Thursday, July 27, 2017

Twenty Years and Making a Difference

Twenty Years and Making a Difference
By: Bill Aaron

Twenty years.
Who knew way back in 1998 that we would be celebrating twenty Rockin’ ‘n’ Runnin’ Training 

That’s twenty 10K’s, twenty, 2-hour pace runs, twenty train runs.

More than 9,000 runners have come through the gates of Balboa Stadium and onto the streets of San Diego to run what was then a very novel idea, running a marathon with bands on the course.

In those early years, there was just a San Diego race and it was a marathon distance.  The event has now of course morphed into a both a marathon and a half marathon, sports an open stream of different music on the course and there are musically races all over the world.

Making a Difference.

Phrase, Philosophy, Mission Statement.  Every year Rockin’ ‘n’ Runnin’ strives to meet that standard of making a difference, and this year we adopted it as our 20th Anniversary Year slogan. 

This year’s training program started like all the others, on the first Saturday of the month of January at Balboa Stadium under clear blue skies, Coach Paul entertained us with his relatively short orientation and we set out on our first of many Saturday long runs. 

For some it would be their very first day as member of the Rockin’ ‘n’ Runnin’ Nation, for others, their twentieth, for others, something in between.  Mixed in this group would be our Boston Marathon Qualifiers, Mountains 2 Beach and would be Rock N Rollers.  We all started out with a common goal, to survive 22 weeks of training and make it to our races pumped and ready to run.
The runs came and went, first the Kook 10k, the Pace Run, the Low Tide Run, the Train Run, then the Longest, even a Tour of San Diego.  Each one a measure of the runners’ tenacity and endurance and each time making a difference in our lives.  What is phenomenal is the excitement that was on display each those Saturday’s, because for many, some of these runs where the longest they had ever run.

Flash forward race day.  All were gathered at the appointed hour and at the appointed location.  Emotions were high, you could almost cut the excitement in the air with a knife.  Following our normal gathering up, warm-up run and dynamic stretch exercises, we were released to our respective corrals where we awaited our starts.  Race day conditions that morning was overcast skies that stayed with us throughout the races.  In the mix of about 15,000 half marathoners and 5,000 marathoners were about 300+ Rockin’ ‘n’ Runners.  

We haven’t gathered up the data, but among our finishers, many PR’d.  More than a few ran their first races at either the half or full marathon distances, some even BQ’d.  A handful ran (or in the case of one, walked) their 20th Rock and Roll Marathon.
Twenty Years and Making a Difference.

Each and every one of you that made up the 2017 20th Rockin’ ‘n’ Runnin’ Nation made a difference in our lives and we are very proud to count you as Rockin’ ‘n’ Runnin’ alumni.  I hope that we made a difference in your lives.  Side note, the Rockin’ ‘n’ Runnin’ Training Program is always looking for new ideas and planning team (the CORE group) members, so if you have any ideas or wish to member this this wonderful group please either contact Coach Paul Greer or Bill Aaron.

Thank you for choosing San Diego Track Club’s Rockin’ ‘n’ Runnin’ Training Program as your training partner.  

Boston Training Group

SDTC Boston Training Group
By: Ellen K. Fleischman

Boston Marathon training with Coach Dave Hutchinson (“Hutch’) was the most awesome experience!  We started training in November for the April marathon.  Hutch gave us a calendar, usually a month at a time so we wouldn’t look ahead and freak out.  He also sent weekly e mails with training tips, humor, and words of encouragement that I looked forward to getting. 

We started with a base of 30-35 miles per week and built up to 70+ miles at the peak and gradually increased the mileage on our long Saturday runs. Whenever possible the Saturday runs were coordinated with the bigger Rockin’ ‘n’ Runnin’ group, which made it fun.  Hutch drove his van along the course and was ready with Gatorade, water, and always had donuts for after the run!

The higher weekly mileage was challenging, at times with the demands of work and school, but the schedule was planned so well, and the mileage increases were gradual.  Several of us talked about how we surprised ourselves with how we managed to fit in longer weekday runs before work.  Hutch was also very helpful with modifying workouts based on schedules and injuries.  I felt really well prepared for the race by the time April arrived.

As you may have heard, race day was unseasonably warm.  It was scary to see how many people were walking on the course early on, bent over with cramps, or getting medical attention in the medical tents.  Many of the really strong runners in our group did not have a good race.  What helped me was that instead of fighting the crowds at the early water stations, I carried a bottle of water for the first 7 miles.  I loved the course and the crowds.  There is so much to say about the event itself, but the training, traveling and socializing with the group when in Boston, and the celebration when we got back to San Diego made it all a once-in-a-lifetime experience!