Destination: Philadelphia.

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We are excited to announce our Fall Marathon and Half Marathon destination race. After 4 years away, we are headed back to the Philadelphia Marathon & Half Marathon on November 19th 2017. Here are 10 reasons to join us there!

  1. Distances for everyone. The marathoners in the group don’t get to have all of the fun. Philly has an 8K on Saturday, November 18th and then both a half marathon and full marathon on Sunday the 19th. In 2016, the 8K had 3,000 finishers while the half marathon and marathon had 13,000 and 10,000 respectively. Those are all great field sizes – not too big or too small!
  1. The City of Brotherly Love. Why is this the nickname for Philadelphia? Because that’s what the name literally means. William Penn, founder of the city, named it using a combination of greek words, phileo meaning love and adelphos meaning brother. Penn’s vision was to create a city with large squares and wide boulevards to promote stronger community bonds. The result over 300 years later is a beautiful city with great history and plenty of things to do and eat pre and post race.
  1. Direct flights from Austin. Great city with easy access. Check. American Airlines currently offers 4 daily non-stop flights straight to Philadelphia. And if you prefer the budget friendly Southwest, you can get to Philly on a single stop through Dallas, Atlanta, Baltimore, or Chicago.
  1. Marathon weather. After this past weekend in Austin, you know you need it. Since it’s later in the fall season, you are almost guaranteed to get good weather for this race. The average start time temperature for the last 5 years is a brisk 43 degrees. That’s what we call perfect marathon weather – cold enough for gloves but warm enough to stick with a singlet and shorts once the gun goes off. Yes, please.
  1. Fewer summer blues? With the race date 5-6 weeks after early fall races such as Twin Cities and Chicago, your hardest workouts and long runs come in September and early October instead of August. You might even get a 20-miler in sub 60 degree weather vs. the typical 70-80 degree summer days. And after the summer we had last year, you know we need any relief we can get from global warming…
  1. Run through history on a beautiful course. You start at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and run the opening miles through historic Philadelphia as you cruise by Independence Hall and the home of the Liberty Bell. Mid-race, you run through Drexel University and by the Philadelphia Zoo before finishing with an out and back along the beautiful Schuykill River, where you can watch the morning crew boats race you back into the city.
  1. Spectators rejoice. The course looks like an upside-down lollipop with a loop in the first half (shared by marathoners and half marathoners) and then an out and back along the river in the second half. Spectators can easily see half marathoners 3 times and marathoners 4 times with just a little bit of walking between cheer spots from the start line. The ambitious spectator can run the 8K on Saturday and save some energy to cheer on everyone else on Sunday.
  1. The perfect holiday season appetizer. Since the race is the weekend before Thanksgiving, you can run on Sunday and then kickoff a season of guilt-free gluttony once you cross the finish line. Why? Because you earned it!
  1. Fast course with a history of strong Rogue performances. When we chose this race as the fall destination race in 2013, Rogues came back with a slew of PRs. The race isn’t Chicago-flat, but it isn’t too far off. You have some rollers between 7 and 10 to keep things interesting, but otherwise the course is flat and fast. I raced Philly in 2010 and ran my 4th fastest marathon there (out of 15).
  1. Eye of the Tiger. The finish line is in the shadow of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which boasts a statue of Rocky at the base of the steps, commemorating the moment from the original Rocky where Sylvester Stallone’s character climbed the 72 steps in triumph at the end of a hard workout. So cue up Eye of the Tiger on your playlist and be prepared for your moment of triumph in Philadelphia on November 19th!

Registration for the race opens on April 1st. Check out more details at philadelphiamarathon.com.

Training starts with us on Saturday, May 6th. You can find more details on our fall marathon training programs here. If you can’t make Philly, that’s ok. We have training options for Chicago, Twin Cities, Portland, Marine Corps, NYC, and all major marathons in September, October, or November. Come run with us!

