But I’m Scared

While things have gone well so far, my marathon training is in its infancy.  And there’s a big hurdle I haven’t yet determined how to get over.

As it stands today, I have no accountability.  No training group whatsoever.  In addition to the ability to postpone early Saturday runs for Friday happy hours, I anticipate things getting pretty boring in a few short weeks.  I need people to run with.

I have a few options, each with their own perks and downsides.

1.  Team in Training.  I put in the effort as a fundraising participant last spring, so that makes me an alumna.  I could show up to run any Saturday morning I please, and TNT would provide running companions as well as excellent mid-run support.  The downside: there aren’t many runners that run sub-9:00 miles.  I had a great training group last spring in the 9:00-9:30 range, but the runners ahead of us were few and far between. 

2.  Runner’s Edge.  This is a coaching program in the KC area with a pretty solid reputation.  The downside here is that it’s a set program with a start and end date, as well as a fee.  Oh, and I’ve already missed their packet pickup and orientation session. 

3.  KC Track Club Wednesday Night Runs.  A group gets together every Wednesday night and runs anywhere from 3-10 miles.  It’s FREE, and quite a few dedicated and talented runners are a part of the group.  I think if I started running mid-week tempo runs with this group, I could get an ear in on where people are getting together informally to run long on the weekends.  I think this is the best logical option.  I’ve lived here for far too long not to be a part of this group.  They post their weekly meeting location online every week.  All I have to do is show up.

But there’s a catch.

This is a well-established group, some of whose members have been doing this for decades.  They meet at people’s homes, go for a run, and then have a potluck dinner afterward.  It’s an EXCELLENT concept and right up my alley, but for newbies like me it’s downright intimidating. 

Any suggestions?  How would you approach showing up at a stranger’s home for such an event?  Would it be rude for a first-timer to show up to dinner empty-handed?  If so, what in the world should I bring? 

I wish I weren’t such a weenie.


About stillarunner

I used to run. Some days, I even ran fast. Then I got a job. And met a boy. And bought a house. And rescued a dog. And rescued another dog. And went back to school. And created human life. I might not run every day, or even every week. There’s a good possibility that I will never be fast again. But I’m still a runner.
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8 Responses to But I’m Scared

  1. Megan says:

    #3 sounds like a great opportunity! Remember, 99.9% of all runners are terrifically nice people…I’m sure they’ll be welcoming even if you show up empty handed the first time. If you feel really nervous, maybe you could take rolls or something “carby” that wouldn’t need to be refrigerated or reheated.

  2. d.a.r. says:

    I am such a weenie about stuff like that, too!!! I would chicken out, for sure.

    BUT–you need to go! You need someone speedy to train with. Is there a contact person listed? I’d just call them and explain that you are still fairly new to the area and are looking for a training group and are hoping that you could come to the next run. Then ask if you can bring anything…I’m sure, more likely than not, they will take you under their wing, introduce you to the group, and make sure you don’t feel super awkward!

    Good luck, let us know how it goes!!

  3. Em says:

    Suck it up and go.

    Don’t be a weenie.

    Bring chocolate.

    Next week I want to be reading about how your first group run went.

  4. bouquetofparentheses says:

    I totally feel your pain…I am a weenie too!

    I like the suggestion of calling someone first, but also think it is totally acceptable to show up empty-handed with a smile on the first day. I bet after a week there will be nothing to be a weenie about…and you’ll know what to bring!

    Good luck!

  5. Holly's Dad says:

    Go with the KC Track Club. Go on the run and afterwards say that you have other plans, so can’t stay for the dinner, but would love to the next time.
    Good luck with your training.

  6. Liz H says:

    I’ve also looked into something similar to #2, but I’d rather not pay that much right now. #3 sounds like a good option for you. It’s always hard to go the first time to a new group, but you’ll probably be glad you did once you go.

    p.s.–I would offer to run with you, but, being a running newbie, I would definitely slow you down! However, let me know if you’re ever in the mood to do some cross training (e.g., yoga class, weight lifting/P90X DVD, bike ride, Wii fit [just kidding about that last one…sort of]), and I’ll be game. 🙂

  7. Pam Rizza says:

    My running buddy did runners edge in the fall and LOVED it. She said it was very motivating and the workouts were quality.

  8. If you have a Road Runners in the area, they are really good. If not any running group should work out well. Don’t be scared. Join them the first time for a run, not a dinner and take it from there. I write about my experience, as well as non-related running encounters in my debut novel “Intimate Encounters”

    Sierra Michaels

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