On Thursday, "L" joined "C" and I to do a 3 miler. We started with a long warm up which actually seemed to make all the difference in how my legs felt. Now, we'll have to map out a race strategy for next weekend that might include a longer warm up - hmmm. It was just like old times having the 3 musketeers back together. We talked about a LOT of things including our upcoming "outtings". The 3 of us are going to the Ladies' Night Out sale at our local running store tonight, and "L" is going to come with us to cheer us on for our Half next Saturday, and possible join us for a weekend in St. Louis in October. We also discussed the possibility of "L" doing the F4F half with us again - she didn't say no . . . that's a good sign!
After our 3 miler, we had to head over for the weekly session of "Spring Into Training." I broke the group of 40 into 3 smaller groups. There was a running group - I gave them a route and encouraged them to be careful because it was nearly 90 degrees. Reminded them to walk as they needed to and to include a warm up, cool down, and post activity stretching. They headed out for a 4 miler. They all did FABULOUS!!!!
I took the rest of the particiapnts and broke them into 2 groups - fast walkers and slower walkers. Fast walkers were like 15-16 m/m and the slower walkers were like 20-25 m/m walkers. The fast walkers were led by my running partner "C" who had set her interval timer to run 45 seconds and walk 2:15 (2 weeks ago these never before runners went :30 & 2:30). It was not a fast pace, but it was about doing it. "C" said they all did pretty well. When the group returned from their 3 mile, I asked them on a scale of 1-10 (10 being awesomely great, something they wish they could do again soon) -they all said 8-9 . . .that's really a great (they didn't hate it - yay!).
I chose to spend the session leading the slower walkers group. These people for the most part are new to walking or walk slowly or have other issues limiting their fitness (hip or back issues). I mapped out a 2 mile route for us and after a warm up we did "fixed point" intervals (pick a landmark and speed up to there then return to a normal pace). The first mile was super challenging for the participants. They didn't really seem to go as quickly as I had thought they would be able to. At one point we stopped to stretch because they were all having shin splints. They said they felt better after the stretching - in fact, there was a 180 degree change in their performance. I reminded them that if they do a 5K, they are "allowed' to stop and stretch - they seemed excited to learn that. During the second mile, almost everyone started to run during the speedy intervals. It was REALLY awesome! These are people who would have told you they aren't runners, they're never going to be runners, and they want nothing to do with running (sounds a LOT like what I said during my first training program!!!!). Now, one of the ladies is moving up to the middle group that does the longer intervals and another one, "M", and I are going to do intervals after work at least once a week (after my the Spring Into Training Program is over).
I'm sooooo proud of every participant- they really pushed themselves past what they thought they were capable of and found something amazing within themselves!!!!