I'm training for the Los Angeles Marathon, my first marathon in six and a half years. Even though I'm a few years older, I'm going to finish faster by training smarter. My goal is to run the marathon in 4:30-4:45. If I can maintain the 10:30 per mile pace from the City of Angels Half Marathon, then I can do it.
Part of my training is running with others, which is something I've never really done before. I've joined the Los Feliz Flyers, a group that does weekly track workouts. The group has all sorts. There are some rather hardcore members, and then there are the "TOG's" -- The Other Group. The TOGs are a little slower than the hardcore group, and we run a total of three miles for a workout. Last week, we did 800 m at 5k pace, then 1200 m at 10k pace, 800, 1200, and 800. It's a good group, not competitive, and I find myself somewhere in the middle of the TOGs pack.
Next, I'm joining a group for my longer runs, the LA Leggers. They have several pace groups and meet early on Saturday mornings. This morning I tried them out for the first time, joining the twenty or so members of the 10:30/mile pace group -- I wasn't sure whether to run with the 11 minute/mile group or the 10:30's, but I think I chose well.