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Posts tagged ‘Group Running’

First Group Training Session

This post is a week late but… last Sunday was great! I worried about the group training for the Diva Dash obstacle course for nothing! It all really did work out. Six women showed up to run together. Conveniently, 3 of us considered ourselves to be runners and 3 considered themselves “woggers” (walk-joggers, as it was explained). It was great. We would all run or jog for about 1/2 a mile. Us faster ladies would do lunges or various other things as we waited for the slower ladies, we’d all walk for about 1/2 a mile and then begin again. It was actually really nice.

I’m super excited to continue training with them because the 2 other runners are a bit faster than I am. Not so much that I lost them, but fast enough that I felt like I was chasing them a little. Plus, at one point, I was walking with the joggers when we picked up the pace so I had to sprint to catch up with the fast ladies. It was a nice variety.

I know I probably sound a little dopey, but this is the first time that I’ve ever run with other people! Typically I do my own thing. (Not including races… where other people exist but we don’t interact)

Plus, in order to run with them, I had to drive about 45 minutes, which means: a new running path! This one was also tree-laden, next to a pond, and totally lovely (no running next to grocery stores and bus stops that far out!). It had WAY more hills than I remember though. To be honest, those hills were a lot of work, but I loved every single second of it! There were also a ton of giant puddles because it had rained all weekend! We considered them obstacle training and jumped over them. I was actually a really good jumper: not getting muddy is great motivation because I’m PRISSY! When I was in the 8th grade, I was on the track team for like 6 weeks. It was an indoor track and you had to run around it 13 times to run a mile! It was dreadful! I tried hurdles. For about a week, I felt awesome jumping over them. And then one day, I hooked my foot on one and landed face first. It was stellar…. After that, I was too afraid to even try again (yep, I was a big ol’ quitter!) And I eventually quit track because it was just no fun (and I SUCKED!) But it was cool to run and jump the puddles this past weekend. It almost makes me want to try hurdles again… but on some grass, not the cement gym floor again.

I felt this awesome, although I don’t think I looked this awesome. This photo is from the REI website.

At the end of the loop, while waiting for the slower ladies, I drew a line in the dirt with my foot. Then I hopped (with both feet) back and forth over the line, traveling down it (it was about 10 feet). I was pretty sure the Shape magazine training guide suggested something like this. We all ended up doing it a few times. On my last go around, I totally sprained my right ankle! Boo! It felt bad enough that I couldn’t support all of my weight (and thus made stretching a little rough), but it wasn’t so bad that I couldn’t hobble out to my car. It was also feeling fine by Tuesday and I managed to go for a 2.5 mile run before it complained.

One other downside though was for one of the “woggers.” I didn’t even think about it, but she’s dreadfully afraid of dogs… and this was basically a dog walking park! There were so many dogs! But they were all so well-behaved! Afterall, they are just excited to be there, they don’t care about the other people who happen to be in their park. I live in a tiny apartment so I don’t have a dog, but I LOVE them! If a friendly dog walked by anytime we were stopped, I was all about petting them (if they were into it). But poor Jodi would scream and run off. I felt terrible! I’ll have to invite the group out to my part of the state… where there are fewer dogs on my paths.

Where I see a smile, she sees the teeth… From

We all cancelled this (most recent) Sunday… but I hope we can stick with it, I really like having running buddies (and you all live too far away!) 🙂


The Diva Dash

As I had mentioned last week, while completing my master’s thesis and not blogging, I signed up for 2 more races. I’ve already talked about my overwhelming excitement for The Color Run. Today, I’ll talk about the other run I signed up for: Shape Magazine‘s Diva Dash in September! This is actually an obstacle course… which I’m completely scared of.

Now let me explain, I’m not really afraid of the obstacles… I’m afraid of looking like a fool. I’m not a good little runner who also cross trains… If it’s not a muscle used for running, it has NO strength!

Side note, I never thought I would run an obstacle course. So how did I end up signed up for one?

Peer pressure!

Source: for sale on 🙂

My thesis project was a play with 9 women (and 5 men) in the cast. A few of the people in my cast were also in a fundraiser for a local group that happened to be a staged murder mystery. One of the women in both plays invited the women from the two plays to participate in this event with her. And a bunch of people got excited and joined. There was a lot of hype! I didn’t want to be left out! Plus, I figure if I’m ever going to do an obstacle course, an all women one sounds ideal… and having 10 other friends with me should make it easier more fun. Granted, I don’t know all of the women yet… but I know most of them. The ones I don’t know seem funny so I think it’s going to be a blast.

The obstacles don’t look terrible either, from what I’ve seen in YouTube videos, there are some balance beams, some climbing nets, climbing over walls, and army crawls. There should only be 6 (they occur every 1/2 mile). I think I can survive. There is only one obstacle so far that makes me nervous. There is a photo of an obstacle from another city where the women had to walk through water (looks like a lake) up to the mid-thigh, around some stuff. “Why is this so terrible” you ask? Because I’m not looking forward to soggy shoes. I wouldn’t mind crawling through some mud, but wading through water in my beloved running shoes, uh-uh, doesn’t sound like a good time! After that obstacle, I know I’m going to be running with the following sound effects: squish (“yuck!”) squish (“gross”) squish (“ew” “Jen, suck it up and get over it!!!”). I may need to purchase some fast-draining, running shoes. Suggestions?

For all my silly complaining, I KNOW this is one run that I will be very proud of myself once it’s over. And I’m SURE I can handle the obstacles! (I just might make some funny faces while completing them… and I might need to lift some weights this summer)

And to make it better, the group will be occasionally training together to become better runners and to strengthen other muscles. (Shape even has a training suggestion we could follow.) Added fun! I never get to run with other people, so I’m really looking forward to this. But on that note… what’s the etiquette? I know we have a variety of skill levels (ranging from someone who just ran her second half marathon to someone who hasn’t run in 15 years – since her freshman year of high school – but is starting the Couch to 5k). What’s polite? Do we all run together at the slowest person’s speed? Do we just run by ourselves? Do we naturally break into similar skill levels?

For our first training session, there will only be 5 (maybe 6) of us so the small group thing probably won’t work super well. Please, please, please send your suggestions! I don’t know what’s polite and I don’t want to come off as a jerk just because I always run alone.

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