Yes - runners. That's you. When you first started on your speed work journey you were different. Not different in a weird way, but different than you are now. For some of you, you started on this journey in April (Happy April Fools Day!!!) and for some of you, you only joined us within the last few weeks. That being said - you're all rocking it, and you're all growing.
Each of you is different as a person and as a runner. You all have different strengths and weaknesses, and speed work is really a time when those strengths and weaknesses show through. We have been working hard to tap into these strong areas for you, and to help push through your weak areas. We all know that we need to work our our weaknesses, but it's much easier to focus on our strengths. We want to help you do both. These strengths and weaknesses mean some of you are better at longer workouts, while some of you excel at short speed. Don't worry if you don't excel in every workout. Use each run and workout as a learning tool, and go from there. It's okay if you're not the top dog at each workout. Ruger already claimed that spot. Get it? Dog? Haha.
Anyway, the first week seemed scary and intimidating for many of you. We noticed how hard both physically and mentally it seemed for some of you. In fact, some of you seemed really discouraged. Maybe you thought you would do better? It seemed like many of you felt like this was something you couldn't do. For many of you, this was your first experience with speed work. For some of you, the second and third weeks were not much better. That being said, we started receiving "thank you for doing this" and "I'm so glad I came" texts so we figured that you were enjoying the workout AFTER it was over. However, over the next few weeks you started to get used to how the workouts "hurt so good" - and you seemed like you started to "enjoy" them. Of course, some of you liked them from day one - you are the ones who like to push yourselves anyway. For some of you, it took a little longer and that's okay. You needed to grow accustomed to the change you were making in your body and your life.
After the first few weeks, our workouts started amping up in intensity and speed. We started noticing what each of you could do. We noticed some of you had more speed than you thought - we just needed to tap into it. We noticed some of you struggled mentally during runs - so we needed to figure out how to help you in that aspect. We noticed some of you could easily calculate your own paces, and some of you needed help. Your differences are what make us such a good and fun team.
We asked you for your goals. We found that your goals range anywhere from a 16:00 5k to a 2:20 half marathon. They range from a sub 3:00 marathon to just completing the 26.2 distance. We also noticed that your goals started changing as you realized what you were capable of. Whatever your goal is - it's awesome and we believe you can do it. We are here to support you and cheer you on.
In May, our group participated in the CoxHealth Medical Mile. Despite the fact the mile was quite long, and the 5k was incredibly short, we noticed the confidence this race gave you. You noticed the speed work was starting to work for you. We saw those smiles when you realized you were getting faster. Not to mention, you were becoming more fit - so hey, bonus!
That really seemed to be the turning point for you. You were excited. Not that you didn't enjoy and appreciate the group before, but for some of you, this was the first time you realized you had more potential than you thought. Don't think we didn't see that sparkle in your eyes - you knew you were a rockstar and could push through anything.
We hosted our form/nutrition/racing seminar and you came prepared with questions. You wanted to learn, and you were ready to learn. We also noticed that those of you who came have taken what you learned to heart and you're using your new knowledge. This is awesome.
This may seem cliche, but we are proud of you and the growth we have seen in each of you. We are all still working, and must keep working to improve, but the improvements we have seen in a few months are incredible. You are becoming stronger, more competent runners. We know we aren't perfect and could sometimes do a better job planning workouts and paces, but we appreciate that you realize we are only human as well. We appreciate the support you have given us as well. We are human too, and sometimes getting out of bed on Wednesday at 4am isn't appealing, but knowing we get to run and work with you all makes it worth it.
We are so glad you've supported us in this endeavor, and we love seeing the new faces that have joined us lately. We hope that you are finding this group to be supportive in your journey. We hope you know you can always come to us with your running questions/concerns etc. If there is a workout you have heard about and want to try, ask us!
Some of you have struggled with recurring injuries along the way, and this can be a bummer for you. Don't give up. Many of use struggle with these injuries, and we just keep pushing on. We struggle with our knees, hips, shoulders, etc. Know that it's not just you. We all have something that bothers us. Take care of yourself and do what you have to do, but remember what you are capable of.
While we may offer you constructive criticism from time to time, please know it is only to help keep you safe, healthy, and to help you get faster. Please know it isn't intended to put you down in any way, but to help you become better. If we think you can push harder, we may push you. Chances are, you can do it. Take this as an opportunity to get faster and stronger.
Thank you all for being a part of the TFC. We are so excited to see where the future takes our group. Please keep inviting new members, and keep working hard. Remember, the moment you stop working and trying is the moment you stop growing. So - keep running, keep living, keep growing, keep learning, and keep being awesome.
Enjoy your day, and we will see you Wednesday.
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!