With three weeks left until the Asics LA Marathon, I’m literally in the final stretch of my training with Team NutriBullet! If you missed my previous posts and am unfamiliar with Team NutriBullet, you can read about my training here and here!
This Saturday morning was Team Nutribullet’s final long run before the LA Marathon. We ran from Joes gym to Marina Del Rey and back one of our rare long runs that did not include a tribal run or loops around a park. It served as a dress rehearsal of sorts for the LA Marathon. We were all wearing our Team NutriBullet gear, we stayed in our groups and ran our paces. I had the honor of “leading” the 8 minute pace group! I say “leading” because at this point in our training we are pretty much a well oiled machine! We stayed together and hit our target pace for most of the run, though some nagging pains forced a couple of runners to fall back a bit.
I had the honor and pleasure of running with 2 sub-elite athletes and members of the Los Angeles Speed Project (LASP) Crispin Lazarit and Cynthia V Zarate, who were both original Team NutriBullet Members! For our groups final 20 miler this was a great opportunity to pick their brains and get some great marathon advice from 2 runners who have both qualified for Boston many times. For me, personally, it was a huge boost of motivation to run with them and I just felt the positive energy and good vibes! As happy as we all were to run with them, they were both very gracious in joining our group and running those miles with us!
This 20 miler was the culmination of a training program that started in December and will bring us all to the starting line of the LA Marathon as stronger, healthier runners! As I’ve mentioned in my previous posts about Team NutriBullet, we have lots of expertise at our disposal, from dietitians and nutritionists, to strength and fitness trainers to running coaches. All of this, to impart wisdom to all of our teams runners, to help us all to be more balanced as athletes. In short, all of these areas are important, proper diet, strength and core training, and running form all make for a much more successful running experience when applied!
When I was asked to be a member of Team NutriBullet, I was also asked to be a pace group leader, which was a great honor for me, and not an opportunity I took lightly! I was asked to pace the 8 minute group, which was a bit nerve racking in the beginning since I didn’t know how many runners would actually be in my group! For the first 2 group runs there really wasn’t a set established 8 minute group, but slowly the group came together! Looking at what it is now, all of the runners are exactly where they need to be! Being able to keep a conversational at a specific pace is one tell tale sign that its the right pace for a long run! As much fun as I’ve had pacing the 8 minute group throughout this training program I have been willing to do what has been asked of me! Some weeks this meant running as a “tribe” during the first few miles of our long run! This “tribal run” helped to unite the group and give runners in different pace groups, who would not otherwise have the opportunity to run together or strike up a conversation to do just that!
I have also had the pleasure of leading the 10 minute pace group for 2 weeks due to necessity by the group. I’ll be honest, in a small way I dreaded my first run with the 10 minute group because I thought it would be much too slow for me, but something happened, I settled in and enjoyed it! Actually, I enjoyed it a whole lot!! So much so, that when I was asked to pace the 10 minute group again the next week I was happy to take the task! I have learned that every pace group brings their own energy! Their own goals, and their own experiences! When I went back to running with the 8 minute group it was bitter sweet! I was thrilled to re-join my 8 minute group, but sad to leave the 10 minute runners as well! I almost wished both groups would run at a happy medium pace, but that wasn’t realistic for anyone involved!
So what’s next? It’s time to taper and rest up for the LA Marathon! We still have a few group runs left before March 9th, but the core of our training is complete! I am extremely proud of everyone who has trained with our group, and am hopeful that everyone will reach their goals! Whether its a first marathon, a PR attempt or a BQ attempt I believe everyone is now in a better position to achieve what they are set out for! For those runners dealing with nagging injuries, now is the time to heal up and get healthy for race day! I am thrilled to share my LA Marathon experience with this group, and when I wear that Team NutriBullet logo on my chest and back I will be representing the entire group proudly!
There are so many great people in Team Nutribullet so in my next point I will try to share about some of these amazing individuals!