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Running in Community

Since we first visited the Estes Park Running Club, Thomas and I have wanted to be regular members. But until recently, we never were. We'd sporadically show up whenever it fit nicely into our schedule (and considering everything I had going on with school... that wasn't very often!).

But I'm so excited to say, we're now regulars! In December Thomas and I are running the Run Run Rudolph half marathon in Albuquerque, NM. We've been building up our long rungs and training for the race. With this, we decided to make the commitment to join the Tuesday evening runs with our local running club.

And I see now that the benefits are far greater than I saw before. Here are a select few:

- Consistency of schedule

- Being around other people doing the same thing we are

- Finding inspiration from those competing in half ironman races, triathlons at the national level, and other fascinating endeavors

- Enjoying a relatively diverse group of people (age & stage of life)

- Serving as a welcoming face to visitors in town

- Learning from other runners and sharing what I have learned

- Feeling like I'm a part of a community. Since I live in a small town, I can't even count the number of times someone has said "I saw you out running the other day" (once, it was the first time I was meeting a lady!). But to go running with other people gives me a sense of belonging.

- Thanks to the Stanley hotel, tasty treats following the run (I don't know what was in the trail mix last week, but it was delicious!)

- Finally, regular opportunities to 'run my own run' - not being swayed by someone else's speed or cadence (as in a race) -- it's SO easy to accidentally fall into step with other runners. But running with others helps me practice holding my own rhythm while being surrounded by runners who naturally gravitate toward step rates different than my preferred

Who do you run with? Have you joined a running club? What are the benefits for you?

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