Toronto: Home of the Maple Leafs, Awesomely Internet-Worthy Mayors and Damn Fast Marathon Times

Before we do anything, lets all take 3 minutes and watch this video. Man, Rob Ford. That guy is wild!

snlrobford

(NBC and Saturday Night Live)

You know what else is wild? This:

Rogue guarantees you will PR at the Toronto Marathon or we’ll pay your entry fee.*

Read that again.

Yup.

toronto skyline copy

The lovely Toronto skyline. Note: not a lot of hills. (wikipedia.org)

Not only is Toronto a great city, it also has a super-fast marathon on October 18th, the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. This marathon is going to be the fall marathon. Not only will we have staff and coaches there, its a darn good race. It has an elevation difference of about 110 feet (read: pretty darn flat). It’s marked in kilometers (which make you feel like you are running really fast…kinda). The average high on race day is 58° and the average low on race day is 45°. It has a portion of their website that is all in French. It runs along the water front and, according to findmymarathon.com, it has a PR score of 99.51% (Austin has a PR score of 97.37%, to compare). It’s about the same size as Austin and marathonguide.com has good things to say about it. Oh, and the race shirts and medals are pretty fun.

toronto profile

Look at those sexy (lack of) curves. (findmymarathon.com)

Rogue has selected the Toronto Marathon as our destination race for the fall because its fast and the timing is perfect to capitalize on a summer of “Heat-titude Training” (Don’t worry about it. I just combined heat and altitude). Our tried and tested marathon training gets better with every year and this year will be no different. Our experienced coaches will give you the guidance you need to manage the heat, keep injures at bay, prepare your race day nutrition, help you with your mantras, maximize your long runs and, heck, they may even baby sit your cat! (not really)

And, like I said, we guarantee you will PR* at this race.

There are a ton of other fantastic races is the fall and we’ll cover those in upcoming blogs but we wanted to get this out first as the Chicago Marathon lottery opens next week.

Sign up quick for the Fall Marathon training program because the PR program applies only to the first 30 folks. Then join us in Toronto for an experience you’ll never forget!

#TorontoGoesRogue

Program Details

Fall Marathon Training will begin on Saturday May 2nd, 2015 with a Kick Off Party at the first long run (Cedar Park and Downtown will long run together at the Downtown store). Think 3-5M run with tacos, coffee, vendors and lots of giveaways after the run. Seriously, the raffle is huge.

*You must be part of the PR program. The stipulations for the PR program are:

  • Your current PR must have been set within the last 2 years
  • Applies to the first 30 people that sign up for the program and the marathon in Toronto
  • Applies to downtow, Cedar Park, north Austin and south Austin training programs.
  • We will cover the cost of your entry fee up to $100. The marathon entry fee is $100 or less through July 28th. You must have proof of entry to sign up for the program.
  • You must attend 80% or more of your workouts and complete 80% of your training runs. In other words you must follow 80% of the training schedule as posted to the Rogue Running locker room or provided to you by your coach.
  • We love Chicago, Portland, NYC, Marine Corp and all the other amazing races in the fall but you got to do your PR at Toronto to be part of the program.
  • To join the program, email Jeff.

Rogue Running is a runner-first community dedicated to changing lives through running. Our direct coach-to-athlete approach ensures you get the care and dedication you need to experience running in a different way. 

Austin Marathon: The Prep & Pump Recap

You all packed the house at our Prep & Pump pre-race event last week, and walked away with the mental and strategical tools needed to conquer your race on February 15. You can download an outline of the presentation below; read though it, refresh yourself, repeat. Then, get ready to run!

2015 Austin Marathon Prep & Pump: The Outline

Converting a Prius into a Mustang

Ford-Shelby-Mustang-GT500-Coupe_6 by Steve Sisson

You may not know it yet, but you are ready to fly. You’ve nearly completed Rogue’s training program for a marathon, and with some simple training tweaks you can CRUSH your old 10K PR. I am going to convince you that you’d be a fool not to take the huge gains you’ve earned over months of arduous training and capitalize on them in the Capitol 10,000 in April. Below is an argument for why a few more months of focused training can result not only in a huge 10K PR, but will also set you up for your next marathon performance.

