Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Breakthrough

Last week at clinic our coach asked myself and a few others who have had "breakthroughs" over the past year to talk to the group a little bit about our success. While each of us clearly has unique circumstances affecting our training and results, we can often learn from others - and who doesn't get inspired by a good success story?


break·through [breyk-throo]


any significant or sudden advance, development, achievement, or increase that removes a barrier to progress
 
Coach started with a brief intro on each of us, including our running history. He referred to my first marathon in September 2008 with a time of 4:42, to my second a year later in 4:26 - a pretty significant improvement. 8 months later I ran my "breakthrough" marathon in May 2009 with a time of 3:58.

 
 
 



I was honoured to be asked, especially since this coach and this group have played such a huge role in my life running over the past couple of years. They've been with me for my best and worst days and, most importantly, for everything in between.

The truth is, one of the biggest contributing factors in the improvements I have been able to make has been, in fact, training with this group. The support and guidance have by far exceeded my expectations as I've worked my way through the pace groups - each having a leader who continually sets aside his or her own goals to help others achieve theirs. I find inspiration daily in the success of fellow runners, from the old-timers to the newbies. There's no better feeling than finishing either a tough run or a great one and exchanging high-fives with those who have been there too. This group makes training fun, even when it hurts. They make bad weather more bearable. There is never a shortage of spectators at the marathons we attend, where we often have more runners out for support than those running the actual race. Sharing every triumph and disappointment with this coach and this group make the journey so much more worthwhile. I have the "fire in my belly" to succeed, and they make me want it even more.

I'm pretty confident that I'm due for a "marathon breakthrough" this year, but of course that remains to be seen. Stay tuned on May 15th. The story is not over yet...

37 comments:

Kirstie said...

Congrats! That's awesome. I couldn't agree more with you is being able to work/train with a group. I feel that running/training with a group has been the key to all my successes!

Aneta said...

i got a little teary eyed reading this.
i wish i had that kind of support. it really makes me go and join a running room or a running group. it sucks bc there is nothing near me. :(
but i loved ur story and am soooo looking forward to seeing how well u do at mississauga!!!!

Jogging with Fiction said...

that is an awesome breakthrough!

Laura said...

I so feel the same way about my group. We totally pull each other through the bad days and revel in the good.
...and when we have breakthroughs, they get it and know what went into it.

ShutUpandRun said...

I.need.a.group.

Great breaktthrough on your part.

Anne said...

Very inspiring post Marlene. You work hard for those breakthroughs and your almost constant progress! Can't wait until May 15th! Go Marlene go! :)

Teamarcia said...

I think your biggest and best breakthrough is yet to come!

Hannah said...

What an awesome post. So neat to read of your history with times, etc. You're kicking butt right now, and I'm positive May 15 will show another "breakthrough". So excited for you!

Bethany + Ryan said...

Amazing!! Very inspirational! Running with others ia a wonderful thing! :-) you r one lucky gal!!

Morgan said...

Having a running group is something I miss the most about moving away from Florida. The BRA were so awesome, and continue to be even from afar, but I miss the long runs together and the support at races. So happy you have a group like that to keep you inspired, motivated and accountable! It's going to be a great year for you girl, I can just feel it!!! Can't wait to see you again soon! Less than 3 weeks!!!

Emz said...

this
post
rocks.

How awesome to see your time get faster and faster and faster.

you. are. awesome.

Steel Springs said...

Awesome!

Amy said...

That's crazy improvement over the past couple of years! Can't wait to hear about Mississauga!

runnergirl training said...

Great story! Thanks for sharing! I hope that you achieve a new breakthrough this May! Amazing job on your marathon PR!!

Beth said...

Wow, congrats on your awsome progress. I agree, running with a group can make such a difference!

Emily said...

we have like the exact same breakthrough stories! My first M was 4:44 followed by 4:18 then 3:56 (and then 3:38!!) You are SO due for another one!!

Aron said...

So awesome, not only have you had marathon break throughs but half marathons and every other race distance as well! It's been so amazing to watch :) can't wait to see it continue to happen!

Jenn said...

How great to have an awesome group! You really have made awesome progress! Excited to see you experience many more breakthroughs-hopefully in that next marathon!!

Allison said...

I'm still waiting for my marathon breakthrough, but I can feel it coming!

I love hearing other peoples' stories, they are so motivating.

Jess said...

Sounds like a great group!

J said...

You have come so far this past year and I know you are going to keep going! With training comes consistency and with that comes lots of improvement! I know training with a group has helped me too! Definitely makes those winter runs go by quicker! Keep it up Marlene! Lets hope 2011 is the best year yet!

destination262 said...

I am so proud of you for your breakthroughs so far and can't wait to see you knock it out of the park come May. And i love how inspirational your running group has been.

Katie A. said...

YOU are an inspiration, be proud! Your hard work and dedication to the sport of running is awesome, and I always love to catch up and see where you are at. I can't wait for May 15th for you, you are going to ROCK!

Shellyrm ~ just a country runner said...

I feel a huge breakthrough coming for you. Your training is so solid and your attitude is amazing. With your group of supporters there is no doubt that you will be breaking through and inspiring us all!

May can just..go ahead and Bring It!

Her Name Is Rio said...

You've come a long way and I'm looking forward to where you're going next! It's great you have such a supportive group behind you...but you are doing all the work to make it happen- don't forget to give yourself credit! :)

Kelly (She Wears a Red Sox Cap) said...

That is a great honor- and you are the perfect person to ask because the running group has helped you so much- I bet it will help a lot of others. You should be proud of all your hard work :)

Gotta Run..Gotta Ride said...

I absolutely know that my core group of friends have mentored and encouraged me as I have improved along the way.

So glad that you could pass on the inspiring journey!

Char said...

I'm absolutely positive that this is going to be a year of breakthroughs for you. You have gone from strength to strength.

Jessie said...

Awesome to see your progress! Good job girly! I cant wait TILL MARTIAN!!

Nicole said...

I have the feeling you will have another breakthrough here SOOn <3

Richelle said...

I usually don't run with other people that often, but I think I should start.

I BELIEVE that you will have a major breakthrough at Mississauga. :)

Elena (Running in Heels After Child) said...

A breakthrough, I am looking for one of those. I cannot seem to make myself go faster. Most of the time I feel fine being a slow running but I would love to cross the finish line and feel good about my time.

Happy Running,

Elena

Cory Reese said...

I got goosebumps reading about your breakthrough marathon. I hope to have a breakthrough 3:58 soon. Way to go!!!

Irish Cream said...

Oh man. This reminds me that I need to find myself a group to run with in Austin ASAP! It's the one thing really missing . . .

But seriously, you have come SO FAR. And I know you are only going to continue making great things happen, considering how hard you work! I'm thinking you are definitely due for a breakthrough ;)

Julie D. said...

you are definitely lucky to have such a great group. You are headed for another breakthrough, for sure!

lindsay said...

Breyk. Bree-yik. Mwemlar. You like to make up funny words.

In addition to getting faster, you also got more stylish! I like purple shirt more than red shirt.

You are awesome, you know this :)

Denise said...

i just got the chills reading the last paragraph. could be the remains of the flu but i doubt it. i agree with you. you are so due for a breakthrough on may 15th!!! :-)