On I went, out of the wood, passing the man leading without knowing I was going to do so. Flip-flap, flip-flap, jog-trot, jog-trot, curnchslap-crunchslap, across the middle of a broad field again, rhythmically running in my greyhound effortless fashion, knowing I had won the race though it wasn't half over, won it if I wanted it, could go on for ten or fifteen or twenty miles if I had to and drop dead at the finish of it, which would be the same, in the end, as living an honest life like the governor wanted me to. -Alan Sillitoe, "Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner"

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Running clubs, and their role in my life

When registration opens in three weeks, I'm going to register to run the North Face Endurance Challenge Bear Mountain half marathon. This will be my third trail run - a challenging (but not too technical) 15k and a half-marathon (also not too technical, and my first ever half!) being my two preceding trail races. I'd like to get more into trail running, despite the fact that I have limited access to trails for training. Anyway, point being, this will be my first attempt at a trail race for which I've actively prepared.

The North Face offers two levels of preparatory classes: one seems to be essentially a weekly running club, and the other (significantly more expensive) includes tailored training plans, nutrition, trail scouting races, and two runs per week. I'm tempted. I've never felt like I should pay to go running, and I'm an experienced enough runner at this point to know that it's just laziness - and not lack of training, partners, gear, etc. - that keeps me from reaching my goals.

Still, there is something to be said for accountability, and putting one's money where one's mouth is certainly gives accountability.

I'm contemplating it.

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