The Plan: 4 Miles – Easy
The Actual: 4 Miles – Slow but definitely NOT easy; 80 degrees and not a cloud in the sky with lower back pain (more about that tomorrow) throughout
I love these people. From the bottom of my heart to the tips of my toes. Not only are they super adorable….take another perusal, they are pretty darn cute…but they have enriched my life and strengthened who I am as a person in ways I don’t think they realize. You know that saying, “People come into our lives and leave footprints on our hearts.”? Well runners, like everything else we do, take it one step further and stomp, jump up and down, and run circles on your heart just to make sure you’ve got it!
You’ve probably read countless articles about why having a “running buddy” increases your odds of keeping to your plan. If not, you’ve officially been living under a rock. There are definitely people out there that enjoy their solitude and may be cringing at the thought of “running with a friend” but just give me a few paragraphs to convince you otherwise.
I will admit that I am a bit of a loaner. I always have been. You’re probably thinking, “Allison, didn’t you say you were an extrovert?” Yes, I did. An extrovert doesn’t mean you want to be around people all the time, it simply means you get energy from being around and socializing with people. On a scale of 1-10, I’m a 400 extrovert! However, I have come to discover that I need 1 to 2 runs a week that are just me. That time with my music, my own thoughts, and my own pace (whatever it will be that day), is REALLY important to me. That being said, Friday nights, the night before the Roasters meet for our weekly run, it’s like Christmas and I can’t sleep. It’s my time with “my people” and I will go to great lengths (including pushing a stroller) to make sure I am there. These people lift me up when I’m down, bring me back down to earth when I’m getting a little too big for my own britches, and above all else make sure I keep running! They’ve also pushed me to do things that I never thought possible – like run a marathon. Especially during the Maine winters, there are definitely weeks that my only run will be on Saturday but I always know my Saturday run will happen and then it’s the start of a new week – slate clean and happy tank FULL!
Running is an interesting thing. It’s ageless, classless, blind to race, ethnicity, religion and political affiliation. All you need is a pair of sneakers! You IMMEDIATELY have something in common with these people – running or at least the desire to run! If you’ve been thinking about finding a running group, just do it. You can find great things on this newfangled thing called the world wide web – google track club or running club (that’s how I found the Maine Track Club Roaters). Also a great resource, is your local running store as I’m sure they know about one or more in the area. If there shockingly isn’t one, that same store certainly would be happy to help you start one because I’d bet my bottom dollar you’re not the first person that’s asked them about a group.
5 Reasons you should “run with friends”:
- You will run. Knowing there are people waiting for you, and that these same people will badger you afterwards if you don’t show-up, increases your odds of getting your run done.
- You get a break. Odds are, if you are a runner, you’re a control freak which can get a little exhausting. Sometimes it’s nice to let someone else pick the route. Seems simple but knowing I don’t have to think about it on Saturdays is one less thing on my list and that’s nice.
- Laughing. There is LOTS of laughing on runs. Laughing = endorphins = you feel good. End of story.
- New perspective. You will learn from these people and not just about running. Runners often have some similar personality traits but they definitely aren’t the same people. Each brings their own life experiences, perspective and energy. Take the time to learn from each one and I promise you’ll get something special from them.
- They will challenge you. Take whatever you have in your head as the fastest/longest you will ever go and throw it out the window. These people don’t care about that. They will take you wholeheartedly for where you are now, then slowly keep pushing you to a faster pace, longer distance and new training techniques. Just let them in and they’ll work their magic.
One last piece of advice. Unless you’re joining a newly formed group, remember these people have probably been running together for years so it’s totally normal for you to feel a little out of sorts the first few times you run with them. Give them at least three runs before you decide if the group is for you. If you’re still not getting a good vibe after that third run, then SCREW ‘EM and go form that new group I talked about earlier.
We humans are pack animals. Go find your pack and you won’t just run with them, you’ll run to the end of the earth FOR them. I know I would.
p.s If you can find Joanie in the collage above you win! To be clear there is no physical prize, you are simply a winner because it’s JOANIE!!!!