“Most people run a race to see who is fastest. I run a race to see who has the most guts.” – Steve Prefontaine
This winter I signed up for the Montgomery County Road Runners “Flakes To Flowers” marathon-training program. I’ve run two marathons previously, but never undertook a program with a group before. I thought it would be a great way to force me to exercise even in the bitter cold and meet people who would not question my sanity because I wanted to do so.
Every Sunday morning from early December through mid-March, we met at 7:30am for our long runs, which varied in length from 10 miles to 22 miles. The group also met on Wednesday evenings for speed workouts, but my busy work schedule never afforded me the chance to make it to one of those.
When I signed up for the program, unlike the majority of participants, I didn’t have a specific goal race in mind. In fact, when I sat down with my calendar a few weeks into the program, I realized I was scheduled to be in Asheville, North Carolina for the annual mid-year conference for the Veterinary Cancer Society during the weekend we were supposed to be targeting our race for.
As fate turned out, Asheville just happened to be hosting a marathon the weekend I would be in town, so I signed myself up for the race on March 16th.
Unfortunately, during the last month of the group-training program, I sustained an injury to the iliotibial band along my left knee and needed to back off my training substantially. Ultimately, I wound up running the half-marathon, rather than the marathon, on the same day instead.
I wasn’t at all disappointed at the change of plans – the experience of a group training program was really inspiring for me and I’m hoping to work through my injury and sign up for the club’s summer training program in a few weeks!