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Runner's Diary: Joe Bell 8/3/2014

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On Tuesday I am going to do the track workout that I usually do with Quaff On! and then on Saturday do another group run with them.

It’s been really important for me to run with a group of guys who are faster than me and gives me something to aim for. They push me ahead, and I am always trying to catch them.

Of course, you have to be realistic. It doesn’t make sense for me to compare myself to some of those guys, some who are elite, world-class runners. That’s just not realistic. You just want to use running with them to keep you motivated.

I feel like the additional incentive — not really pressure — is good for me and helps me to work harder in training. You know people care and that they are seeing what you are doing. You share similar goals.

I joined Quaff On! in the winter of 2013. Before that I really ran by myself. I ran the Crossroads series of races, and I would see familiar faces, and we would meet up every now and then; but it was nothing like Quaff On!

After I started to run with Quaff On! I actually cut down the number of races that I ran. In 2012, I ran 50 races. Last year it was right around 35 races. Some of that had to do with my personal budget. I just couldn’t afford to do all that. But I also think it helps you run faster in the races you do run if you are not tired from the previous week.

It definitely helps so much, though, to have a group to run with to have somebody to share the experience with. No matter how self-motivated you are, every now and then you can use a support group to help keep you going.

And running with different people is kind of like changing your course so that you are doing something a little different every week. Mentally, it helps so much.

I’ve been doing well with my training, and I am kind of emphasizing that I should be picking up my mileage. That also means I am doing more foam rolling and icing after runs and getting protein and carbohydrates in my diet. I know that I have to stay on top of that.

There are times when I question why I am doing this, and that usually comes when I am out on a hard run and hurting. Or if it starts raining, or especially in the winter when it’s cold and miserable. That’s when I find myself questioning what I am doing.

But I always have had the belief that running is meaningful. It is a matter of what you can accomplish if you put your mind to it.

There are times when you have to trick yourself mentally. You think, “At least it’s not snowing, or at least it’s not 110.” It’s not exactly positive, but it is better than negative.

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