It's not official yet but I received some good news earlier this week.
I'm going to be a pace leader when the Lopers clinic starts in August! I had put in my name to be a pace leader with the 10-minute pace group, the 10s, and it looks like that was a successful lobby on my part.
I'm going to be a co-leader with a runner I met just last year and who has been a great running friend, Alex (who is a she). So Alex and I will be in charge of the 10-minute pace group come August.
I'm pumped! I got a taste of being a pace leader last year when both of my group's pace leaders dropped out (one got pregnant, one had foot injuries) but it was sporadic and the group was small and it just never felt like my group to be honest. This time, though, we'll get the group from Day One and we can mold the group the way we think is best for the the runners involved. Our goal, and by "our" I mean the Lopers, is to help runners finish a marathon. There are a lot of first-time marathoners who come out and join the group but sadly many of them do not stick around, so our goal will be to have them all stick around until the very end.
The end will be the 2012 LA Marathon. That part's not official but I can't imagine not training for the LA Marathon. The Lopers trained for LA for years, save for a brief period when Surf City was the target marathon. But LA returned as the group's target in 2011 and it will likely remain as such.
Hopefully when that day rolls around, Alex and I will be leading a group of first-timers across the finish line at LA, and hopefully will be able to do it in about 4 hours 20 minutes.
Whatever the case, I have the chance now to influence others in a way that I've not quite been able to, and that's very appealing. I still hold firm to my beliefs - if I can lose 100-plus pounds and run a marathon (four of them, in fact) anyone can do that. Anyone. You just need a little determination, motivation, time and support. I'll offer my time and support and will try to motivate. Hopefully that's enough to help out the 10s come the fall and winter.