Running with a Group: Lessons and Understandings
Editors Note: We haven’t posted in a while. It’s been a busy couple of months, but more on that later . . . With the approach of the New Year, I thought this post from Annette on running with a group was timely. If you do not run with a group already, make it your resolution to try — join your local running club, find a group in your neighborhood, but get out there, and you will make some of the best friends you have ever had. We did.
When the possibility of running with a group of people was first presented to me, I was hesitant. Questions flooded my mind: What if I’m not fast enough? What if I have to quit? What if I don’t like it? At that point I had been running for a few years, nothing consistent, but I had managed to complete some shorter distance races. Then enter Saturday morning running with a group of people of whom I knew only one person, MB. My running life has never been the same.
There’s something about a group of people who all share a common interest, an interest that is many times not understood by outsiders.
My runner friends completely understand waking up at or before the crack of dawn on a Saturday morning to get in a long run. That way we don’t have to worry about it all day long.
They also understand that I have to get my short runs in through the week, because if I don’t, then I won’t be able to get up at the crack of dawn on a Saturday morning to do a long run.
They understand that socks, shoes, anti-chafing products, clothing, etc are extremely important and must be discussed at length.
They understand that the summary of a recent race can be broken down with a story about each mile. In fact, they like that because then they are entertained for a good portion of the long run.
They understand, though sometimes I call us the dumbest people I know, running in sleet, rain, and below freezing temps.
But most importantly, this group of runner friends understands how to celebrate a success, to curse a disappointment, to empathize over an injury, and to encourage when necessary.
Now, when I first started with this run group, my goal was to improve my running. What I didn’t expect was to forge such close friendships. On our runs together we have shared many laughs, a few tears, lots of concern, and some teasing. We have a blast!
I also didn’t expect to take away pearls of wisdom from each of them:
Guest dude Mike: When talking about his marathons, he told me he was proud of every single one of them. I needed that because I had one where I should have PRed but ran my slowest time ever instead.
MB: Nothing is too difficult to try. The woman is training for an IRONMAN®!
Mindy: If Mindy can run our steep hills by herself because she has to get home early because her kids have soccer games all day, then I too can do it.
KB: Height has nothing to do with speed.
Jenny: Take care of your body. Listen to it.
Lisa: Smile a lot and just enjoy the run.
Sandy: Take your biggest challenge and let it make you stronger.
Deborah: Own the last mile.