Back in July, I wrote a blog post about running with my besties. I really enjoyed running with them, but since my best running friends live in north Georgia, Oregon and Boston, it’s not going to happen very often.
At the time, the idea of running with strangers terrified me, mostly because I was self-conscious about myself as a runner. Also, I didn’t know too many other people doing run/walk interval training, so I figured I wouldn’t easily find a good match.
Then Nicole told me about a national running club called Moms Run This Town, with a chapter in Savannah. It’s a free club for moms who want to get together for very informal group runs, and generally support each other. Joining simply requires liking the local group’s Facebook page – so easy that I had to give it a try.
The first time I went for a run with them, I was worried about embarrassing myself. But as most runners are, these ladies were welcoming, enthusiastic and made me feel like I belonged. I’ve now done several runs with them – sometimes with just one other runner, sometimes there are a dozen of us. Sometimes we talk, sometimes we put our headphones in and just run. Some of them run intervals, some don’t, but I can usually find someone running my pace.
This month, the national chapter sponsored a virtual race, meaning that all members could participate by running a 5K, 10K or half-marathon at some point during January. There were even medals!
The Savannah chapter organized a day for us all to run together, so yesterday I lined up for a 10K at the imaginary start line and struck a silly pose with several other women.
I ran with people I’d met before. I ran with new people. The miles flew by. As I came down the street toward the finish, the organizers stretched a streamer across the imaginary finish line for me and for every racer who finished. That was almost certainly the only time in my life when I’ll be able to break the tape across a finish line, so I hammed it up and enjoyed it.
And I didn’t realize until a bit later that I’d just run my thousandth mile. I’m not a runner with a high weekly mileage, but I’ve stuck with it, and have now run the equivalent of a route from Savannah to Boston.
It makes that 10K medal even sweeter. Cheers to the next thousand miles!