Group Runs…Fun Runs…

running-group

I think I’m going to explain the fear that most people have with joining these type of running group events.

When the “no person is left behind” motto comes out, we don’t believe it for a minute. Our guilt kicks in and we know we are not the best of the best of those running. We have this fear that we will be left behind. We have this guilt about holding someone back.  So we just don’t run in group runs. When someone offers to run with us we never know if the offer is serious or just a pity offer. We end up with guilt because we know you are better and we are just a hold back.

I’ve been told that “no person is left behind” and everyone runs as a group. I had the chance this past weekend to go out as a cheerleader to support my fellow running family. I guess it was my way of looking to see how well the whole “we run together… no one is left behind” goes.

I watched a group of people come to the finish area and check/stop their garmins etc, looked at their time and see how well they ran. Again, I thought it was a “fun run”, out supporting each other. Nor did these people turn and run back, to bring in the last of the people. There was a bit of a long break between the “Elites” and the next group as well as an extend time to those who came in with the tail end. Again, I thought this was a fun run, run as a group, whether you are an “Elite” (Or think you are) and have to do a light jog beside the person you are running with or could end up walking, but you still run as a group.

If it’s a fun run, why are garmins allowed? Maps can lay out routes that can tell you the distance. Time shouldn’t mean a thing on a fun run? Maybe I am just wrong, maybe I need to become competitive in running a fun run?

Why can’t the elite runners who came in first turn around and bring in the back half? Or yet, why can’t they push and support someone in the back half, who has the fear and anxiety that they are last even in a fun run.

This again is the whole fear factor that the back half of any pack of runners have, we just are not good enough to run in a fun run, group run. It’s like the fear of being picked last in public school. We just end up feeling like asses. So we just don’t bother to come out. Maybe the “Elite” runners consider those of us who run a bit and end up walking a bit as not legit runners? Someone has drawn a line in the sand when it comes to being equals in the running community.

A fun run needs to be organized in which pairs “Elites” with the back half of the runners, so both parties benefit. “Elites” can actually remember what it is like to be starting out. To re-experience the struggles those of us in the back of the pack have. The “Elites” can maybe push us a bit harder, to experience something out of comfort zone but also realize we have what it takes. When was the last time someone had a conversation during a fun run with a beginner runner? Both parties benefit to learn something new. But maybe you’re a gifted runner who has no idea what the struggles some runners have.

So until I better myself as a runner, I highly doubt I’ll ever participate in a “fun run” only because I don’t need to be last or felt left behind by my running family. We all are playing in the sandbox, so someone needs to remove the line (or the word “Fun”) and remember we all are equal.

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2 thoughts on “Group Runs…Fun Runs…

  1. Jodi, I didn’t realize this is why you weren’t running. 99% of the runs I do are on my own. Last year was the first time I ran with anyone on several occasions–and trying to keep up had me having to stop to walk from trying to chat at the same time! My friends constantly said they don’t mind taking a break with me. Yes, I still feel guilty! BUT I know I would do the same for them. I do think the ‘no one left behind’ phrase is a little overused these days. When I run on my own–I often walk too. I am not fast. During the first fun run, I had to stop a few times because I was pushing myself to keep up and to talk. The group that day did wait for everyone to catch up at certain spots. This past weekend I’d already done a run commute to get in my long run miles, so I definitely wasn’t feeling very peppy when we left! I was at the back of the pack and at one point started chatting with another runner. We lost track of where the rest of the group was and ended up missing the turn! We wound our way back to the route and met up with everyone on the way back. In the end, the two of us took walk breaks, stopped at lights, chatted and really enjoyed ourselves. It turned out that she and I ran a very similar pace which was so refreshing! It’s taken a long time for me to feel comfortable with saying that I’m not as fast as others. That I take walk breaks. Or to post my paces on social media. I TOTALLY admire your back of the pack notes. It makes me feel more at ease in admitting these things. Does it make me any less of a runner? No. I’ve come a long way since I decided to start running…I’ve run distances I never thought I would and when I focus and push, can often do better than I thought. I’ve met some incredible people. I have an entirely new focus of my health because of running. These are the things I try to think about. Anyway, I say alllll of this to end with a promise. Next time there is an event that you are thinking of going to, let me know. I will run with you. I will walk with you. We can chat and have fun. Because I would not leave you behind.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Don’t ever let anyone steal your love of running Jods. Everyone has their own interpretation of what fun means to them. You know I will run with you and there are many others that will as well. DO NOT BE DENIED YOUR FUN!

    Liked by 1 person

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