Running with the Pack

When I first started my Couch to 5K program, I was so self-conscious that I couldn’t imagine trying to do the program with anyone else.  I was certain everyone else was faster than me or would progress more quickly through the program.  As my speed has improved, I have still stuck to mostly solo running.  Honestly, I do crave a few miles of solitude.  I even run without music on occasion just for some quiet.  I feel like I have to be “on” in every other part of my day so a few minutes of “off” is refreshing.

Running solo can be limiting, though.  There have been some random acts of aggression in some nearby communities and  I am reluctant to try totally new routes on my own (I am “directionally challenged”, to put it mildly).  That’s when it nice to have some running support.  I first learned of Moms Run This Town via the Run Like a Mother Facebook page.  It is a free, women only, running group that has chapters all over the United States.  I joined my closest chapter at the start of the year and have been able to run with them a handful of times.  Each time has been very beneficial.  They have helped me tackle new routes (trails!) and distances (10!).  A group from several different chapters ran the MC 17.75 together – well, we met for pictures but didn’t race as a group – and others from the chapters volunteered at one of the water stations and cheered loudly when they spotted the MRTT shirts.  Having that bit of extra support was very nice and unexpected.

The great thing about being a part of a large group – I think we have over 100 members – is that there are plenty of people who are your pace and looking to log the same number of miles.  Chance are good that they will even be training for the same race as you.  I know several in my group are doing Marine Corp and I hope to log some of my long training runs with them.

While I still like to go out solo, it is nice to know that I have a group that can support me when I need it.  In fact, we are trying out a new (for me!) trail on Sunday.  I’ll let you know how it goes!

Do you run solo or with a BRF (Best Running Friend)?  Are you part of a running group?

Tomorrow: Weekend Free-For-All


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