Training Tips from coach James Dodds

424114_307936832597745_902211995_nConsistency trumps Intensity:

As a distance athlete it is so important you show up every day. I’d rather see you execute every quality workout a tad bit slower than planned than dominate once bad ass workout and then skip in the next three days. One workout will never “make you” but it can break you. So focus more on consistency over intensity.
Do what you said you would do:
 
In training and on race day alike, distances runners will come up against a feeling of discomfort. In that moment it isn’t a matter of “can i do it?” but “will I do it?” Those are the moments you need to do what you said you would do! It’s that simple.
Your race will look exactly like your training schedule:
 
If you are the kind of person who starts the season committed, disappears for three weeks in the middle, and then shows back up to power through the last few workouts at the end of season; then your race will probably be fun at first, tiresome in the middle, walking next, and then a sprint finish to say you did it. Conversely, those who consistently challenge themselves throughout the season tend to be the people who develop the grit to challenge themselves to new heights on race day.
Discipline breeds Discipline:
 
Training for marathons takes discipline. As you become more disciplined in your training you create a chance for discipline to spill over into other areas of your life. It won’t “just happen.” You still have to make a conscience choice in those other areas. However, the discipline of running will provide a mental framework that can be easily applied in the other important matters of life.
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James Dodds has worn just about every hat that there is to wear at Rogue over the past six years: training director, retail manager, Rogue Expeditions guide and, of course, coach. Known for his incessant smile, words of wisdom and ability to inspire just about anyone, he says that he runs for that sense of accomplishment & to enjoy adult beverages. James currently coaches the Austin Marathon and Austin Half Marathon training programs.

Featured Rogue: Timeca Davis

Tim joined Rogue in 2013 to train for her 1st half marathon at SeaWheeze in 2013. She moved over to The Morning Show in 2014 and ran her 1st marathon in Dallas in a time of 4:37 on a warm day. Fast forward 2 years and a month to Houston this January, she ran 3:39 to earn her Boston Qualifier and clock a 9 minute PR in a time that was nearly a full hour faster than her first marathon. And, she did it in some of the worse marathon conditions possible. Consistency. Execution. Courage. Guts. Determination toward a goal. Teamwork. Her result has all of those elements and is a perfect picture of what Rogue represents. That’s how we do it, and if you follow that formula, then the sky is the limit. This is Tim’s story:

When and why did you start running?tim-1
I never found a contact sport that I enjoyed growing up. I knew some exercise should be incorporated into my weekly routine so I decided to try running and liked it from day one. I began running in high school to help with the stress and to get outdoors.

Describe your first race experience.
My first race experience was fantastic! It was the Chuys Hot to Trot 5K. A friend of mine convinced me to run it with her. I couldn’t have asked for better first race experience. I remember feeling sad that the race was over because I felt like my run was just getting started. Distance running became my favorite.

What has been your biggest running-related challenge?
My biggest challenge is continuing to push myself in my mental and physical fitness. I constantly struggle with not being satisfied with just going through motions and am fearful of change or being pushed out of my comfort zone as a result of it.

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What has been your biggest running achievement or defining moment?
The defining moment that changed me as runner was training for the Chicago Marathon in 2015. In the past, I wasn’t consistent with showing up to workouts, sticking to a schedule, or following a race plan. My goal was to do all of those things with a plan to race an under 4 hour marathon. I achieved it with a 40 min PR. From then on, I became a believer that putting in the time and work is the key to achieving anything you want.

What’s next?
I need to conquer my fear of running half marathons. I’ve completed several without a single one being a positive experience. I’m determined to change that. From there, running a marathon with the goal of under 3 hours and 30 mins.

tim-5

 

 

Featured Rogue: Sonia Perez

medalsSonia Perez joined Rogue Running in Cedar Park last year, but few know of her inspiring story. She was an accomplished marathoner when I met her, but her battle to get there was beyond anything I could have imagined.

She was diagnosed with Follicular Thyroid Cancer  in August of 2007 and had surgery in September. As traumatic and scary as this was, the worst was yet to come. In 2009, she was crushed in a car accident during a heavy thunderstorm. From the accident she had her spine fractured in three places and pelvis in seven places. She had a broken hip, a punctured kidney, punctured lung and internal bleeding in the brain. For 7 months she needed assistance 24/7. She had to relearn everything and living seemed impossible.

famHow did you start running? It was during this time when I was recovering, in my darkest moment that I made a plea with God. “God, if you give me my legs back I will run for you and not ever stop running”. I started with trying to walk again first. But, when I went back to work a coworker asked me if I wanted to run a marathon. I asked, “What the hell is a marathon?”  I had no clue what she was talking about. We both signed up in May, but she quit after a month of training…and I didn’t. I had come too far to quit now.

