by John Schrup, on Team Rogue (“The Wolves”)
“Running well is a matter of having the patience to persevere when you are tired and not expecting instant results. The only secret is that it is consistent, often monotonous, boring, hard work. And it’s tiring.”
-Robert de Castella, former world record holder in the marathon.
Amen, brother. Especially here in Austin, TX, when the summers make it feel like you’re running directly on the surface of the sun. And that’s before we consider the humidity. Which makes it feel like the surface of the sun is also in a jungle.
It is tiring. Cross-eyed tiring. Sometimes, in the middle of a marathon block, when our volume is the highest, and we are doing some really big workouts that seem to go on forever, or we’ll do a double and it’ll be, like, 109 degrees or some shit, the look on the faces of the athletes I work with is so vacant, so blank that I know that they are all in. I know they are in full-on marathon training, the real kind, and not some lame-ass magazine’s template. Probably, if you aren’t cross eyed tired six weeks out from your race, you’re not doing it right.
And it can be boring. Especially if you have to do much of it by yourself. The hardest part, after all, is getting out the door on an absurdly hot and humid morning, to do your 70 minutes easy run all by yourself. Or, God forbid, it is ridiculously cold, you know, like, 37 degrees or something. And windy. It’s hard to get out the door when it is cold and windy. But they do it. The Wolves, they do it. And they do it more than most. But they have each other to rely on.
This is exactly why having a group to train with is so important. It takes a village, er, training group. All for one, and one for all, and all that good stuff. Honestly, I couldn’t do it all by myself, and I bet most of you couldn’t either. Maybe you could, but it’s just not the same. We need others to inspire us. We need others to need us, to rely on us as we do them. We are interconnected in that sense.
Without the group, we don’t run as fast, or as fun. One of the things I look forward to each day is that first water stop, when, most often in the dark, when I can hear the voices of the first group, way before I actually see them, chatting away, laughing, teasing each other. This is the group dynamic. It is a mobile, magnetic family, taking over the streets in the mornings, before most families are even up off the pillow.
This is the group dynamic. This group, these Wolves, they take care of each other. They make sure that, if one is having a bad day, he or she makes it through the run, either verbally supporting them to keep up, or physically remaining behind with them when they can no longer. And on race day, that is when the good stuff happens. Teammates on pace duty accompanying them in the hard parts of the race, teammates bouncing around all over the course to make sure that vocal support is there, teammates at the finish to hold each other up, to give congratulatory bear hugs and to offer that first recovery beverage, if you know what I mean and I think you do.
You could do it yourself, all by yourself. But why?
The Team Rogue season kicks off this Saturday! Whether you are aiming for a fall marathon or the Austin Distance Challenge, this is the group for experienced, dedicated runners who want a training plan and support group like none other. An easy run followed by a team meeting/info session is happening on Saturday, June 2 at 6am at both Rogue locations.