Perfect Transition
What many beginner and intermediate runners do not realize is that the training for the marathon is an ideal foundation for faster running at shorter distances. The physiological adaptations that have been developed from the long runs, threshold runs and longer intervals you completed in the fall and winter have your body primed to strike like a cobra. Essentially, you have built a huge base with marathon training that has developed your cardiovascular system into a powerful, yet highly efficient engine. Exercise physiologists will explain in all the increases you’ve developed (mitochondria, capillarization, stroke volume, blah, blah, blah.) from a scientific point of view but I’ll just explain it to you in a simple analogy: you’ve developed the engine of a souped-up Toyota Prius but can convert that efficiency, with a little tweaking, into a Ford Mustang’s muscular power and speed. How, you ask? Well let’s give you a little preview of what an  eight week 10K program will do to help your transition.

Convert the Fuel System & Tweak the Chassis

The two most important differences between racing a marathon and a 10K are distance and pace. While this will seem obvious, what might not be apparent is what is happening in your body and how a training program should address these differences. When training for a marathon you are attempting to teach your body to use your fuel as efficiently as possible for the inevitable wall of low muscle glycogen and low blood sugar that hits late in the race. In the 10K, you aren’t in any danger of running out of fuel; instead, your body runs out of enough oxygen to use the fuel your body has available. Of course, the science is a bit more complicated and I am vastly simplifying for the sake of brevity, but the key distinction is that in the marathon you train aerobically and in the 10K you need to train anaerobically.

While this requires that you train to convert your fuel system to handling the new demands, it is also essential to prepare the body for the faster paces that you will be running in the 10K. Most people will race their 10K at between 40-45 seconds per mile faster than their marathon pace. The neuromuscular system need to be prepared for the greater power needed to initiate and sustain these paces. So training for the 10K means you need to tweak your body’s chassis to handling this different demand. The workouts you’ll be challenged with in the 10K program will be designed to teach your body to run faster and with greater ease anaerobically and to handle the load of running these faster paces.

One of the additional benefits of training these different systems is that, in gaining this greater facility, your body becomes more economical at marathon paces. For example, in adjusting two of my Team Rogue Dawn Patrol athletes’ (Bryan Morton and Marc Bergman) training over the last 18 months to move away from marathon specific training and toward 10K and half marathon focused training, they were able to run significant PR’s at the 3M Half Marathon. More importantly, I am confident that they will also run very well at the Boston Marathon in April now that we’ve transitioned back to marathon training. Keep an eye on their results to see how this plays out in reality.

Seize the 10K

So, are you ready to fly? You’ve already created the opportunity for a huge personal best in one of Austin’s iconic races. The marathon training you have suffered through and are getting ready to reap the rewards of on February 15th is the ideal springboard to an epic result at the Capitol 10,000 two months later. Join us for our 8-week training program and and convert that Prius into a Mustang.

——–

Steve Sisson is a beer connoisseur (read: snob), coach of Team Rogue: Dawn Patrol and the founder of Rogue Running. To pick his brain on all things running, drop him a line at stevesisson@roguerunning.com or stop by the Fuel Bar on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday night.

3M: A race plan for first-timers

3MHalf_2015_4cby coach Mae Coffman

It’s here! The 3M Half Marathon, possibly the most highly anticipated race of the winter season for many runners. I’m having some serious race withdrawal as I have to sit this one out, but I look forward to living vicariously through all of the Rogues as a spectator. You won’t be able to miss me on the sidelines—I’ll be the big pregnant lady busting out of her Rogue apparel and cheering like crazy.

The following is some first-timer half marathon advice and a race plan I shared with my runners this week. Hopefully some of you will find it helpful—especially if this is your first time to race 3M!