Describe your first race experience?  I ran the Rock-n-Roll San Antonio Marathon in November of 2011. My goal was to finish but when I hit the wall at mile 23 things became much more challenging. My finish time was 5:32:49. Family and friends were waiting for me and the accomplishment just overwhelmed me with tears of joy! This marathon gave me a passion for running and I knew I wanted to improve.

true-grits-relay-raceWhat has been your biggest running-related challenge? Well….that would be the question that I have now learned from my current coaches here at Rogue. How much time off or recovery do I give myself before my next race. I ran with several groups prior to Rogue, but Rogue has been the best because they designate training schedules to the race you are targeting and if you need more guidance, coaches are always there.

red-cross-thank-youWhat has been your biggest running achievement, or defining moment? My biggest running achievement was becoming a member of the Marathon Maniacs. To become a member you have to run back to back marathons.  I became a gold marathon maniac by running 3 marathons in one weekend. I did that back in 2012 shortly after my first marathon.

wurfestWhat’s next? My next marathon is the Chevron Houston Marathon in a few weeks. I would really like to qualify for Boston there, but if not there, then soon. I also have signed up for my first Ultra Marathon, a 100K in March.  After that I’ll rely on my coaches at Rogue to help me decide the next goal. Until then……

 

Featured Rogue: Dori Livingston

dori-smileIf you’ve spent any time at Rogue over the past five years, then at some point you’ve probably come across the brilliant smile of Dori Livingston. She is one of those rare people whose energy brightens the day of just about everyone she meets, and she also happens to be one of the hardest workers that we have ever had the pleasure of coaching. Dori has overcome more than a few challenges over the years, but her achievements – she’s featured in Runners World!  – have far outnumbered them. See below for a short Q and A:

When and why did you start running?

I began running in 2010 to deal the stress of my job as a State Trooper and my recent diagnosis with melanoma cancer.   My journey with cancer led me to running with friends with similar experiences. In 2011, Rick Nichols introduced me to Rogue and I joined Amy Anderson’s marathon training group. I loved the community of Rogue, and was hooked!

dori-ultraWhat has been your biggest running-related challenge, and your biggest achievement?

One of my biggest training challenges has been learning how to find a healthy balance with running, due to my cancer and other health issues that arose from it. My biggest achievement was running my first ultra, the Rocky Raccoon 50K trail race in Huntsville, Texas, earlier this year.

 

dori-runners-worldPick one defining moment.

My defining moment was being chosen as a finalist with the Runner’s World Cover Search and had my story featured in the December issue!

What’s next?

My goals right now are to heal my body (I just had shoulder surgery a few months ago), run healthy and tackle the Tahoe Triple in 2017!

An Excerpt from RUN THE WORLD

by Becky Wade

Becky Wade author photo1_0

After I became interested in running, East Africa grabbed my attention. It was impossible not to notice the slight-framed, dark-skinned athletes at the front of major marathons, and to wonder how they train and where they come from. The Kenyans in London had given me some clues in their slow warm-ups, communal meals, and run-by-feel philosophy. But it wasn’t until I lived in East Africa that I began to understand the forces behind the world’s supreme distance-running region.

In the last two months, I’d seen that Ethiopia is much more than a running factory, churning out world record holders and marathon champions through a system refined in the fifty years since Abebe Bikila’s Olympic Marathon victory. What this country has over the rest of the world (and shares with its neighbor Kenya) is a culture that breeds many of the qualities that happen to make good distance runners: discipline, resilience, self-awareness, and most of all, a desperate drive to succeed. The role of poverty cannot be ignored, as running is for many an attempt to rise above it, with ultrasuccessful runners like Haile Gebrselassie and Kenenisa Bekele (who was building his own hotel and track next door to Yaya Village) offering both a measure of inspiration and false hope. For every person who successfully makes a career out of running, there are thousands of others who remain in obscurity in the forests. But the fact that those running stars, and dozens more, are household names reflects the cultural significance of the sport in Ethiopia.

Spirituality is also a factor in Ethiopia’s running success. Ethiopians are a people of strong faith, with 75 percent of them practicing Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity or Islam. For most of the country, faith seeps into every aspect of life—running included. While Sunday is a standard long run day in many parts of the world, there it is a day of rest; Sunday was the only day I couldn’t count on seeing other runners at Satellite or Entoto. The inseparability of running and religion, first demonstrated by the story of Derartu and the Devil, was confirmed again and again during my stay, as I saw runners brush off bad workouts with conviction that God would provide on His own terms; utter quiet prayers on the starting line of the Great Ethiopian Run; and drop to their knees in thanksgiving after especially good workouts.

