Running community

Hey Gang!


Huge congrats this weekend to Zoë who raced in Nationals x-country and came 4th in her age group, and Jen Drynan (who’s always finishing her workouts as we start at 6 a.m.) who ran the Holly Jolly 5K and came 1st in her age group and ran sub-20! Way to go you guys.


This week I’ve been thinking about community, specifically the running community. There are not many communities in which you can just show up, do the thing, and you are immediately welcomed in and included as one of their own. In many other activities in life there is some posturing and proving oneself; having the right gear and knowing the right people. It takes years of devotion to work your way up the ladder in order to prove that you belong. In my experience with running groups however, if you show up and run(any pace), you are invited in with open arms. Running groups are comprised of cool people and quirky people. And sometimes very cool quirky people. The “no membership required” rule means we’re not protecting our own identities when we run with people who have life experiences and world views very different from our own. There’s no more comfortable place to have a conversation than when in rhythmic footfalls beside someone, moving together under your own effort in the same direction. There is something about that which seems to be universally understood but hard to scientifically explain.


This past Sunday I started my run with one running group,peeled off for a pit stop, found a friend to run with for some km’s, and then we hooked up with another group for a few more km’s. The common denominator with all parts of this run was a “come with me” mentality. I appreciated that a ton. But I have also come to expect that. I can just glom on to almost any group and not worry about what I’m going to talk about, what I look like, or even really how fast I’m going. If the group ahead is going faster than is comfortable,I just drop back and there’s usually someone around. No one takes offence.People peel off at various stages, sometimes even without a word. They got all the group running they needed for the day and that’s that. No problem. And I think wherever you go in the world, it’s a similar vibe. You join a running group, and you belong. Imagine just jumping into a random soccer game or band practice or book club? You can’t. But you always can with running groups. You can count on that. And I love it.


On to tomorrow’s workout! We’re back to hills. I know – some of you love ‘em and some of you hate ‘em. They are part of every runner’s healthy diet though.


Let’s do a similar ratio of long/short as last time. Doesn’t have to be the exact same quantity. Something like 4-7 long, 3-5 short. 7 and 5is probably more than most people will do, myself included. Just putting it out there – you don’t have to decide until you’re doing them and you see how you feel. The goal for these is to run strong and steady up the full, peppier and faster up the half. Once you feel you’ve started losing power and pace on the full, move to the half. Last time that happened to me sooner than expected! Just roll with it – it’s base season and we’re building strength, not risking injury.


Beach people, this is a 400m and 200m hill. Wherever that works (I know you like Glen Manor – Balsam between Queen and Pine is a good replica of Pottery).


I will plan to be at Pottery around 6:15. Remember, just get there and roll into it – we’ll see you on the hill!


That is all – see you in the am