As far as I can tell, there is only one downfall to running with friends: peer pressure!
(My dogs figured this out a very long time ago.)
I'm not talking about the negative, "I have to be better, faster, stronger than you" type of peer pressure. It's more along the lines of, "I'm running this race, you should run it too!" type of pressure. It's very hard to turn down a race when I know I can run it with a friend!
Here is a primary example. Last year when I convinced my college friend to join the marathon training group (peer pressure works both ways), the Houston Marathon was already sold out. She decided to sign up for the Woodlands Marathon on March 1st. I had already decided I would go out there to cheer her on for her first full, but then I thought, why not run the half while I'm there? We can make a day of it.
|Sounds fun. Where do I sign up?|
Normally, registering for a half would not be a big deal. However, in my infinite wisdom, I figured running it 5 weeks after my first full would work out fine. Plenty of time to recover and retrain! Incorrect. It turns out the generally accepted marathon recovery plan of taking 26 days off of running (one for every mile) does not mean casually run a few 8 and 10 milers and then race on day 35. Oops. I did not interpret correctly.
Even though I went into the race with no plan except to have fun, it was still a spectacularly craptastic race.
Rather than focus on the pain I was in, I practiced my poker face for the camera.
|My smile says, "This is a great race!!"|
My brain says, "@*$#%)^**@#!!!"
Do you think I learned my lesson? That would be a NO.
In the midst of my "training" for the Woodlands, I finally reunited with my bike. I had to neglect her in the final months before Houston. We had some quality time to make up.
|Her name is Betsy, due to her patriotic color scheme.|
I knew I wanted to spend March and April focused on Zooma Texas, which was going to be my goal half marathon of the year. After the half, I planned to take the summer off racing and get back into triathlon training for the fall. This solid plan lasted about a week.
I was out on a beautiful (and windy as Hell) Saturday ride with two friends, and low and behold, I found out they were signed up for the Kemah Triathlon in April. I had been eyeing this race for months, and I had finally decided to pass and give myself some time off of racing. We rode 30 miles that day, and by the time we rolled back into the parking lot, they had convinced me to register for the Olympic triathlon. Keep in mind, this was not a hard sell. After about 10 minutes of hearing how fun it would be to experience the event together, I folded like a cheap lawn chair and got out my wallet. To heck with resting! Let's race!
|These are the culprits. Don't they look intimidating?|
After I was officially signed up for Kemah, I reworked my plan, decided to remain firm in my plan not to race at all over the summer and focus on building a really strong base for a fall triathlon I am eyeing. Do you see where this is going? A week later one of my badass tri friends (she's about to rock Ironman Texas) sent me a link to the Shadow Creek Ranch Sprint Triathlon in July. I gave her my song and dance about taking the summer off, blah, blah, blah, to which she replied, "But it's only a sprint. It won't even tire you out."
Crap. Willpower, why have you abandoned me?? I cannot turn down the promise of friends and racing.
So here I am in the middle of triathlon training (and loving it, by the way), while at the same time gearing up for another half marathon in two weeks. What did I do with my time before I became a race addict?
Oh, and just for fun, I am racing the Esprit de She 10K in May. As my tri badass friend would say, "It's only a 10K, right?"
Succumbing to peer pressure, one race at a time.
* It's not to late to register for the Zooma Texas half marathon or 10K in Austin on April 12th. Come join me in Hill Country for a girls' day out! Use code TXAMB5 for 10% off.
** If Zooma isn't enough girl time for you, meet me at the Esprit de She 10K in Katy, TX on May 8th for a run and happy hour. I had a blast at this race last year, and I am looking forward to running for mimosas again! Use promo code: EDS48. Hope to see you there!