In an effort to improve my skills, I embarked upon the task of trying to find a running group in my area. I’ve been told that it’s helpful to be a part of a running group where you have the moral support of other runners. I’ve always been a solo runner because I’m slow. Most of the runners that I know have at least a two minute per mile faster pace. And they can TALK while they run! What is this nonsense?? Talking AND running. AT THE SAME TIME! That has never been me. Even when I was a fit teenager and ran all the time, I was never one to talk while I ran. Running zones have a “should be able to carry on a conversation” zone. I call that walking.
So running with others has never really been an option for me. I feel like I am a drag on someone else because they’d have to slow down so much to run with me. The runners that I know who have a similar pace to me don’t live close. A local running group seemed to make sense because logic would say that there would be SOMEONE in a running group that would have a similar pace as me.
I know that my city has a running group so I looked them up. The different groups within my city’s page list minutes per mile that we should be able to keep to participate in the group.
- 8:15 – 9:30 min/mile for one group. I can keep that pace for approximately 100 meters.
- 8:30 – 12:00 min/mile for another group. But, it warns, wear trail shoes because where they run is super hilly and on trails. On a flat surface, at this point in my training, I can do 12:00 min/mile for 10 minutes at a stretch with a 2 minute walk break in between. On hills? On a trail? 12:00 min/mile is unmanageable.
- Another group doesn’t list a pace, but they run in the town 40 minutes north of me at 5:30 or 6:30 in the morning (depending on the day). Undoable because I have this pesky little inconvenience that I like to call “my job.”
- Another group has different courses that they alternate between and it fluctuates from 10 to 22 miles. That’s definitely not in my wheelhouse.
What started out as a good idea (searching for a running group) has left me feeling way out of my element. There’s a reason I’ve always been a lone wolf in this running game. I don’t fit the model of “runner.” So I just keep plugging along. Trying to work up to where I can maintain a minimum 14:52 min/mile pace for 13.1 miles. Doing it on my own. With my virtual support system of my sisters and my daughter (who are all VERY encouraging, I might add).
How do other places have such awesome running groups? Maybe you have to live in places other than Podunk USA.