2017 was a busy and successful year in many ways for The Fit Club 417.
Coach Jamie began training to compete at the Olympic Trials for the Marathon, and ran a 2:45 at the California International Marathon. She also traveled to Boston to compete in the iconic Boston Marathon. Follow her training journey here.
Coach Nick and Coach Joy made the US Team (United States Federation of Sleddog Sports) to compete in the World Championships for canicross in Poland. They took dogs Oso and Prudhoe overseas, and had an amazing experience. Nick placed in the top 20, while Joy was in the top 50. Follow their racing adventures here.
We welcomed Angela back to running by running the OneSolePurpose 5k together.
We had several team members complete "firsts" in 2017 as well.
April completed her first 5k at the Jordan Valley Community Health Center Access to Health 5k in July.
Kyleigh completed her first half marathon at the Bass Pro Shops Fitness Festival in November.
The team traveled to OKC and Memphis to race the Oklahoma City Memorial Half Marathon as well as the St. Jude Memphis Half Marathon. Both were exciting and fun-filled trips. Traveling together is always a blast, and we enjoyed several weekend getaways to the lake together as well!
Kyleigh received the Most Improved Runner Award for 2017, and Casey received the Positive Attitude and Dedication Award.
So what's next for the team? Well, let's see what 2018 has to bring.
Many goals have been set, and we'll be working to achieve them. There are mileage goals (ex: 1,000 or 2,000 miles in 2018), time goals (ex: sub 2:45 marathon, or sub 1:40 half), and goals to complete an entire 5k with no walking! No matter what the goal may be, we'll be here to support our athletes along the way.
What races do we have coming up? Well, here are a few some of us will be running.
- Havin' A Crappie Weekend Outdoor Festival (5k, 1 mile, 5.6k canicross, 7.7k, 13.3k) at Stockton State Park Marina (Stockton Lake, MO)
- Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon/Half Marathon
- Camp Barnabas Big Party Half Marathon in Springfield, MO
- Girls on the Run of SWMO 5k in Springfield, MO
- Pineland Trail Running Festival in New Gloucester, ME
What else will we be up to? We hope to present some learning opportunities in 2018 as well. To start, join Nick and Joy at Fleet Feet Sports in Springfield, MO to learn more about the sport of canicross. Learn the basics on the sport as what gear you and your pup will need to participate. Then, register for the 5.6k canicross race (Havin' A Crappie Weekend Outdoor Festival) and give it a shot!
Event Name: Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Running With Your Dog
Event Location: Fleet Feet Sports - Springfield, Missouri
Event Date: Saturday, February 10, 2018
Event Time: 2:00-3:00p
- Following the seminar, there will be a short run.
Want to join us this year? We meet at 5am on Tuesday mornings for speed work. Shoot us a message at email@example.com for more information. We also run together from time to time throughout the week, and have many social gatherings as well.
If you are new to speed work, don't be scared. We can tailor the workout to your needs. If you wish to participate in the speed work, all we ask is that you are able to run at least 3 miles and have been running for about 6 months. Otherwise, you are welcome to meet us at 5am for accountability/camaraderie and run or walk on your own.
Here's to a great 2018 full of accomplishments, learning opportunities, and encouraging others.
If you are a runner and you are not cross training, you're missing out on some huge benefits. Whether it's yoga, spin, rowing, weights, or swimming (or whatever else you choose), there are definitely some benefits to mixing up your routine.
1. Injury Prevention: This one is pretty obvious. Switching up your routine helps to eliminate overuse injuries. Did you know that about half of running injuries are actually reinjuries?
2. Greater Fitness Level: Cross training can help you in several ways. For example, it can increase a runners efficiency and power. Plus, it can allow you more time training without getting injured or fatigue. For example, a strong core can help prevent lower back soreness while running. Spin class can help with foot turnover. Swimming is a great overall body conditioning exercise that keeps the pressure off many easily injured areas while allowing you to work your entire body. See the benefits?
3. Motivation: No matter how much you love something, it's easy to get a little tired of it now and then. So, switching it up will help you keep that flame alive. Try cross training a couple times a week. Every now and then, take a week or two off from running and try some new classes or a new sport. You'll stay active, but you'll also remember why you loved running in the first place. Just a reminder - if you're taking a new class, make sure you check out the facility and the instructor. You want to ensure they're properly trained and certified as needed.
