Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Talking about BS!!

Building Steam that is! What did you think I meant?! Hahaha!!!

This is a photo while "Steppin' Eleven" 
was on a training run together!
This year I have had the opportunity to be a volunteer group leader for the Building Steam program in Peoria, IL. Building Steam is an eleven-week program to help runners, potential runners, and walkers prepare for the Steamboat Classic 4 Mile Race that will be held on June 16, 2012. It is a program that puts participants of similar abilities together with motivated and understanding volunteer coaches. We have weekly open forum discussions regarding strength, stretching, safety, and helpful running products. If someone wants to talk about it, we do! The goal is that all participants finish the four miles of the Steamboat Classic successfully, make friends, and most importantly have fun!

We are indeed having fun while running. In my group we have approx 15-20 members. The numbers fluctuate at times as people move by their choice to different groups based on how they are feeling during their runs. One individual may have signed up for the 10 minute pace group based on their time trial run, but the next week may realize that they really are more comfortable at a 10:30 pace. I am one of the 6 leaders of the 11:00 min mile pace group. Our leaders are Elaine, Al, Bobby, Rita, and Larry. All of whom do a great job! This is the first time that we have all met, but I feel that I have already made lifelong friendships. That little Elaine who is in her 50’s (don’t kill me for disclosing your age Elaine) is a wonder! She is the tiniest little thing that does these crazy 50+ mile runs for three days! She inspires me! She has embraced fitness to it’s fullest and she always does it with a smile. Plus, Miss Rita's smile could light up a room when you see her. Ya know, that person that is genuinely excited to see you when you walk in the door?! Well, that's Rita and she is happy to see everyone. She's beautiful!

This the one and only Bob Michael Bridge
that our group crossed not once, but twice now!
Our group, “Steppin’ Eleven” has a variety of males and females in it. They vary in age from still in their teens to 60’s! I just love this! It proves that you are never too old or too young to start running! Two weeks ago I was the leader of a small portion of our group and I was absolutely inspired with their dedication and courage. As we were running I pointed up at the Bob Michael Bridge and I said, “Who wants to tackle that beast?” All of them said, “I do!”. That is exactly what they did, too! I was so proud. We kept our run 5 minutes walk 1 minute rule, but each of them went over that bridge and back! I was so impressed. I could see in their eyes how accomplished they felt. I am not sure if each of them knew how absolutely proud I was and over-joyed to do it with them! Last week the entire group tackled the bridge! It was awesome. I ran back with a woman who absolutely made my night! Her longest run was achieved that night. The run ended with hugs, tears, thankfulness and of course sweat! All great things! 

A wonderful gift of wheat grass from the
other  Building Steam 11 minute pace group!
For me running is extra special to share with someone. It is all about the relationships, the trials, the successes, the friendships, the bonds, and cheering someone else on. Nothing feels greater to me than helping someone else achieve their goal. Ya know the old saying “Want to be happy? Do something for someone else!”? Well, there is a reason that saying has been around so long! Look to the right we received a gift of wheat grass from the other Building Steam 11 minute pace group. How wonderful was that?!

Oftentimes after our runs we head out for dinner, drinks, and socializing! This is a picture of our group with a couple of other Building Steam groups at Kelleher’s after we tackled the Bob Michael bridge for the first time.  We chatted it up and even my husband and kids came. It was so nice to hang out with everyone.

So, thank you to “Steppin’ Eleven”, my fellow group leaders, IVS, and all of the Building Steam Groups for making every Wednesday night in April, May, and June something I look forward to! 


The miracle isn't that I finished. 
The miracle is that
 I had the courage to start.
 ~John Bingham


  1. I'm glad your group (and others as it seems) are "close"; it makes for a better experience! Unfortunately for the not-so-much-runners groups (15 min +), it's more like "hey, let's meet here and then we will kinda do our own thing up to this point, turn around and come back and just leave without any sort of regroup". It feels very disconnected and individual. I appreciate the concept but wish I could be in the "faster" groups so there was more of a comraderie....

  2. Thank you for your reply. I am going to talk to Jim about this tonight. I am sure none of the leaders have done this intentionally and would never want anyone to feel this way. Let's see if we can get this turned around and make it a positive experience that meets all of your expectations. ~Danyelle