You have heard over and over how great this course is: relatively flat, downhill and fast. However, please keep in mind that it is still a 13.1 mile race and despite the “flat” description there are some rolling hills—especially at the end as you come in towards downtown near the finish. It will not be easy. If you are planning to really race the 3M, you will feel dead tired at the end and despite the “easy course” description you will need to run smart to hit your goal time or PR.

Pre-Race Week:

As with all races, it’s important that you plan out ahead of time what you’ll eat the few nights before and the morning of the race, and not to do anything different than what you’ve done in training. It will not do anything for you to carbo load the night before—other than to make you feel ridiculously full and sluggish! On Saturday night, eating a sensible dinner w/ a good balance of protein and carbs is perfect (think grilled chicken and rice). This is not the time to experiment with any new foods. Get lots of sleep on Friday night. You might have the jitters on Saturday and not sleep as well, but a good night sleep two nights before is optimal.

Don’t spend all day Saturday on your feet doing yard work, etc. Not that you have to be lazy—you’ll probably be a bit stir crazy and excited…but don’t do something that will lead you to be overtired or sore on race morning.

In planning your race outfit, consider the weather and remember that once you get running, you heat up about 20 degrees higher than the temp outside. That is why running in 50 degree weather feels so great. With the weather as it has been lately, I’d plan to wear layers at the start including a throw-away shirt. For me this is usually an old long-sleeved cotton shirt  (old Turkey Trot shirts are a good candidate) and I usually pick a pair of cheap stretchy gloves that I can toss if/when my hands are too sweaty. Pack a warm, dry shirt, sweatshirt and maybe even sweatpants for your post-race bag. Even if you feel warm while you are running you’ll get chilly at the finish after standing around. By the way, there will be a bag drop at the beginning of the race—you’ll want to take advantage of that so your clothes are waiting for you at the finish of this point-to-point race.

The night before, lay out your race outfit and pin on your number so you don’t have to fiddle with it in the morning. Put the number on the shirt you anticipate you will be wearing by the end of the race. If you have it under an outer layer—you can always flash the cameras as you approach so they catch your number. Same goes for electronic devices—put on armbands and such under your top layer if you think it will end up tied around your waist. You don’t want to be struggling with cords, etc. while you try to strip down layers mid-race.

Plan out how many Gus/gels/blocks/beans you plan to take and where you plan to take them. Check out the course map on the website and plan your nutrition around the water stops unless you plan to run with a handheld.

Race Day:

Eat a breakfast similar to what you have found successful for your previous long runs. Just as with dinner—this is not the time to experiment and find out if you should start a morning coffee routine. Don’t overeat either—you have covered distances similar to this on long runs, so there is no reason to assume you’ll need more for breakfast than you did for those weekends.

Parking can be a pain for this race—not that there isn’t enough, but the location in the cross hairs of 183 & Mopac means you’ve got to take one of the major roads to get there and almost all of them will get backed up by the exits. I recommend aiming to get there by 6-6:15 so if you end up sitting in traffic for a extra 20 minutes (and therefore finally parking closer to 6:30) you still have time to get to the start line. You also want to plan plenty of time to get in a potty break. They will have portapotties at the start, but there will be long lines so plan accordingly! My usual routine is: park, potty, drop race bag, get to start line. Warning….you WILL feel chilly as you stand around waiting for the start. But remember, you will warm up when you start running—don’t start second guessing about putting on more layers or pulling things out of your drop bag to wear while you race—it’s just an unfortunate thing about winter races—the start is cold and  you stand around shivering and feeling miserable until it starts.

