Runner at Large

My whole life, I have viewed runners with a sense of awe. Now I am one of those, and I am extremely proud to be considered a runner.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

To Join or Not to Join...

That is definitely the question.

Ever since I ran my first race in 2002, I have received brochures and pamphlets to join Team in Training, the program designed to help participants train for races and events while they raise money for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I have never considered them before, but yesterday afternoon I realized my half marathon and marathon dreams were not out of wack, and with the right training and support, I could probably accomplish them quicker than I realize. The largest deterant for me is location--I live outside Philly in the burbs. Not Main Line burbs, but out far enough than anything considered "Philadelphia Area" or "Eastern PA" is going to be at least a 20 minute drive for me. Which typically wouldn't be bad, except 1) in rush hour and 2) when I have 20 minutes to talk myself out of something. Getting out the door for a run is hard enough; getting out the door for a run plus 40 minutes of round-trip driving is next to impossible, I would think.

However. There is the underlying, nagging thought I have that I wonder what I could accomplish with the proper motivation and team setting. Yes, I'm highly unlikely to get in the car and drive myself to run by myself. But what if I have some people waiting for me? What would I do then? Would it be exciting, then get old quickly? Or would this renew my love of running and be the boost I need? I'm not even going to discuss if the cause is good or not--of course it is good. But if I felt so strongly about the cause, I could rest easy by writing a donation out to the society.

The other question is speed of other participants. I do not want to sign up and show up to the first run with everyone ready to pound out 10 miles at an 8-minute pace. I would rather start from scratch, take a back-to-basics approach, and be on target with everyone else than feel that I was either dying by the end or holding people back.

I would love thoughts on this. I would love to hear other people's experience--worth it? Not worth it? Should I or shouldn't I?

Feedback and gentle nudging is appriciated.

(p.s. my Adidas Supernova's additional cushioning in the mid-foot area has created a large blister)


At 8:08 AM, Blogger Helen said...

Hi - I found your blog after reading Shoreturtle's Broad Street Run roundup. I wonder if you've considered joining Philly Fit to get ready for the Distance Run instead of Team In Training? I don't want to knock TNT, it's a great program and I've done it myself, but you might consider Philly Fit ( because it's a similar thing only without the fundraising obligation. You pay about $100 to join and they meet for weekly runs and some social stuff too. They divide the runners into pace groups and there are lots of beginners (like me) who run slower than 10 minute miles. The other good thing for me is that most of their runs are at Valley Forge and along the Perkiomen Trail which might be easier to get to early in the morning than the TNT runs which tend to be down at Kelly Drive. Good Luck either way!


Post a Comment

<< Home