"If you’ve raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in thickets by the Jordan?" (Jeremiah 12:5). Our journey is intended to be more than simply "stumbling" through the days while the world "wears us out.” We are made to experience the thrill of "running with horses” and to navigate life amongst the "thickets." The RWH blog focuses on both the spiritual race of which Jeremiah speaks, and the physical act of running that I absolutely love. In short, it's where "the miles meet the Message" to provide insight, perspective & encouragement that might enable you & I to successfully run either of the races set before us. May our course be purposeful and may we be passionate in our pursuit of the abundant life He desires for us.

Monday, November 2, 2015

The ROCC Running Club

Since the inception of ROCC Run for God in 2012, several of our graduates and RFG faithful have been asking for a 10K program. And despite the fact that the RFG courses and materials are available for a 10K group, I have tended to answer these requests by reminding them that "RFG is primarily a beginners-focused program and we really want to give all of our energy to those 5k first-timers. However, I do really like the idea, so let's get back in touch in the fall and see what we come up with." Then life would happen and the fall would come and go.

But as R4G concluded this past spring, we committed to make contact in August to gauge interest for a fall 10K. Not the full blown RFG study, but an 8 week running club (thank you once again, Hal Higdon, for the very best of training plans). If we could get a core group committed to meeting on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and most Saturdays in September and October, we would train for and run the Ardmore RAH 10K in Winston-Salem.

Well, we did (get the commitments), we did (do the training), and we did (run the RAH)!

For 8 weeks, this core group of usually between 12 - 15, pushed hard to run distances and paces that were new personnel bests. Going off the beaten track with new routes, new hills, and new training methods, each and every member of "the club" did so well. In fact, I was truly amazed (and not in a way that might imply I had low expectations), but in that we avoided any nagging injuries, we increased mileage without issue, and our race day saw practically every goal met or exceeded. This group worked hard and ran hard. I am very proud to run alongside them.

Finally, speaking of "running alongside." One of the better benefits of holding a less formal club for this increased distance was that I actually could run the race with our runners. It's been a long time since I have had the joy of running a local race. The 10K really is a great distance and I enjoyed every step. Pacing is such a critical element for me, I had the privilege of pacing a small group that was looking for a sub-1:00. No pressure or anything, but I’m relieved to report that they all came in at 59:34 or better, depending on how much gas they had in the tank for that final .2 (remember, it’s the .2 that gets you every time :)

Thanks again to our runners for your perseverance and continued prodding to go a little further. I really enjoyed these past 8 weeks and I look forward your help and participation in February as we kickoff RFG 5k in Season 5, and who knows, maybe a half-marathon next fall .... tbd.

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