I am a very lucky girl!
I have a great network of running friends, and I can almost always find someone to go for a run with me if I plan ahead. Many in my running group have been together since 2000, so needless to say, we have become a great group of friends! We’ve been together through injuries, new babies, children graduating from college, milestone birthdays, marriages, the list goes on and on… Our facebook group includes 48 members, with a core group of about 12 runners that show up as often as they can for our Saturday group runs.
I met some of the members of this group over the six years that I coached a marathon training group for a local gym. We met twice a week for group training: speed work at a local high school track on Tuesdays and long runs on local trails on Saturdays. Part of their program included daily workout schedules I prepared for them based on their fitness level, running base, and scheduled race.
When I left the gym to start my own personal training company, the gym didn’t have a replacement coach for me so the program dissolved. I told my runners that I would still be heading to the trail on Saturday mornings for my long run and they were more than welcome to join me. My schedule no longer allowed time for me to do the Tuesday evening track workouts with them, but we could at least run together on Saturdays. I transitioned from “coach” to “team mom” and every week I send out an email reminder of what time and where we’re meeting on Saturday for our group run. Once we started out on our own, one of our team members named us The Cruisers; a name that really fits since we cruise along on Saturday mornings enjoying each others company while putting many miles behind us.
New Cruisers are always welcome, and our only requirement is that the new runner is fun! Of course it doesn’t hurt if they are early birds and don’t mind getting up early on Saturdays for our group runs. No cranky pants are allowed! 🙂
A couple of years ago, my New Year’s Resolution was to make our running group more social. We started meeting for breakfast after some of our runs, we have parties celebrating our milestone birthdays, and we have an annual Christmas party that ends with a fun and silly gift exchange. Once a year we travel to Maryland to join my friend Miles and his running group’s Annual Pancake Run, and they come to Virginia to join us for a brunch run.
Tomorrow I will talk about starting or finding a running group near you. Stay tuned!
- Have you ever hired a coach to help you reach a running goal?
- Do you run with a group?
- Do you ever go straight out to breakfast after a run?