Sunday, February 28, 2010

Minnepolis Marathon Training Run

Yesterday morning I headed off for St. Louis Park. The second training run for the Minneapolis Marathon/Half Marathon was going to begin at the St. Louis Park Lifetime Fitness. The distances going to be run were 6-10 miles.

As I approached the St. Louis Park area I realized how much it has changed since I used to live near the, 20 years ago! How can that much time have passed? How can I be old enough to say I lived near somewhere 20 years ago?

For one thing, I used to work right off Wayzata Blvd, now known as 394. The building is still there, but the Company moved downtown, where I also worked until 8 years ago.

Steve and I bought our first home in New Hope, lived there for about 5 years before selling and building out Orrock Township, 60 miles from the Minneapolis/St Paul area.

So back to the story. I'm driving around, noticing that Park Place Blvd now has much more than Park Place Hotel residing upon it's asphalt. There are now about a zillion more hotels, strip malls, townhomes, apartments .. amazing. Eventually I came across Lifetime Fitness and followed 100 other cars into the lot. I can't imagine that all of these people are here for this free training run. It's 735 so I figure there must be a popular class offering at 8 AM at the club..or something. There is plenty of parking so I find a spot and head to the club. On the way to the front door I notice the Minneapolis Marathon feathers from along the course so I know I'm at the right place.

Lifetime Fitness. OK, I have become a hick. It's huge. I sign a waiver as I am not a member, am at the club only for the free training run. I follow the arrow onto the 'turf' where we are going to meet. I pass a restaurant, a massage therapy center, a huge pool, a supplement shop..hello, this is not a mall, this is Lifetime Fitness. I see the weights area. OMG, I want to work out here. There are only a few people and hundreds upon hundreds of free weights, racks, machines..amazing. I may have to visit in a few weeks again to see what all if offered. Wow. No, this is not Anytime Fitness but I'm sure it is not $20 a month, either!

I find myself in with a mob of people, all wearing running attire, I have to be at the right location. I'm on turf. There are a bunch of cardio machines around me and a running track. Not many people using the gym but a zillion here for the training run. Posted around the turf are signs "6 miles or less" "Boston Marathon Group" "330 Marathon Goal" etc. People are milling about and I am just standing around with my jaw wide open amazed at all of these people here. I begin to notice Lifetime Fitness RunClub jackets and realize I must be at a Lifetime Fitness RunClub training run. Maybe this isn't the free training run with Team Ortho for the Mineapolis Marathon after all. Maybe I am supposed to be in a different part of the gym Oh boy.

A woman introduces herself, Lauren from Savage. She's very friendly so I begin to pepper her with questions: is this the free training run for Team Ortho of the Minneapolis Marathon? This is really FREE? There are pace leaders, coaches here, is this really FREE? There is an expo taking place after the run for cripes sake..StartLine, coaches, Garmin, etc. This is amazing. She explains to that this is the Lifetime Fitness Run Club kick off for the spring marathon training program. They meet three times a week for structured running, lectures, etc. She explains that Lifetime Fitness invited Ortho here to complete their training run with the Liftime group. Cool. I explained to her what I was doing here and asked if she knew Amy from Team Ortho, who invited me. She didn't know where she was in the sea of people at the time. We chatted a bit and I was just amazed at all of the people. There were 100's of people. Really. 100s. I realize that I have never run in a group training run as a participant before. When I first began to run I didn't realize this type of program was offered. Maybe it wasn't 12 years ago..I don't know. Not in the Big Lake area! It still isn't! I also realize that I may be an introvert...this may be to much socialization for me.

I mosied around for a few minutes, found myself approached by many others..some of which asked for an introduction of myself and then produced business cards and such. I met many people that offered services: chiro, massage therapists, trainers. There was a lot of meeting and greeting, networking going on. I was asked my blog address and if I was on facebook and linkedin. I may have been hit on a couple of times. It's been so long that I forget what that is. Strange. I went home with a pocket full of business cards.

The group was called together and an explanation was given of the route/distances. Maps were handed off, the routes consisted of the lakes, city roads, depending of the length of your run. I went off with the 6 miles or less group. It was a beautiful, crisp, sunny morning. We had one coach lead us and another at the end as sweep. The run was great, relaxed, meeting many of the runners and talking about the excitement of the first marathon with the beginners. I said over and over to enjoy the process, don't worry about next week and running 7 or 8 miles, or 13 and eventually 20. Just enjoy today! Enjoy breathing deeply, feeling the sun on your face, feeling your body move. The marathon will come, enjoy the process of getting there!

Our run was awesome. The coaches were great. The participants had a fun morning. I really had a fun time and wished I could have then tagged along with the 10 mile group. I had to be at work at 12 in St Cloud, had to stop off at home to shower so I didn't have a lot of time to hang about afterward to enjoy the Expo.

What a great way to ease into marathon training. All of the expertise is there, there are others who are matched with the runners ability and you will have someone to chat with to make the run a bit more enjoyable.

I am heading south for spring break so won't be able to make next week's run. You can get all of the details here.


tpodas said...

Thanks Julie, I really like your advise on enjoy today and enjoy the process. Thanks for keeping everything in check.

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