I have been looking for a running group near our house ever since we moved several months ago. I haven’t been looking that hard, because I see lots of groups of people out running, and have never joined them! There are also several running and fitness stores near our house which means if I just walked into their store and asked, they could probably tell me about running groups in the area. But, somethings just work themselves out in different ways. Monday night I ran from Ben’s school to our house, which was the longest, most boring run I have ever done. Running almost 5 miles on the same street that was decently busy with traffic and almost zero scenery means I will think twice before I do that again! About a mile or so away from home, I saw a group of three ladies running and I decided I would catch up with them and see if they lived in the neighborhood. I learned they were training with the USA Fit program in San Antonio, and the group met on Monday and Wednesday nights for training.
The USA Fit marathon and maybe even the half marathon training began in May and to be included in the training you do have to sign up and pay a fee. Now, the USA Fit seems to be a great program, but I am not willing to shell out $100 to train with a group. I usually am self-disciplined enough to stick to a schedule and I can find lots of training schedules online for free. Even though I had not paid for the program, they were nice enough to invite me to go running with them on Wednesday night. The leader said she is planning to keep a group going for free on Saturdays after the Rock’N’Roll San Antonio races, because several people are still training for events in the spring.
Since the meet up location was about 1 or 1.5 miles from our house, I decided I would run over there and then run with the group. I still feel like I need to put at least 5 miles in per run, so this would definitely help me get that many in. I got there right on time and then we waited for a few people to show up. When the group was almost complete, we started with stretching. And when the last few straggled in we took off for a short 3 mile out and back through Brackenridge Park. I got to run through parts of the park I have never seen which was fun. We stopped twice to let the slower runners catch up and to take a stretch/water break. I’m really not one for stopping when you’re only running 3 miles, so I thought that was a little unnecessary. Although, I’m sure its good to keep group moral up by not leaving runners in the dust.
All in all, it was nice to be out with a group of runners. It really made the time fly and of course meeting new people who like running is always fun. I will try to run with them again next week on Wednesday, as we have bible study on Monday.
Have you trained with an organized program such as USA Fit? Do you prefer running in groups or alone? What keeps you motivated when you are training for an event in the future?