4. Active Recovery: The benefits of exercise are great. However, that athletic conditioning comes when your body gets a chance to rest. When you perform active recovery workouts between key running workouts, your body will become even more fit, and your body will actually receive more rest and recovery.
5. Rehab: It's a given - if you run long enough, you're likely going to sustain some type of injury. When this happens, cross training is key. While things such as biking, the elliptical, rowing, or walking may not be the same as running, they will help you keep a base line fitness level for when you are able to return to running. Plus, doing some type of exercise while you are injured will help keep you from getting down in the dumps.
If you are looking for some great classes or options for cross training, check out The Gym 24/7 and The Field Training Center. They offer classes such as Cross Train, spin, Pi-Yo, yoga, barre, plus much more.
In case you somehow missed it, summer is here! We have had a variety of events already this summer and have enjoyed a little bit of racing in the heat!
Here's a short recap:
1. OMRR/Fleet Feet Sports Track Meet
- Joy, Malinda, and Nick headed to Rogersville for a little fun on the track. Joy and Malinda took 1st and 2nd place in the 400m.
- Joy, Malinda, Nick and Tiffany decided to create a 4x400m team! They crossed the finish line with a time of 5:32.10.
2. Jamie Vest heads to Chicago!
- Coach Jamie headed to Chicago for the #RNRChicago half marathon. She rocked it with a third place female finish and a time of 1:20:58.
3. Weekend Lake Retreat
- While Jamie was killing it in Chicago, the rest of us were enjoying some fun in the sun at the lake. We enjoyed a weekend with family and friends, and created many memories. A little running, yoga, swimming, and good food is good for the soul!
4. Access to Health 5k
- The team headed to Springfield for the Jordan Valley #A2H5K. The downtown course offers a few hills, and a great view (but not a lot of shade). Congrats to Jamie on her female overall win! Jamie took home the coveted stethoscope award! Joy took first in her age group, while Malinda took second in hers. Kyleigh snagged a 5k PR, and April completed her first 5k ever! Congrats, team! We headed to Gailey's for breakfast, and ended the day with a pool party and taco bar hosted by Malinda and Lendall. Thanks to all who came out to support a great cause and enjoy a great day.
We are excited about what lies ahead as well. Many of us are training for fall races including the Bass Pro Fitness Festival and the St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend. Throw in some 5ks and trail races, and our fall is looking bright. We are fortunate to have a great group of dedicated and positive athletes that work hard each week to meet their short and long term goals and to help each other along the way.
Happy Running! Stay Cool!
If you ask runners how to truly improve and step up their running game, you will get a lot of different answers: nutrition, recovery, types of workouts, long runs etc.
However, I think the biggest factor in improving is running consistently. Running consistently allows your body to adapt and improve.
When I decided to jump back in to running full time, the biggest adjustment AND improvement came from running those “regular” runs (runs between workouts and long runs). My body needed less time to recover. When I ran 3-4 times a week, those runs really wore my body out and it took a couple days to recover. Now, workouts and long runs don’t fatigue me.
Over time running 5-6 (or even 7 for some people) days a week actually results in faster race times, fewer injuries, and more motivation.
Faster times: Over time, your body slowly transforms to handle faster speeds. How do you do this? Set goal paces for workouts and regular runs.
Fewer injuries: Your muscles and body adapt to the increased mileage. As you get stronger, injuries become less likely to occur. If you are running 10-15 miles a week, and one of those runs is a long run, you may struggle with injuries.
Motivation: Every run makes the next run more exciting. Don’t get me wrong, there are tough days but the little improvements every day make you want to improve even more.
Tips to becoming a more consistent runner:
· Progress slowly. If you have only been running 2-3 times a week don’t start running 7 days next week. Slowly increase your mileage. A good rule is not to increase by more than 10% per week.
· Find a running partner to keep you motivated. Groups are great for this! Even a long distance running pal can help keep you accountable and motivated.
· Don’t get discouraged! Improvements don’t happen overnight. Long term training takes time, be patient.
· If you can only run 3-4 times a week, cross train on the other days. This will really improve your strength and endurance. Find something you like and will enhance your running.