3M is a big race—LOTs of folks—so after the gun goes off—don’t be surprised how long it might take to actually get to the start…3-5 minutes isn’t uncommon! When you see clocks on the course you can remember that is gun time—not chip time. I would not recommend starting all the way in the back (so don’t wait until the last minute to go get into the chute to line up…after potty and bag drop—head towards the start line). No need to be at the very front on the heels of the elites, but you don’t want to dodge around folks that are planning to walk the 13.1 distance. For those with gps watches, try to get it to pick up satellites once you are about 5-10 min from gun time. No need to get it picked up too early and waste battery life—but the WORST feeling is to realize as the gun sounds that you are still “searching” for satellites.

This is a point to point race, so if someone is meeting you, you can have them drive you back to your car (unless they also dropped you at the start), but otherwise there is a shuttle service to bus runners back. I have used that option many times and it’s really not so bad—they have it down to a science and the shuttles leave regularly so I’ve never had to wait for long to get on a bus and go.

Race Plan A: Race 3M and Get a PR Baby!

This option is for those of you who are feeling good at this point in the season. You may have had some difficult long run experiences, but you are injury free and feeling strong. Ideally you have not had a major sickness or nagging injury in the past 2 weeks. Going into the race you should know your ½ marathon goal pace as well as your 10K pace (that pace will be important because you want to be able to catch yourself if you start creeping up too fast in pace…).

The general plan is: Progression.

The start-mile 1: Despite the fact that this is a fast course, the race starts running uphill. It’s just a slight hill (on Stonelake Blvd behind the Old Navy, Whole Foods, & movie theater). You’ll run uphill for about a mile. It’s a crowded race so you’ll spend this time jockeying for your position and finding a good pocket to run. Don’t look at your watch or worry about pace. Just start running. Don’t go out too fast (though that will be difficult with the crowd anyway) and if your first mile is clocked in slower than your ½ marathon pace, that is just fine. You have plenty of distance and time to make it up.

Miles 1-4: This section has the most turns in the course. Pretty flat and not all that scenic to look at—you go through an industrial park, blech. During this stretch, focus on getting into your half marathon pace. If you are a 5-10 seconds off pace that is fine. Relax, get into a comfortable breathing pattern and settle in to the race.

Miles 5-8: This section of the race becomes a bit more scenic. You’ll be on Shoal Creek and then Great Northern Blvd (near Northcross Mall) and then back on Shoal Creek. Very straight, few turns. When you are running on Great Northern, you’ll be running the opposite direction from the marathon course. If you are not already there, this is the time to dial in to ½ marathon pace. If you are already there and feeling good, hold it! You can slightly pick up the pace in the next section…why wait until then? You still have a 1/3 of the race to go—if you pick up your pace too soon, you risk burning yourself out and crawling to the finish.

Miles 9-12: Getting into the home stretch! Now you are hitting the central Austin sights—45th street, Intramural fields, Hancock golf course, and UT campus. If you are struggling, then just try to hold steady and maintain your ½ marathon pace. If you are feeling good you can slowly starting picking up the pace with each mile. Again, these should be slight pick-ups of 5-10 seconds per mile. For example, if your ½ marathon pace is a 9:30, you would run mile 9 at 9:25, mile 10 at 9:20, mile 11 at 9:15 and mile 12 at 9:10. You should not be going faster than 10K pace until mile 12.

Last Mile: Coming down San Jacinto and onto MLK. If you have gas left in the tank then turn it on and pick up the pace one last time. This is like running 4 times around a track, or doing the cool-down distance back to Rogue on a quality workout day. It may sound crazy, but try to get your pace into the 10K-mile pace range here. Warning—leading to the finish is a hill up MLK…that part sucks—you can see the finish but you’re headed up hill. Bust that hill out like it’s one of the Rogue hill workouts. After you give that last 400 meters of effort, you can rest. Start chanting your mantra in your head. See how many people you can pass in this last mile. As you near the finish, give it one last burst and stride across the finish line—smile for the cameras!

Plan B: Complete 3M and Keep Myself Healthy

This option is for those of you who are in some state of recovery—from illness, injury, or a break in training. Or maybe you are even feeling healthy but are focused on your 26.2 goal in few weeks so you just want to complete the 3M and check it off the list. You’d like to even feel good while running it, but you don’t plan to shoot for a PR.

