Thursday, June 10, 2010

CARA Marathon Training Program


I'm dressed in my running gear and eating oatmeal. It must be training season again.

Today marks the first official 'long run' of marathon training. By 6am, I'm in my car and heading down Montrose Harbor to meet up with my 10:30 pace group friends.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the city isn't going to make all the parking along the lake metered/paybox - it might be wishful thinking.

CARA (Chicago Area Runners Association) has a huge program. There's locations in a handful of suburbs on top of the three that are in the City itself. My location is the largest. I'd venture to say there's 250-300 people in the 6:30am group. There's a 6am group as well. I've never seen them though. 6am's a little too crazy for me.

I've trained with CARA the last two years. I've made some friends in my pace group. Some of them are now the pace leaders. I'm looking forward to spending hours upon hours with them every Saturday morning til October.

The meeting area has signs with the paces - ranging from a 6:30-7 minute pace down to a 12 minute pace. A guy with a megaphone gives us all a rundown on the latest news and then calls up each pace group. Some of the faster times have beginner, intermediate and advanced levels within them.

The 10:30s are one of the last groups to leave. By 7am, we're always off and running.

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