I have been running now for almost 2 years, I have always run alone for various reasons:
If i run with other people would I keep up?
If I joined a club would they be nice and would I fit in?
I run early in the morning and don’t particularly like running on an evening.
Is it going to cost a fortune?
Can I commit to a once/twice weekly meet?
Over the last few weeks/months I have gone backwards as forwards in my mind whether to join a club or remain running on my own. One thing primarily has stopped me: FEAR! I tried running with a club on a Sunday a few weeks back, wonderful bunch of people, great run through Sutton Park, really beautiful surroundings, and amazingly no cost involved. My problem is that Sundays are my long run day on the lead up to the marathon my training will require me running much further than the 10k for the group run, so sadly I have had to look at other options.
I had heard a lot of really positive talk about Aldridge Running Club via members and through the grapevine, so I took the plunge last night, overcame my fears and reservations and went for it.
Right from my first contact with them via Facebook the response was wonderful, I was given information and made to feel welcome. I got to their venue at the Stick and Wicket in Aldridge a little early (I am always early! lateness is a pet hate) and mustered up the courage to enter an already very busy Social Club. My terror overtaking me i was so close to turning around and running for the hills (or car park at least) but I didn’t, I have to face my fears ‘I can and I will’. I was approached by the lady who had chatted with my via Facebook and instantly I felt at ease, she explained everything to me and to my joy there were 2 other girls starting too, plus a gentleman who had only been the week previously and looked like he had been there a lifetime.
I fully intended to do the Melish 6 route (6 miles) but when my two newby partners annouced they were doing the Industrial 4 route (4 miles) I backed out of the 6 and felt safer staying as a threesome. The room filled to almost capacity and the Vice Chair announced a reel of PB’d from Park Runs, the results from those who ran the London Marathon and a few other snippits of info, then off we went.
The club provide a front runner, back runner and an in betweener too. Plus as newbies we were assigned a buddy which was taken on by one of long standing male runners, bless him he really made me feel at ease chatting as we ran. As the run progressed everyone slips into their own pace and the group gradually breaks up, I chatted with a couple of runners and then ended up on my own, which was fine and thankfully I managed to keep the person in front of me in my sights as I was not a 100% sure where I needed to go. 4 miles down the run was completed and it felt great.
I got chatting to another couple of members and even got semi talked into possibly joining the Cross Country Team in the winter. Something i never thought I would even consider but you know what I may just join that team!
Club running was ace, I loved it, I loved the company, I loved the support, I loved hearing everyone’s banter and most of all I loved feeling part of something. Why I have wasted so long thinking about it I will never know!