The general plan is: Run steady.

Start-Mile 1: Similar to the plan above, start out conservatively. Do not even worry about your ½ marathon pace. In fact, you may purposefully want to hold yourself back to closer to marathon or long run pace at the start. Don’t allow yourself to get pulled along by the adrenaline. Your goal here is being healthy. If you feel good, you can pick it up during the second half of the race.

Miles 1-9: Get into a comfortable pace and stay there. This might be your long run pace, your marathon pace, or even your half marathon pace. Make it your goal to hit steady miles, be as on target as possible.

Miles 10-12: Evaluate how you are feeling, if you feel like you could run this pace for another 10 miles, and injuries aren’t rearing their ugly heads, then you have permission to pick up the pace. Your pace should still be well above your 10K pace, but you can go faster than ½ marathon. If you are feeling so-so, than just hold steady and keep your previous pace. If you are feeling down-right horrible than slow it down. Do not push through the pain and regret it later. Walking is not a mark of shame, sometimes it’s a smart decision if the day is not turning out as you had hoped.

Last mile: Finish proud! You have completed a ½ marathon while most of the rest of the city is still in bed. Hold your pace steady or pick it up one last time if you’ve got it in you. Smile for the cameras as you cross the finish!

Best of luck to all of you! I can’t wait to hear the race stories and to see you looking strong, determined and smiling out on the race course!

——–

Mae Coffman coaches Run Like a Mother at Rogue Cedar Park.

Skechers. Seriously.

IMG_5934by John Schrup

I began working for the Skechers Performance Division (SPD) in July of last year.  Well before I took the job, I’d become familiar with a few of their models and had written about how impressed I was.  BMort1 had hooked me up with a pair or two and then Kurt2 had sent over a couple of others.  The GO Run series had become part of my regular rotation, along with the Kinvara, Adios, Tarther (RIP), 1400 and beloved Launch.

At first, I was hesitant to trumpet the merits of Skechers product because I was a shoe snob–the wrong kind, really, leaning more toward brand snob than anything.  But I was digging the shoes so much that eventually I couldn’t hide that I was wearing them on more runs than not  (I still have the almost unused Kinvara, Adios, 1400 and Launch to prove it. They’re in the closet, and we still chat, though mostly now it’s like when you run into an old girlfriend and you’re married with kids and you’re like, soooooooo, how’s it going?)

And then last summer I got a message from my man Seth, who was working on the SPD marketing team at the time, that I should send my resume tout de suite.  Some things happened after that, obviously, and I ended up at the Intergalactic Sales Conference in Manhattan Beach.  If you’ve never been to Manhattan Beach, CA, it’s the kind of place where everyone smells real, real tan and you get sand in your parts, whether you want it there or not.  Also, if it gets below 60 degrees, they call FEMA to bring in some long sleeve shirts, because you never really know.

Several people asked me, upon my return from MB, seriously, dude?  Skechers?  Just like I’d been asked when I was reviewing the shoes.  Yes, Skechers.  Specifically, Skechers Performance Division.

There are some challenges I really, really enjoy.  If there is an underdog quality to the challenge, I’m all over it.  And Skechers Performance is an underdog in the specialty running market, so the excitement was immediate and visceral.  The challenges are real—most of you probably didn’t even know that Skechers makes performance running shoes, and even more of you probably only knew of the Shape Ups and all that. And running specialty is well aware of it, so there’s the challenge.  How to introduce to the public a really, really, really good product from a brand that has previously not been associated with performance product?

ATHLETICS-US-MARATHON-BOSTONThe idea is to change the perception of the brand.  Most people probably don’t care that the product team is as good as it gets and is making product that is as good or better than anything I’ve seen in 30-something years of running.3 Most people probably won’t even raise an eyebrow that Meb wore them when he won Boston, because truth be told, most people don’t follow the sport in that way.  All it really takes is to get the shoes on some feet.  It’s that simple; and it’s not.  Obviously you can’t just go around giving away all your shoes, can you?  No, but all it takes is a few who are willing to try.  Word of mouth, and all that.

