Tuesday, August 30, 2011

To be fast, you have to run with the fastest

After a day off Monday, I entered Tuesday with the idea to do a double.  However, I switched things up and took my easy run in the morning instead of the usual tempo run.  So I went for an easy 7 in beautiful weather in the morning.  Then in the afternoon I decided to really stir the pot...

I'll give you a quick rundown of the running scene in Baltimore.  Every county and Baltimore City each has its own running club.  Most of the clubs are made up of average mid pack runners with each club having a few studs.  I am mainly affiliated with the Baltimore Road Runners Club and without bragging too much, I am essentially their ace.  In the annual club challenge race, I was their top guy and in all their races this year, I have either won or been the first BRRC member to finish.  In addition to the "county" clubs, some of the local stores have teams and training groups.  Most of those are also made up of mid-packers.  There is certainly nothing wrong with this since the mid-pack runner has made our sport into the popular success it is today.  The only problem I come across is that there is almost no one to run with at my pace.  When it comes time for workouts, I usually have no choice but to solo them just because I know no one who can keep up.

That was at least until now.  There is one group in Baltimore that has locked up nearly all the fast runners.  Falls Road Running and their team also known as "That's what she said" holds workouts on Tuesday evenings at one of the high school tracks in the area.  Though I've sort of known about them for a while, it was not until relatively recently that I had any shot at staying with their mid to top guys.

As I got faster, I eventually realized that about 90-95% of the runners beating me out there were Falls Road guys.  Some Howard County Striders and other random people were in the mix too, but more often than not, Falls Road cleans up.  For a while, I resisted joining them, opting instead to coin them as the enemy and use it as motivation to get faster.  However, Lebron James had the right idea.  So I finally caved and went to a workout.

I joined a small group that was doing 4x 2miles at 5:45 pace with 2-3 minutes rest.  It was awesome.  We hit the first rep a bit slow at nearly 6:00 pace.  The next two were at 5:35 pace.  During the final one, someone dropped the hammer with 1200 meters to go, but I went right along and he eventually faded as I took the last bit of the final rep.  I absolutely loved being able to do a workout with people around my ability.  I ran a much tougher workout than I would have solo and got a solid 11 miles with warm up and cool down for my afternoon run.  Quite the solid day.

I'll be joining them as much as possible over the next few months.  It should help shake things up a bit and possibly propel me to a higher level.

Run More..Run Faster!


  1. Ya know, I was figuring it was just a matter of time before you finally caved and started running with TWSS. I think it's probably a great idea really, you're one of the best runners in the area and training with people of a similar caliber can only help you all improve. I would have loved to make it to some the Tuesday night track stuff but I always worked too late it seems.

  2. Of the 13 people that beat me at the club challenge, 6 of them were Falls Road. No coincidence there that a lot of the people who wear those singlets also show up Tuesday nights!

  3. Glad you found some fast people to push you in your workouts!