I’m not what you would call a motivated runner. I’ll get all ready to go, lace up my shoes, and then — is that a gray cloud in the sky? Is that unfolded laundry from six weeks ago? Oh my God, are they going to show us how to make papier-mache napkin rings on The Today Show? Well, I can’t POSSIBLY be expected to go for a run right now. In a minute, maybe. After that cloud disappears and I fold my laundry and I listen to Matt and Meredith engage in some witty banter.
Flash forward four hours to me still sitting on the couch, wrist-deep in a bag of Funyuns, still in my running gear. Well, if nothing else, my intentions were good. At least I thought about going for a run. And I thought about it whilst in my running gear. So it’s basically the same thing as actually running. Right?
What I really need is a live-in drill sargeant, the kind who don’t take crap from no one and wouldn’t let me make excuses for not hitting the pavement. But live-in drill sargeants are pricey these days, and I feel like a real-life running-themed version of “Full Metal Jacket” going on in my house might be more scary than motivational.
A nice alternative I’ve discovered: running groups. I’ve always run better with a partner or a group than on my own, and on days when I’d rather put the covers over my head, knowing I’ve got a running date of sorts with fun people actually motivates me to show up. When I moved to Atlanta in September, I was lucky enough to fall in with Team Awesome, a — you guessed it — awesome group that runs everything from 5ks to marathons together, plus does cool social stuff like post-run brunch, happy hours and trivia. It’s a nice, low-key way to make sure I actually sign up for some organized runs, plus make some friends to boot.
Some people — namely my co-blogger Matt — swear by solo runs, but I don’t think I could have tried to run more than a mile without stopping if I hadn’t started out with a group, and I don’t think I’d be able to withstand what I’m sure will be ridiculous humidity during the Peachtree Road Race.
Help settle the debate before it comes to blows — do you like to run with a group? If so, what’s your group of choice? Or, make your case for running stag — I’ve got an open mind.