I remember when I first got into running. I started with a couch to 5k plan and was so proud of myself for running a mile non-stop. I worked up to a full 5k without walking at all and I cried. I had never done anything to make my body stronger like that, and it felt amazing!
When my friends started calling me a “runner,” however, I would shake my head. The idea of being a runner scared me because I was still new. I was not fast. I was far from graceful. For these reasons, I never joined a training group. I was too self-conscious. I was scared of making a fool of myself.
This is me and Jennifer, rockin’ a group run!
It wasn’t until over a year later that I moved back to my hometown. It’s a small place and things were a little lonely. I started to think about finding other runners. I thought that maybe I could find a 5k group, knowing that I could probably keep up. That was when I found Moms Run This Town and started talking to the group leader.
I met Tanya for our first run that winter. She knew of a route around a small lake, so we decided to go for it. Then I learned it was seven miles. I had never run more than five miles at once, and I was so scared I couldn’t do it. I told her I might have to walk, but she said she didn’t mind. I said I probably couldn’t keep up with her, and she said it was fine.
We ran together that day and I kept up with her. We talked so much about ourselves, the group, and our upcoming races. She told me about her kids and her job. I talked about moving and my new job and my funny story of how I started running. She was so nice and supportive. Plus, we were so busy talking that the run flew by. Before I knew it, we were done with seven miles!
I’ve been a group runner ever since. I join every group I can. I always invite people to come with me. If they need to walk, I’ll walk with them. If I need to walk, I’ll tell people they can go ahead. Either way, it’s just nice to be outside, working out together, making the miles easier and making friends in the process.
Most of my close friends I met in running groups. I highly recommend it! Looking for one to join? Check Facebook, Meetup, or ask around!