I was surprised to discover that running is not a big recreational sport in Ethiopia. In fact, with the exception of the Great Ethiopian Run, I didn’t see recreational runners, at least in Sululta. Those whom I ran with or passed on my daily runs to Satellite Field, through the fields near Yaya Village, and up and down Mount Entoto appeared to be athletes who were taking their training very seriously. As I learned, many families discourage their children from running because it cuts into their fieldwork and the family’s food supply. I met one female who snuck away in the early mornings to run before she was expected in the field, in the hopes that she’d eventually be able to provide for her family with her legs rather than her hands.

My experiences in Ethiopia transformed me, both personally and athletically, and I was afraid of undoing the progress I was making. It was clear that I was becoming fitter—my runs hardly felt easy, but at least now I could keep up with my Ethiopian friends when they unleashed their speed at the end of some runs, and my Entoto outings got longer and longer each week (though I never surpassed that accidental three-hour run).

I’d also made strides in other areas, influenced by the locals I spent time with. Flexibility, in my daily schedule as well as on runs, a necessity in a watch-free society. Patience, for waits at minibus stations, severed Internet connections, and multiple loops around the same eucalyptus trees. Elevated work ethic, in grueling, oxygen-deprived runs and in everyday life, as I hand-washed my clothes and purified every drop of water I drank. Body awareness, gleaned from the Ethiopians’ confidence to take days off, stop runs short, and run at speeds that felt right in the moment. Cohesion, in shared meals, group runs, and hours of bonding in the Yaya Girls’ room. And generosity, learned by example through Banchi and Tsigereda’s Christmas party, my local friends’ insistence to pay for my minibus rides to Fatasha and Addis Ababa, and Zewdenesh’s elaborate home-cooked meal. My friendship with Dan, who was by my side throughout my two months in Ethiopia, helped me keep the challenges of this new existence in perspective, and went unmatched by any other of my trip.

It was hard to leave knowing I wouldn’t be able to reunite with my Ethiopian friends anytime soon—not only because of the inconvenience and expense of my getting to East Africa but also the barriers to securing an Ethiopian passport, the lack of a reliable postal system in Sululta, and the rarity of computers in rural Ethiopia. I hoped that I might see Banchi, Mesi, or Derartu on the international racing circuit someday, perhaps at one of the World Marathon Majors. But the reality was that, like the vast majority of Ethiopian runners, the odds were against them, and our reunion would be dependent on my return.

In typical fashion, the Yaya Girls were nowhere to be found when I was loading up Joseph’s car for Bole Airport. I’d tried to explain the night before that I was leaving for good the next morning, and to please let me tell them goodbye before I left at 9 a.m. (three o’clock Ethiopia time), but clearly they hadn’t understood. Even when I asked Amente to translate my words, they just laughed, wrapped their arms around my shoulders, and said, “No, Becky! No.” Either my recent trip to northern Ethiopia confused them, or, as I began to fear as I finished my rounds of Yaya Village, thanking and hugging each of the staff members, perhaps I had overestimated the relationship I’d built with Banchi, Mesi, and Derartu.

I scanned the Yaya campus one last time, and out of time to procrastinate further, began to get into the car. Before I made it all the way inside, three figures entered the big iron gates and came sprinting my way. If they hadn’t understood before, my tear-filled eyes and luggage got through to them now, and they yanked me out of the car and into a tight group hug. As I tried to hold back my tears, and then just let them roll, it became clear that the country and the people who long ago had captured my attention had, in the last two months, captured my heart, too.

About the Book/Author: 

Becky Wade is a professional long-distance runner who competes for ASICS. A graduate of Rice University, she is a U.S. Junior National Champion, a four-time All-American, and the winner of her debut marathon, the 2013 California International Marathon. One of four Wade twins, she currently trains in Houston, Texas under coach, Jim Bevan, and her mentor, Dr. Joe Vigil.

Fresh off a successful collegiate running career with multiple NCAA All-American honors and two Olympic Trials qualifying marks, Becky was eager to connect with her counterparts across the globe and broaden her perspective of the universal phenomena of running—the oldest, purest, and most global of all sports. With the funding and support of the Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, she packed a year’s worth of running clothes and shoes, said goodbye to family, friends, and teammates, and took off on a solo journey to explore international running communities.

