Sunday mornings are my time. It is my time to lace up my sneakers and head out the door with my running group at the Running Room – Langford Store. I am a part of the half marathon running clinic and am training for the BMO Vancouver Half Marathon. I don’t have a goal time in mind, probably the first time in awhile that I haven’t set myself up for a goal time. It feels refreshing to not have the pressure of crossing the finish line at 1:59:59. This year, I decided that the purpose of joining the running group was to lose the remaining baby weight and to get outside for ME. So far, it’s been an awesome training season.
I love the camaraderie of running groups. The first couple of weeks are always a bit quiet. Everyone runs along side-by-side, not really talking to each other, except for the occasional “oops, sorry, oh, excuse me”. Our run leaders try their best to get the group interacting as early as possible, but I think most new runners to a running group start off shy and reserved. We aren’t sure where we “fit” in the group. Should we be at the start of the pack? Have we slated ourselves in the back? Or we the middle group that wavers in the in-between- are we fast enough for the fast group or should we hold back with the end group? Once the first couple of weeks go by and everyone figures out their pace, you can feel the energy and camaraderie of the group build. You know you have really made it in the group when you aren’t there for one week and the week you return someone says “Hey! Where were you last week? I missed you!” That.is. awesome.
If I have had a rough night with Ryder on a Saturday, I still head out at the door at 8:2o am to make it to the store to be with my running group. I need that time to hit the pavement, or the trails, to chat with fellow runners about chafing, fueling, and aches and bruises. At the end of the group run, I feel exhilarated and revived, even if I ran on only a few hours of sleep. That feeling of accomplishment makes me a better runner, but most importantly a better mother and partner to my family.