· Consider hiring a coach. This will hold you accountable and help you improve. Find a coach who you will work well with and be honest with.
Keep up the good work!
Happy Valentine's Day, Team!
We’ve all been in a relationship of some kind – maybe it was a romance, a friendship, or something else. Whatever it is, relationships take work to make them grow, and the benefits you reap from a good and solid relationship can be life-changing.
So what about your relationship with running? What is it like? Is it brand new puppy love? Are you broken up, or on the verge of a break up? Are you in a long term relationship that has evolved and changed over the years?
If you have been running for any amount of time, it’s likely safe to say that running has probably provided you with an overwhelming joy at some point, and broken your heart as well. The two of you have likely crossed many finish lines together either elated, or downtrodden – only to learn a valuable life lesson.
Where has running taken you? Maybe you’re new to running, and the two of you haven’t been very far together yet. Maybe you haven’t experienced the ups and downs of this relationship, or the technicalities and complications that come with it. Maybe you’re still in the doe-eyed, giant smile, sappy stage with running where everything is unicorns and daises and you’re the happiest you have ever been. Congratulations! Remember, if you want to keep that feeling, you’re going to have to put in work. Running is no different than any other relationship. It becomes easy for the dressed up sexy date nights to turn into staying home watching Netflix and wearing sweats (who am I kidding – we all love sweats). But, the point is –your relationship is going to change, but you have to do what you can to keep the spark alive. Running has the capacity to be one of the best relationships you will have in life. Don’t let it slip away.
What vow have you made to running? One of patience? One of love? One of long-term commitment? Maybe it’s a vow to change your life, or maybe it’s simply to finish a race without pain. Maybe it’s a vow to grow and change, or maybe it’s a vow to beat your best time. Whatever it is, have you learned that you get what you put in? If not, let me share something with you. If you want to make running work, you will have to put in work. Running isn’t an “easy” relationship – but it is well worth it.
Maybe you have broken up with running for a while. It was becoming a chore, painful, or just boring. Perhaps you took time away, and then came back to running. What did you learn during that time off? What was it like when you reunited with something that used to bring you so much joy?
For runners, running is one of the most important relationships in our life, as it teaches us about loss, pride, joy, pain, endurance, commitment, gratitude, humility, peace, patience, learning, and much more. Everyone will have a different relationship with running, and this Valentine’s day, we encourage you to think about what running means to you, why you run, and what you love about running.
Much love to you, and best of luck in your running relationship.
See you in the morning, team!
Chances are you have some kind of running/smartwatch. You may also have a FitBit (or something like it), and I bet you have a couple running apps on your phone, too. Then, you may have a paper training log, an online training log, and probably a couple other methods of keeping track of your mileage and tracking your shoe mileage as well. So, let's explore some of the apps and software out there to help you as your strive to reach your goals in 2017.
- Garmin's online software can be a bit of a pain, but one huge perk is the ability to create workouts and upload them to your watch. You can set times, distances, etc so your watch will alert you when it's time to switch it up on your run. This is perfect for fartleks, repeats, etc. If you haven't given this a try, check it out and see what you think. If you have a compatible watch, it should be able to store several workouts.
- Garmin also has an app for your phone (see below) that makes uploading your info post run really easy. The connection feature is a fun way to see what your running friends are up to as well.
- If you use a Garmin watch/device, you might as well give their app and software a shot. See what you think.
- TrainingPeaks offers solid training plans for those who are willing to really put some work in and understand that faster results aren't handed to you from 2 or 3 slow runs a week. TraingPeaks plans really seem to stress consistency. The plans do cost, but they're pretty good!
- You'll find all different levels of plans for beginners to advanced. People who have followed them have seen decent results. Many are very similar to what you'll find in plans from The Fit Club coaches. Consistency, long runs (assuming you're training for something longer) and speed work. They're quite reachable and will help you get into good shape.
- The tracking software is compatible with many other apps/devices as well. So, if you finish a run with your Garmin (or other compatible device), that info will also upload to TrainingPeaks
- Track your shoes - we all know it's important to make sure your shoes are in good shape and that you should be keeping track of how many miles you have on them. TrainingPeaks allows you to do this.
- See your weekly, monthly, yearly mileage, etc.
- Track your other workouts (spin, yoga, rowing, strength training, hiking, etc). You can do this via their app as well.
