How To Train With A Running Group (Recipe: Sausage and Goat Cheese Strata)

Have you ever trained with a running group?  I hadn’t until I moved to Madison in 2012, and even then I continued to run on my own a lot.  You may think running is just running.  However, running with a group is wayyy different than running on your own.

A running group can provide many benefits: camaraderie, help with proper pacing, and a coach (or coaches) to evaluate your running form and provide advice. A group can also hold you accountable when you’re tired or dreading a workout because of the weather.

However, there is a caveat.  Even though you are running with a group, you need to do what is best for you. Groups have runners of all abilities: beginners, advanced runners and perhaps even some sub-elite runners. Do not run a pace or distance that you are not ready for.  And do NOT continue running if you feel like you need a break. This is the rule Shawn and I go by.  If my calf starts cramping, we take a breather.  If her IT band starts bothering her, we take a break. We don’t push it or feel guilty about asking the other person to stop.

You also need to be flexible when training with a running group. If you like to run your faster workouts on Wednesday and do a long run on Sunday, the group may not share the same plan. Also, some groups run more than one fast workout per week, which may not be appropriate for you. If that’s the case, it’s better to choose one workout and skip the second one—or go to the second workout and cheer on your friends from the sidelines.

Running with a group is a wonderful way to meet other runners, give yourself extra accountability, and boost your performances. Just make sure you’re running within your ability level and aren’t pushed too fast (or too slow).

Running Tip:  Give yourself a pep talk.  Thinking about positive affirmations like “You got this” or “Feeling awesome” as you exercise can increase the duration of your workout by 18%, according to a new study.  Researchers think that motivating self-talk lowers your perception of effort, so you last longer.

So, last week I had meetings in DC for work. The meeting ended early, so we had a little time before catching our flight home. My boss (knowing my love for baking and cooking) suggested that we go to the National Museum of American History to check out the Julia Child exhibit!  I love my job!

JuliaChild1 JuliaChild3

Food for Thought: Salmon.  This fish is a stellar source of omega-3 fats.  Studies with omega-3 supplementation show that this fat triggers a series of key reactions that lead to less joint inflammation, especially in those who suffer from arthritis.  Research shows that people taking daily fish-oil supplements can typically decrease their use of NSAID drugs, such as ibuprofen.

Quote of the Day:

“Don’t ask me why I run. Ask yourself why you don’t.” -Unknown

So, A made this for me several months ago. Actually, it was right before the big ice/snow storm where we lost power because I only got to eat one or two servings before I had to toss the rest in the trash. But I was a fan! I will try it again for sure!

Sausage and Goat Cheese Casserole

Sausage and Goat Cheese Strata


– 10 eggs

– 3 cups whole milk

– 1 teaspoon dried oregano

– 1 teaspoon salt

– 1/2 teaspoon pepper

– 16 cups (1 lb) cubed country white bread

– 1 lb sweet Italian sausage, cooked and crumbled

– 2 12-ounce jars marinated quartered artichoke hearts, drained

– 1 12-ounce jar sundried tomatoes, drained and sliced

– 5 ounces of goat cheese, crumbled


– In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, oregano, salt, and pepper. Stir in the rest of the ingredients.

– Transfer to a buttered 3-quart baking dish.

– Cover; refrigerate overnight. Bake at 350* until just set, about 1 hour.

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