As we are getting into June I wanted to share my personal experience with Flying Feet in hopes to help grow this amazing program. For those of you who don’t know I am not a native to Westminster. I moved here five years ago from Fells Point. When I arrived I did not know anyone up here and was in the middle of training for my first marathon. I did all of my runs by myself had no plan other than run a lot and occasionally running fast. Despite running in college I had no idea what to do with myself without having a coach to help guide me. I had a good marathon and ended up doing a second one the following year and managed to shave a little time off with the same approach of heavy miles with some fast runs mixed in.
I enjoyed the races but training by myself and never having a clear direction made me question if I wanted to do another one. I stumbled into Flying Feet through the Westminster Road Runners Club and after reading about the format and the team goals I was immediately interested. I signed up and on a Saturday morning I showed up for the first practice of the season by myself and quickly became friends with a few new teammates. For those who don’t know, Flying Feet is a local running group that is headed by Dave Griffin. Dave is a running legend to anyone who is has lived in Carroll County for any length of time. He is a fierce competitor, an amazing runner and a talented writer. What’s most admirable about Dave is his patience and ability to help people meet their running potential. He always amazes me the way he can relate a running related experience into a teachable life moment that will resonate with you well after the run has finished. A lot of what he teaches revolves around using your running experiences and applying them to life moments. If you can get yourself to run without excuses throughout all the life, weather and personal excuses then what in life can stop you? When you sign up Flying Feet you are asked to submit a goal race and time. For me it was a third marathon and I wanted to drop 8 minutes off my best. Dave then sculpts a training plan around your target race. We practice on Saturday morning and Tuesday evening. Saturday is typically a distance day and Tuesday’s are typically a speed day. He provides specific workouts and pace goals for each run designed around your specific goals. For me to be able to show up twice a week and have a course and workout all laid out was fantastic. I was able to just show up and focus on running what was expected of me and not the minutia of where, when and how. I could just run. He even goes out on long runs with water stops so even the hydration concern was alleviated. Within a few months I found myself in the best shape since I graduated college. I was a lean, mean, running machine and on my way to a marathon PR. Unfortunately I reinjured an old calf tear and had to skip my race but when I go back through my log I know that had I done a better job of caring for my calf I no doubt would have run a heck of a race. I have not missed a season since joining and I am pumped for this summer season to start on June 30th. Dave and I are back committed to a strong Fall marathon. I have no doubts that if my body holds up its end of the bargain I can achieve my goals with the help of Dave and Flying Feet. I know that anyone who commits to the program can too. Hope to see you all out there soon!