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The Making of a Group Run

Lou, Brian and Raghav on the summer Fulton loop

People who know me probably know that I ride my bike to work most days. And that bike ride is long enough that 1) I usually can’t get out of the office early enough to make it to any of the amazing evening group runs the club has going on, and 2) I’m so tired after biking home that I don’t have the energy to go for a run.

BUT, I typically try to plan my weekly schedule around trying to make at least one of the Lizard group runs each week. During the fall/early winter, I was focused on making it to the Tuesday track workout. Who knows, maybe I will try to get back on the track again this spring and summer as a way to get myself prepared for the Summer Series races?

For the past few weeks, I’ve been driving on Wednesday so that I can make it to the Fulton Run. With the switch to the summer route, I do love getting out to enjoy the loop around Oaks Bottom. Plus, I can usually count on getting to catch up with the Fulton faithful. Who doesn’t love getting to hang out with Markiemo, Raghav, Lou, Tim, Jana, Erik, Carre, Susan, and you never know who else might drop in. Obviously, any group run is more fun if people you know and like are there; I know I am always more likely to show up when people I enjoy hanging out with are going to be present.

And while it has been a little longer since my last appearance at the Thursday Goose or Sunday Starbucks run, I always enjoy those experiences as well. The Goose is on summer route right now as well, so I’m looking forward to hitting the trail to Pittock with whomever is there.

Running is part of what makes a group run fun, but getting to catch up with whomever is there is the bigger reason I enjoy showing up for any group run. Sure, I may not be running as fast as I might if I were out on a solo training run (unless we’re talking about the track on Tuesdays… there’s no way to escape that being a workout). And maybe that’s just me, since some people work harder than they might if they were running solo in an effort to keep up with the group.

Whether it’s having a group to push you or the social dynamic that gets you out, there is no mistake that having a set time and place you can show up and get out for a run is an accountability mechanism. I know I have used the “had to work late” excuse many times, but often that is my own time management. If I commit to being at a run and plan my schedule accordingly, it’s a whole lot easier to actually be there than just “playing it by ear.”

The bottom line is this: the club has some really great group runs that take place almost every day of the week. Group runs require people to show up in order to put the “group” in group run. So if it’s been a while since you have been out for a track workout, Wednesday Fulton, Thursday Goose or Sunday Starbucks run, maybe it’s time to plan to join one in the coming week, commit to it (it’s as easy as making the mental commitment or better yet, replying to a post on the message board or facebook so that others know you will be there), and then showing up.

I’m already trying to figure out what I will commit to for next week, but hopefully I will see you out there.

Markiemo and Shannon running around Oaks Bottom

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