me shows up and then I run with them, and a planned tempo run becomes an easy run. 
Before a Wednesday Meetup run
The obvious solution is to ignore the schedule and just go to the group runs and roll with whatever happens.  I tried this too.  I ended up injured and burned out, because I was rarely running "easy", and was running hard workouts back to back.  Such as intervals or hill repeats on Tuesdays, fast/tempo runs on Wednesdays, and harder-than-easy-but-easier-than-tempo runs on Thursdays.  Then I would go to the 501 group long run on Saturday morning, which was actually still Friday night for me, since I work nights, so it ended up being 5 days in a row of running, with NONE of them easy/recovery pace.  
After a Tuesday 501 group workout.
On my current schedule, Thursdays are my easy day.  Thursdays I have a group run that generally has a good turnout of people in the 10-12 min/mile range.  So that's the only run that I've been going to even remotely consistently.  Still, sometimes it's hard.  It takes a lot of willpower to hold back to easy pace if people you normally run with are going faster that day.  Last Thursday there was a good pack of people doing the pace I wanted (about 10:30-11:00), but another person that was a bit slower than that by herself, so I ran with her at about a 12:00 pace.  I'm pretty sure that's okay to do for an easy run, right?  If it becomes the usual every week though, I'll probably stop going to Thursdays too.  I stopped going to Saturdays a while ago because 7 or 8 am is really late for me to stay up waiting to START a long run.  And that would leave me with zero group runs.  Given that group runs are pretty much my only social activity, that's not ideal either. 

After a Saturday 501 long run at Kensington.
Sigh.  Why does life have to be so complicated?

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