A Girl, A Guy, and a Group

MONDAY, JUNE 10, 2013

It’s cold outside. I’m tired. I just ate. There’s a “Real Housewives of Wherever” marathon on Bravo. And so on…

These are just a sampling of some of the excuses I’ve made for myself to avoid lacing up and hitting the sidewalks to get in a run. (Note: In my earlier posts, I called them “jogs”. I’ve come a long way, in that I don’t saying I’m “jogging” anymore. I go on “runs” now. Sounds like a minor detail, but for runners, it’s a pretty big distinction, and I’m a runner now, damnit!)

My point being, there are about a million different reasons not to run. So for me, a support group isn’t just a nice-to-have, it’s a necessity. I’m not afraid to admit that I can’t do this shit on my own! I get lazy. Unmotivated. Blobish. But when I see or hear about someone I know (or only know through a Facebook group) say that they’ve gone out and done something, well, I’m more likely to go out and do it, too.

Case Study #1: The Girl
I have a friend who I met at work. She started out as a co-worker and quickly became one of my best friends on the planet and she is such an inspiration to me. She’s the gal in my life that says, “So yeah, I’m gonna do the Rite Aid 10K.” and I immediately say back, without hesitation, “When’s the next discount registration day, cuz I’m doing it with you.” (I’m really quite cheap.) So when my friend said, “Yep, I’m gonna do my very first half marathon in October.” without hesitation (Ok, that’s a big ‘ol lie. This is 13.1 miles here! I did have to think about it for a minute.) I said yes. And I quickly found a coupon code and registered for the Rock-N-Roll half marathon.

Everyone needs a girl like this in their lives. The gal that you follow in to the unknown and who will make you push yourself to the next goal. To that I say, thank God for my girl Jen!

Case Study #2: The Guy
Behind every good man stands a girl who is willing to crush every single PR he sets for himself. That guy is Jerry and that girl is me. He’ll email me and say, “I ran a 8:58 pace over 2 miles!” and I’ll reply with “That’s so awesome! Way to go! Congrats!”. And then I’ll head outside, run an 8:56, email him about it and he’ll call me an a-hole. I smile for days when this happens, as does he when he’s the one crushing some random goal I just set for myself. But that’s the dance we do and we both enjoy it immensely. (The a-hole recently beat me in the Run @ the Ridge 5K, so I guess I have some training to do.)

He helps me think outside the box and gives me ideas to keep the training fresh. He’ll do a trail run, then I’ll try a trail run for the first time and fall in love with it. He’ll tell me about some interval training he did up at the track and immediately I go check my schedule to see when I can get up there next. It’s awesome and he keeps me from getting in to training ruts. So much of this running stuff is mental, so keeping things fresh is very important.

Case Study #3: The Group
My latest motivation acquisition is a little sorority called “Finish the Race”. It’s an amazing group of women, most of whom I’ve never actually met, who gather on Facebook (and in real life) to talk about their running, their injuries, races they’ve done, goals they’ve met, pole dancing… ahh yes, pole dancing… and just about anything else happening in their lives.

Admittedly, I joined the group with hesitation. I was invited in and then sat back… stalker style… for a few weeks before I posted anything. I wasn’t sure if they were for real. (Any “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” fans out there? Remember when Willow joined the Wicka group, but they weren’t really hard core witches and she got frustrated… but then she met Tara… so it wasn’t really a total loss. Although, did anyone really like Tara? I thought she was weird.) Anywho, that’s what I thought might be the case for the FTR group. Boy did I think wrong! I find myself checking the group’s Facebook page, oh, about every 3 minutes to see if anyone has posted anything. My thumbs ache at the end of the day from the scrolling refresh maneuver I do on the  Facebook app on my phone, because I simply need to know what these ladies have been up to. They get me moving, make me laugh and I can relate, on some level, to just about everything that gets posted by this awesome group of women. It was a pretty cool find and a motivating force for me to turn off the “Housewives” and turn on the training.


To update my progress, I’ve got 2 races under my belt so far this Spring/Summer. I missed my goal on the 10K, but managed to PR a 5K. I’ve got three more races lined up in the next 4 months. A 4-miler, a 2-miler with my nephew, which I’m really stoked about, and then the 13.1 in October. I’d love to add a few more races in here and there, but that will just depend on how many coupon codes I can find.