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.