We know that if you’re looking for a shoe to try, there are really two fundamental variables to consider:  fit and feel.  The shoes have to fit your feet well enough that they function the way they’re supposed to.  Both the shoes and your feet, that is.  And they should feel as if you’re really not wearing anything at all.  They should disappear on your feet.  Neutral, maximal, stability, whatever.  The shoes should allow your foot to move unrestricted.  And that’s the idea behind SPD product:  To make the smoothest transitioning footwear possible.

And it certainly doesn’t hurt when you get to rub shoulders with Kara and Meb.

Skechers is now carried at Rogue Running. Stop in, try ‘em on and see for yourself!

———–

1 Dude is fast, but he puts his pants on one at a time, just like you and me.

2Stockbridge.  VP, Technical Development, Performance Division.  Good people.

3Note to self:  Edit, using actual math.

An Arbitrary Endpoint

by Bill Durbin, re-posted from his blog, Left Right Repeat (Again)

Well it’s 2015 (stating the obvious). It has been for almost a day now.

About this time, a lot of people like to look back and reflect on the past year and look ahead to the coming one. Some years I do that, and some years I just… don’t. Maybe there’s some other event in the year that makes me take stock and make the same kinds of observations… maybe I just get lazy. I’m going to do a half-assed job of it this time, because I had a nice chilly, damp run today with plenty of time to think about this stuff. But I’ve forgotten most of it in the meantime.

As far as this running thing goes, 2014 was a pretty good year. I ran a lot of races (for me) this year. Seven, if I don’t count relays and “fun run” events  – eleven, if I do. Among those seven, I set a personal record at every distance I raced – 5k, 10k, 10 mile, 1/2 marathon, and marathon. That’s a lot of really good races. I also had a really crappy 10k and a fairly poor 1/2 marathon early in the year, but we’ll forget about them for now.

Why was this year so good? I can point to some of the easy things – my training has been different, more miles, better quality work. I ran more miles between May and December than I’ve ever run in a full year. I could get all introspective and talk about finding my motivation and listening to my body and whatnot. I could point at the race-day conditions and say I just got lucky for every single race this year.

But at the root of it all, it’s people (not in a Soylent Green way). It’s the team. I have this awesome group of friends to meet with several times a week, and a great coach who invests in us and really cares about our success. They are the ones who make me look forward to waking up long before the buttcrack of dawn every Saturday to go run an uncomfortable number of miles. They’re the ones that motivate me to show up two nights during the week to run yet more miles at uncomfortable speeds. And on those cold, wet days where I am dragging my feet, I am fortunate enough to have a supportive spouse who is more than happy to kick me out of the house so I have to run around for an hour and a half to just stay warm. I can’t credit any of these people for race-day weather, but the motivation, accountability, and friendship (and of course, the happy office snacks) that they provide are what enables the miles, the quality workouts, the consistency. They are the real reason 2014 was a great year for running.

2015 is still a big unknown, but at least I seem to be starting the year off right.

NEW TO ROGUE Q&A

by Mandy Deen

Q: Where should I park at Rogue!?

A: I dunno, but for sure not across the street in the parking garage at Tacos y Tequila. They’ve sent letters.

Q: I want to be super cool and ride my bike to Rogue. Where I can park my bike?

A: I dunno that either, but for sure not on the handicapped parking spot sign post unless you’ve had prior approval from Dee. And don’t worry, you’ll know if you have her approval.

Q: I don’t have a running background. What are “quality workouts” and should I be scared?

A: It’ll all be explained by your coach. Save your fear for real things, like spiders or the lingering ambiguity about what you’re really doing with your life and whether everything is going to be okay after all (WHAT IF ITS NOT?!?)

