Follow the Leader

When our marathon clinic started, I took on the role of leading the 3:30(ish) pace group – these are the peeps that I ran with all summer (with the addition of a few newbies) and it seemed like the right fit. Ideally, I would love to run a (sub)3:30 marathon eventually. Is that going to happen at Boston? Nope. I’ll elaborate on goals/decisions later, but suffice it to say that I am not aspiring to run a PR at Boston. All that being said, I still thought I would be comfortable training with this group.

As it turns out, I am not. The combination of taking a couple of months off quality marathon training, adjusting to a new tri-heavy training schedule and the extra bit of weight I am carrying around from the holidays/off-season (harumph), running at those paces is just too hard right now. I’m certainly not doing myself or the others in this group any favours by busting my arse and attempting to “lead” from the back of the pack every week.

Add that to the stress (don’t get me wrong, it’s fun & rewarding but a LOT of work) of co-instructing the marathon clinic and the coordination of 50+ people that comes with it… let’s just say my plate is full and I don’t need any added pressure right now.

So, with the full support of my peeps, I found a suitable replacement and decided to step back from leading the pace group. Moving forward I will be running with a slightly “slower” group, which is a much better fit for me right now. I felt an enormous weight lift off my shoulders, which confirmed that I made the right decision. It’s refreshing to run more comfortably, challenging myself just enough, and to follow the leader.


28 thoughts on “Follow the Leader

  1. There is nothing wrong with realizing your limitations, if anything it says more about your character. You will get back there, I have no doubt. But for now it’s better to lead from the front of the pack, then the back.

  2. Get all that stuff off your plate and the pounds will melt away…….. Being Superwoman is tough, I glad you saw the light. You’re still my Canadian Idol……..

  3. I think it’s great you recognized your limitations and took action. You might have ended up burnt out or worse – injured – if you hadn’t!! Isn’t it great when you make decisions like that and you can almost literally feel the heaviness/weight lift off your shoulders?

    I still think it’s so awesome you have 50+ people in your marathon clinic!!

  4. Coming from someone who completely overcommitted herself last year and ended up burned out and not happy – GOOD JOB recognizing this EARLY and stepping back. The last thing you want to do is to resent training with all you have coming up. Have fun 🙂

  5. While it may seem is better to make the decision then trying to stick it out and get injured, get burned out or worse become resentful of the clinic.
    I had a terrible time trying to train and lead a clinic at the same time and I only had a really small group.!

  6. Good job on making the right decision for you.

    As my tri coach once referred to it, it’s not a “slower” group. It’s a “less fast” group.

  7. Good for you! I can imagine it would be a lot of pressure to be “on” every week and have extra duties on your plate. Glad to hear you were able to identify that and back off. Feeling immediate relief is great confirmation that you did the right thing! And you’ll get that sub 3:30 at some point…

  8. I always say to clients, you have to train at your current fitness level, not at your wishful training level. That said, you’ll get there eventually….but for now, enjoy where your body wants to be and they will be lots happier miles!

  9. That’s such a good, wise, sensible decision. There’s nothing worse than having to bust a gut trying to lead and making yourself miserable in the process.

  10. I think you made the best decision too. You are already working so hard and it all has to stay fun for you otherwise you end up hating runs or swims or bike rides. Now you can enjoy your training group with all the pressure you had.

  11. You rock, Marlene. Your running group, whichever one you choose, is lucky to have you!

    PS: Tagged you in my 11 random things today — not sure if you’ve done one yet, I’ve been a bad blog-reader lately.

  12. There’s never any need to explain or justify a decision that’s made for the best interests of Yourself and your goals. There’s no doubt you’re doing a Great job inspiring, motivating and coaching the clinic, no matter what pace you do it from! 🙂

    From almost every runner I know that’s run Boston, it is no place for PR-ing. Rather, it’s for enjoying the fact that you got yourself There after a lot of hard work and a big reward. Then, you run & have fun …and survive the hills! 😉

  13. I feel like it is so hard to step away from things, but sometimes it is best. I know sometimes I feel like I take on too much and need to cut something out. Glad you were able to find a replacement and continue your training. I am sure you will run sub 330 sometime soon!

  14. Pingback: Boston Training – Week 4… with some rambles | Mission to a(nother) Marathon

  15. Smart, smart move. I always consider being a pacer and would pace a group at 2:00 versus one at 1:45 even though my PR is 1:36 for a half-marathon. Anything can go wrong and at 2 hours I can make up the time. Enjoy the step back and enjoy the run.

    Now as for favours……I have one to ask….can you just send me a list of all the wourds that you misspell in Canada so I have a book of them? Thanks.

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