- While it's not a running tracking software per se, you can set up your training log any way you'd like. Track your mileage, set yearly goals, keep track of the miles on each pair of shoes, and see your paces. Plus, keep notes of your workouts so you can look back and see how you're doing. For those who like to set up your own format, Excel is probably your best bet.
Garmin Mobile Connect
- Livetracking? Yes please! If you have a Garmin device with bluetooth, you can set your device to send your workout to your phone via bluetooth when the devices are in range. Then, if you use another training log (perhaps your workplace has something, or you use TrainingPeaks), Garmin will sync with that log as well.
- Need a cheerleader? Nike+ has created it's app to cheer you on every time you receive a "like" on Facebook or comment. Plus you get the basic time and distance tracking. Nike+ has long been a good app for new runners.
-Want to listen to a story? This app is for you. Pick a story close to the length of your run and head out the door.
- Track your calories and see the breakdown of your diet. This app is very helpful in staying on track with your weight loss goals.
Runner's World Go
- No matter what your goal may be, this app has a lot of features to help you along. Maybe it's your first race, or maybe you're training for Boston - whatever it is, this app will provide you with tracking tools and expert knowledge from coaches and runners who understand the importance of consistent training
- Compete against your pals in challenges. Plus, Strava hosts a fully featured GPS tracking device for safety and tracking mileage. Check out the segment rankings as well.
- New destination? MapMyRun will be very helpful to you. Check out nearby routes created by other runners when you're traveling, or take a look at your own routes in your hometown.
- Earn money for your favorite charity every time you run, walk, cycle, etc. Corporate sponsors agree to donate a few cents to these charities based on your activity.
- Tracking more than just your runs, this app is great for cyclists as well. It is quite accurate and has training plans as well as coaching features for those striving to get better at their sport.
- Compete with your friends, track your steps/activity, track your sleep, and set goals for yourself.
- Did you know you can use the app without a FitBit tracker? Although we have to admit, the tracker is fun.
- Create custom workouts for yourself based on your workout/fitness level
- This one is great for veterans and newbies alike. This is a great app for tracking calories, and watching what you eat (aka - don't be fast, fake, and cheap).
- You may have known of this app as GymPact. It allows you to wager money on whether you'll complete a workout, go to the gym, etc. How does it verify this? You have to check in to the venue. If you meet or exceed your goals, you will earn some cash. If not? Pay up.
Paper Training Journals
Believe Training Journal
- Created by professional runners Lo and Ro, this journal is a powerhouse of information. There are killer workouts in here (we actually use some of them). This journal stresses the importance of speed work and long workouts if you want to get faster. This is a personal diary and a workbook plus training journal all rolled into one. It doesn't disappoint.
- This journal will discuss nutrition, goal setting, psychology, recovery, competition, and more.
- This is a great chance to reflect on your attitude toward running, your running partners, your goals, your body, and more. Are you finding yourself in a rut or being particularly negative? This will help you sit down and think about why. Have your running buddies mentioned you're getting a big head and being a bit of a know it all? This journal will help you remember that humility is an admirable trait. Struggling with self-confidence? Record your workouts and explore why.
- This workbook/journal won't disappoint. Check out the different editions.
- Yes. The one you picked up from Target. Sometimes, it's beneficial to have a blank slate to track what you find necessary. Write notes about your workout, track your distance and time, and layout the pages however you'd like. It's fun to look back on your notebooks throughout the years and re-live your running journey.
We all have different goals and are on different journeys. Just because my training doesn't match yours doesn't mean I am wrong or you are wrong. Just because my tracking doesn't look the same as yours doesn't mean I'm doing it wrong. Just because we do different activities for cross training doesn't mean I am right and you are wrong. We are here to build each other up and to support each other along the way. Maybe your goal is just go finish a half marathon or maybe it's to run a 3:30 marathon. Maybe you're a little lost and you don't have a goal or you've given up on a goal and you're searching for something new. Everyone goes about tackling their goals in a different way, and all we can ask is that you are supportive of each other. We are all working toward different things, and hopefully some of the above tools will help in your training journey.