Q: What’s the worst workout?

A: Yassos. Anything on the track kind of blows. Unless you like that flat and boring kind of thing. But it’s okay, we all have our faults.

Q: It’s raining and 50 degrees outside. Do I have to go run?

A: Cold rainy run = whiskey tea after! Unless it’s storming, then no, don’t go run. Safety first. Tree branches could fall on you! But be warned: at least five people in your group will go run in the storm anyway and post about it on Facebook later. So.

Q: What’s happening to my toenails?

A: Yep.

Q: Who are all those people on Saturday mornings!? Where do they come from? I’m not a social butterfly, I feel awkward, what do I do?!

A: Middle school awkward turtle playbook:

1) make a beeline for the map wall.

2) find a quiet corner and stare at your map whilst covertly scanning the room for someone you know from your group.

3) join a friendship circle for 16+ miles of complaining and delirious humor. Problem solved.

A2: OR you could do something mature and sign up for water stop duty now and again to interact with everyone and alleviate your social anxiety that way. Rogue also pays well for this.

Q: But I AM a social butterfly and I enjoy the energy of running and talking in a large group very early in the morning!

A: Please do not run up directly behind me and camp out there for five miles. #personalspacebubble

Q: On long runs, when I come into a water stop, I have noticed that some people will get a cup of water and then stand right in front of the cooler to drink it while everyone waits behind them. Is that a thing?

A: Nope. they’re doing it wrong. #waterstopetiquette

Q: What is ‘core class’ and should I go to it?

A: If you aren’t crossfitting or triathleting or yoga-ing or playing sand volleyball 3 times a week or commuting via kayak, then yes, you probably should. The main thing I hear about from people who attend is how sore they are the next day!

Q: What is that statue thing in the parking lot at Rogue?

A: It’s the petrified remains of a Rogue who happened to get caught by a basilisk. Next question.

Q: Who are those people that are always loud and drinking after workouts on Tuesday nights?

A: That’s Team Rogue, PM, Night Time is the Right Time. I would like to apologize in advance.

Q: Is it acceptable to sing during workouts?

A: Singing during workouts brings joy and amusement to the teammates around you during 100 degree evenings. It is considered a public service. Enthusiasm is valued over vocal skill.

Q: When’s the best time on a run or workout to ask involved philosophical questions?

A: Juuuuuuuuuust before a big hill.

Q: My _____ kind of hurts. Should I ignore it?

A: Probably not. You should email your coach immediately and use many superlatives. It’s better to find out you just need new shoes than to tough it out and end up with a stress fracture and 6 weeks in a boot.

Q: I just got a GPS watch for Christmas!

A: Congratulations! From now on, if you don’t wear it and log every single run on Strava and Facebook, it’s like it didn’t even happen. Also be sure to comment about your pace on each and every post! Otherwise people might not realize it was just “easy run pace” for you and think you’re actually some kind of slowbie. Also, if you happen to get a Strava Course Record somewhere in Austin, it just means Rogue AC hasn’t done a workout there yet. But they will. Eventually.

Q: Should I run the Austin Marathon?!

A: You live here, you know how these hills are! You decide. But, you should at least find a spot on the route with your other teammates and cheer everyone on. Those poor souls are gonna need it.

Q: Are people in my group secretly being competitive during workouts?

A: Hmmmmm. Maybe some of them. But don’t let it put you off, some people are just built that way! As the French say: “ne t’en fait pas” (don’t make any bile about it).

Q: I have questions about quality craft beers, good restaurants, or fancy kinds of baking recipes.

A: Great!! Someone on your team has the answers to those questions! Make use of your brain trust.

————-

Mandy Deen has run with Rogue since deciding to take on the Dallas Marathon in 2012. She is currently a proud member of Team Rogue PM, a professional librarian and is also the author of The Rundown’s most popular 2014 post, The Rogue Map of Austin.