I went from being a solo runner to running with TWO groups for 9 weeks.
And they couldn’t have been more different.
In one I struggled to run fast enough and in the other I struggled to run slow enough.
On Mondays, I ran in Troy with the Turkey Trot Challenge group. I was part of the “advanced” or 10K group which meant that these were runners who had run before..some even half marathons, I was probably in the middle, speed-wise but you know me, I wanted to keep up. And I think the drills and hills helped me get stronger and faster.
On Wednesdays, I ran in Schenectady with the STEM training group. These were women who are living in a shelter & are victims of domestic violence. They are out of shape and have never run before. Each of the volunteers usually paired up with one of the clients and started running for one minute up to 30 minutes. The ultimate goal for them to complete a 5K on Dec. 6.
Truthfully, it was hard to run that slow. I did my best, I ran circles, gave them pep talks and walked a lot. I had to forget about my own running and focus on their running. (I couldn’t think about how this 20 min pace is wrecking my training.)
So after each workout, I just ran by myself around the campus using the group run as my warm up. That worked out well.
It was really rewarding to see how far theses ladies had come and the joy it brought them to be successful. I wish I could be there Saturday to see them at the race. (I have to work 😦 )
So both groups were enjoyable and valuable but in different ways.
One group helped and motivated me to become a better runner. In the other, I hope I did the same for others.
I plan to repeat both groups in the spring.
There will a training challenge group for the Freihofer’s Run for Women that starts in March. And they hope to repeat the STEM program with the Troy or Albany shelter.
Happy Running! Have anyone of you volunteered in a Couch to 5k group or trained with a running group? If so, have you had similar experiences?