Visiting England, Ireland, Switzerland, Ethiopia, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Sweden, and Finland, each with a unique and storied running history, Wade reached out to runners and coaches in each place, who welcomed her into their homes and onto their teams. Over the course of the year, she ran over 3,500 miles as she experimented with diverse training styles and discovered new recovery techniques. Whether riding around the streets of London with Olympic champion Usain Bolt, hiking for an hour at daybreak just to start a run on Ethiopia’s Mount Entoto, or getting lost navigating the bustling streets of Tokyo, Wade’s unexpected adventures capture the heartbeat of distance running around the world.

Upon her return to the United States, she incorporated elements of the training styles she’d sampled into her own program, and her competitive career skyrocketed. When she made her marathon debut in 2013, winning the race in a blazing 2:30, she became the third-fastest woman marathoner under the age of 25 in U.S. history, qualifying for the 2016 Olympic Trials and landing a professional sponsorship from Asics.

From the feel-based approach to running that she learned from the Kenyans, to the grueling uphill workouts she adopted from the Swiss, to the injury-recovery methods she learned from the Japanese, Becky shares the secrets to success from runners and coaches around the world. The story of one athlete’s fascinating journey, Run the World is also a call to change the way we approach the world’s most natural and inclusive sport.

Meet Becky in person and pick up your copy of her book at BookPeople THIS Wednesday (July 13th) at 7 pm.

Details here: http://www.bookpeople.com/event/becky-wade-run-world

 

 

I joined a running group to make friends, and instead I found a family

by Jordan Cooper

In August 2014, I decided to join a training group at Rogue Running in Austin, Texas. I had just gotten engaged to my now wife, whom I met on Tinder (which is a story for another time), and was coming to the realization that as I had grown in my relationship with her, I had lost some of the friendships I had previous to meeting her.

Although I graduated from college about a month before moving to Austin, my first four years in the Violet Crown could be viewed more as the “party” portion of my life than the four years I spent in college in my hometown in East Texas. However, most of the friendships I had made during that time were based more around going out and drinking than on something I could consider a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. As I moved down the path towards marriage, my time spent on the bar scene lessened, and I realized I needed a way to meet people that would be a little more conducive to my new, attempting-to- be adult lifestyle.

I learned about Rogue from a friend who had successfully run her first marathon while training with one of their groups. Previous to joining, I had casually trained for and successfully run a number of 10k’s and half marathons, which I did as almost a form of justification for my indulgent lifestyle. It was also somewhat meditative for me, the solitude of pounding the trails or pavement, so I was a little hesitant about running in the Texas heat with a bunch of strangers. I tried to maintain a positive attitude, especially considering I had at times in my life experienced the infamous “runners high” and figured if I could catch that sense of euphoria occasionally, that surely I could meet 1 or 2 people I might be able to bond with.

What happened over the course of the next few weeks, months, and now years is a laundry list of life lessons in connecting with people. Running in a group appealed to my competitive nature in a way I had not seen coming, and also reminded me of my past growing up playing team sports including soccer and basketball. I had not imagined a sport as considerably “solo” as running could be groomed and improved thanks to having a team or group around you, taking pleasure in your progress. I also learned that misery truly loves company, and that “embracing the suck” with fellow runners allowed me to overcome mental barriers to run distances I never could have imagined on my casual solo runs of the past. The accountability these connections provided gave me strength on those early Saturday mornings when I did not want to get out of bed to put in the work I had signed myself up for. Regardless of how I felt along the way, at the end of every one of those runs, I always felt accomplished and grateful for the kind words received from the cheerleaders around me.

Post-run stretches turned into hang outs, dinners, happy hours, holidays, and life events. I even took my turn at assistant coaching for a season. The bonds forged on the roads of Austin have turned into lifelong friendships and a sense of community and family I could not have imagined. As I spent the Fourth of July with over 50 runners who woke up early to run in the hills of West Austin before enjoying some amazing food and fellowship, I could not help but be grateful for the family I have come to feel a part of. As I train for the New York City Marathon this November, I know that I have the support of hundreds of runners who truly want to see me succeed, and it will be those smiles and handshakes, likes on Facebook, and good luck filled text messages that keep me going. I didn’t need an app to find friends; I just needed to go Rogue.