Some goals can seem daunting. You try and try to reach them and you fall a little short each time. Maybe it's a sub-2 half. You cross the line in 2:04, then 2:02. Then maybe it's back up to 2:05. Are you EVER going to hit that 1:59? If you give up, you certainly won't. If you keep trying, you might. Which do you want? Every time we fall a little short, we learn something to help us the next time. Every time we give up, we set a standard for ourselves that we aren't good enough or that we can't do something. Sometimes we do set goals that are a little unattainable (most of us are never going to run a sub 15 minute 5k), but what is the harm in doing the best you can? How do you want your 2017 to look?
So here's what we have going on so far this year:
JOIN THE SUB-7 CLUB
Join the Sub-7 Club. Dropping your mile time can only help you. Strive to run a sub-7 minute mile before 12/31/17. *This must be done at a TFC time trial or a 1 mile race and must be your official time. Yes, for some this may be one of those daunting goals. But what does it hurt to try?
We will give you several opportunities throughout the year to get a good mile time. You can also check out some local races that have timed 1-mile races
1. Havin' A Crappie Day 5k/Mile + Challenge (April)
2. Cox Health Medical Mile/5k (just remember the 1 mile has been a little off the past few years)
3. The Christmas Mile (December)
We'll do some fun Sub-7 Club shirts for those who meet the goal!
ROAD TRIP TO RUN OKLAHOMA CITY
ROAD TRIP! Well kind of. It's only 5 hours away. Run OKC with us! Many of our members and several friends and co-workers will be heading to Oklahoma City to Run the OKC Memorial run. There are marathon, half marathon, 5k, and relay options. This race is very well organized and large. It's a good opportunity to get that big race feel if you've never experienced it (approximatley 25,000 people). Plus, there will be a chance to shop at Red Coyote Running and Fitness - one of the best running stores in the nation.
DATE: April 30, 2017
HOTEL: We have chosen to stay at Hampton Inn and Suites Oklahoma City Bricktown, but you may stay elsewhere if you would like
TRAVEL: We are planning to travel to OKC on Saturday for packet pick up, and return Sunday after the race
We hope you'll join us - the more the merrier. Many of us are bringing friends and co-workers as well! It will be a great chance to widen your running circle. Plus, we'll hit up some good resturants as well!
TEAM RACES FOR 2017
We are putting together our schedule of team races for the year. We'd like to help you branch out a little bit and try to run something new in the fall, so we are definitley open to suggestions! Here's what we have:
1. OKC Memorial Run in April (see above)
2. Jordan Valley Community Health Center Bentley Fund 5k in July
3. Fall Race - we know many of you will probably want to run Bass Pro, but we are thinking something in October. Maybe Kansas City? Perhaps something a little earlier in October?
- A couple other races many of you are planning to do:
ShamRox 15k/5k (March)
Havin' A Crappie Day 5k/Mile + Challenge (April)
PLYOMETRICS AND SPIN
Crosstraining is important. Again, we stress the importance of cross training and proper form. Strength training is incredbly important (please make sure you're doing it properly) as is stretching/yoga. We will begin adding Plyometrics into our rotation. This means each 4th week of workouts will be a plyo routine. This will help those of you who are struggling with injuries due to form. It will also help aid your recovery if you are currently injured. This is a great chance to bring a friend as well!
Additionally, Coach Joy will be teaching a spin class at 5am on Thursday mornings (beginning 1/12) at The Field (The Gym 24/7). Spin is a great way to increase foot speed and studies have shown spin helps runners become more fit and increase speed in general! Sign up at the front desk during business hours - this is a great form of crosstraining.
If you're looking for a great class that combines a solid workout with some great stretching, check out PiYo at The Field (The Gym 24/7) on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 6:30pm.
A LITTLE WRAP UP FROM 2016
Just a note to say thank you to each of you who was part of the group through 2016. We have a great, strong, base group of runners who are focused on their running goals! We saw many people set PRs and had a chance to wrap up the year together by having two relay teams at the Run for the Ranch Marathon Relay. Team Runners of the Ages (Lendall, Jody, Debra, Ed) and Team Feed Me & Tell Me I'm Pretty Fast (Malinda, Casey, Jamie, and Joy) completed 26.2 together. Congrats to each team on their well-earned finishes!
So here's to 2017 and to meeting our goals big and small. Here's to falling and getting back up over and over. Here's to grabbing the bull by the horns and saying this year is mine. Let's own it.
Happy Running. See you on Tuesday morning for 800m repeats and don't forget spin class on Thursday morning!
We know you have some awesome goals set out for 2017. So who wants to join the sub 7 club? Dropping that mile time will only help you reach your 5k, 10k, half marathon, and marathon goals. We know many of you are working through tough training plans to meet these goals, so why not give it a shot! After all, you have the entire year to get there.
So, here's the challenge - run a mile in under 7 minutes by 12/31/17 (must be in a TFC417 mile time trial or 1 mile race and it must be your official recorded time).
We will offer special Sub 7 Club shirts and awards to those who hit this goal by the end of 2017.
Maybe it is a lofty goal for you. Guess what? That's okay. You'll never know if you don't try, right? We believe you can do it, and the effort you put in will be well worth it.
Get signed up with your coaches today for a little little extra motivation and some training tips to help you along the way.
There are a few good 1 mile races in the area if you want to try to get a chip timed Mile result.
1. Havin' A Crappie Day 5k/1 Mile + Challenge (April)
2. Cox Health Medical Mile (May/June) - caveat here: this course is sometimes long
3. Christmas Mile (December)
Good luck. We know you can do it.
#thefitclub417 #earnednotgiven #sub7club
To those of you who came last night to the Christmas Lights Run/Scavenger Hunt and Hot Chocolate Party – thank you! We had an amazing turnout and had a wonderful time spreading Christmas cheer. A big thank you to Lendall and Malinda for hosting.
So here’s what we did. We split into three teams - #teamfrosty, #teamrudolph, and #teamelf. Each team had a team captain that stayed at the house to tally points. The runners had a certain area they could search, and as they found each item on the list, they texted a photo to their team captain. Certain items were worth certain points (Christmas caroling was worth extra)! Each team took a small gift with a note to deliver to someone in the neighborhood to bring a bit of Christmas joy.
#teamfrosty dominated the evening (they figured out some really tough riddles), followed by #teamrudolph and then #teamelf. Everyone had a wonderful time, and the laughter ringing through the air was contagious. The hot chocolate warmed our souls, and we had a great time meeting new friends and admiring the handiwork of each family that decorated their home for others to enjoy.
Additionally, thank you to each of our participants for bringing socks to donate. We find that many young adults and children in our community go without socks in the winter. As runners, socks are near and dear to our hearts, and we hope that the new socks collected will help keep our community warm this winter. We were overwhelmed by the generosity shown via these donations, and know they will serve as blessings to those around us.
In case you’re wondering, TFC417 is about more than speed work one day per week. It’s about building relationships between like-minded individuals. It’s about being supportive of the running goals of teammates, and it’s about building mentally and emotionally strong individuals who are capable of and willing to build others up and give back to the community with a loving heart. It’s not about pride or show – it’s about hard work and learning our weaknesses. Workouts in TFC were never intended to be easy, and we know they are not for everyone. They are for those who are serious about meeting their running goals and about truly being fit. Our workout hour isn’t a social time, but it is a time to lose yourself in the freedom we call running, and to push your limits. It’s not a time to complain or throw a pity party about being last. It’s a chance to get better and work to overcome training obstacles. We highly encourage effective cross training from trained and experienced coaches, and we believe in the power of hard work and consistent, safe training. Whether we have 1 or 100 members, we strive to ensure our runners are strong, dedicated, and positive individuals.
We would love to have you join us in 2017. We meet on Tuesday mornings at 5am. All we ask is that you have been running for 6-12 months and can easily run 3-5 miles without stopping. Shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or find us on Facebook. We would love to have you join our community of dedicated athletes.
We will not meet on 12/27 as many will be traveling for the holidays, but we look forward to seeing you on 1/3/17.
Oh yeah - Don't forget that we will have two teams participating in the Run for the Ranch Relay on December 31! Such a fun way to wrap up 2016.
Merry Christmas to you and yours. Happy running, and here’s to a safe, healthy, and adventure filled 2017.
Merry Christmas, team! This time of year is so busy with parties, events, family gatherings, etc. It seems like it's just go, go, go all the time. Of course we always think things will slow down after the holidays, but do they really? Here's a chance to slow down for a moment and reflect on your year of training, friendships, and growth. So, make yourself a cup of hot chocolate and enjoy (don't worry - our hot chocolate doesn't look that pretty either).
This Christmas, we are reflecting on team, and what being a team really means. Being a team is so much more than a group of people to meet and run with. It's more than a little friendly competition, and it's more than a pool of people from which to pick your relay partners.
Being a team is about understanding and solidarity. It's about companionship. It's about competition, pushing each other to do more, listening to each other, empathizing, and caring. Being part of a team is about learning, growing, building relationships, and chasing dreams. It's about messing up and being offered redemption. It's about shooting a little too high but still having the support of your teammates when you fall short. It's about celebrating accomplishments, rejoicing on the happy days, being there for each other on the sad days, and speaking kindly to one another. Being a team is about knowing others may beat you, but cheering them on and wanting the best for them. It's about camaraderie, engagement, encouragement, positivity, and kindness. True teams are not made of people who simply work well together. They're made of people to trust, push, and care for the well-being of each other. That's the thing about our core group of TFC members - you're willing to step outside the box and push each other when the going gets tough. When you get beat, you're gracious. When someone is hurt, you're there for them encouraging the healing process every step of the way.
If you didn't know already, having the support of a team is an amazing thing. Think about the mornings when you don't want to come to the workouts. But, you know you have teammates counting on you to push them and help them past the wall. Think about the races where you've known your teammates are waiting at the finish line to cheer for you. Or your coaches are along the course to offer motivation. Think about how far having a team of supportive and like-minded individuals has brought you.
You are all amazing athletes with even more potential than you know. It can be hard not to believe all the running advice you read online sometimes, but know that your teammates and coaches have your best interests in mind. If your coaches recommend a certain training plan for you, give it a shot. Even if you think it's too hard or you can't do it. If you want to get better, give it a try. What has going the easy route ever done for you? If a teammate asks a question, help them out. Point them in the right direction. The camaraderie and relationships fostered in a team environment are what make us stronger as runners when the tough times come around.
So this Christmas season, take a moment to think of how your teammates have helped you when you have struggled. Maybe it was a particularly tough workout. Perhaps it was something even deeper - a life problem. Whatever it was, be grateful you have these strong, like-minded yet individualistic teammates to help you along the way both in running and in life. Cherish these relationships, as running friends and partners are some of the best friends you'll ever make. Why? Because we get it. We know what it's like to miss a PR. We know what it's like to lose toenails and have awful blisters. We know what it's like to train for months and get injured. We know what it's like to meet a goal and rejoice in an accomplishment. We know what it's like to go through running shoes at the speed of light, and we know what it's like to trip over the curb. Basically, we get it. We know what it's like because we do it.
We are grateful to each of you for the time and effort you put in each week. We are grateful for the relationships we have built with you as both your coaches, teammates, and friends. We are thankful that you have helped build TFC into a group of caring individuals who simply want to be better, faster, and stronger, even when the workouts get harder and harder.
We are looking forward to seeing you at Boat Town Brewing on December 15 at 6pm for our Christmas party. We'll enjoy some Yogi's pizza and delicious drinks! Bring your spouse/date and enjoy a night of laughs and fun!
We will also be hosting a Christmas Lights Run/Scavenger Hunt on Monday, December 19 in the evening. We'll have more info soon, but be sure to bring a friend or two. We'll keep this run short (about 3 miles or so) and it will be a fun chance to enjoy the Christmas lights in our community.
Then - it's relay time! December 31 is the Run for the Ranch Marathon Relay. We will have two teams participating:
Runners of the Ages
Feed Me & Tell Me I'm Pretty Fast
If you're not racing, come out and cheer for your marathon relay teams!
Also - a quick thank you to all those who participated in "PiYo for Pantries" hosted by The Gym 24/7 to help fill our local food pantries. It was a wonderful and fun event.
Merry Christmas to each of you, and happy running! May the blessings and joy of the season lead you to remember what life is truly about.
December 15: Christmas Party at Boat Town Brewing (6p)
December 19: Christmas Lights Run/Scavenger Hunt (More info soon)- Bring a friend
December 31: Run for the Ranch
Who Picks the Topics?
Each week, we notice different things. We try to incorporate the questions we are receiving or the training issues we are noticing into our post(s) for the week. If there is something you'd like us to cover, let us know!