Better Together (Group Running)

(Keep reading through — I’m giving away a really cool New Balance jacket at the end of the post!)

It’s been a long, long time since I ran with anyone other than Audrey. When I was training for my first half marathon back in 2009, I used to meet up with some blogging buddies to run before work (holy moly, I just looked and it was four years ago this week that I was “showering” in a Starbucks) but my schedule in recent years just didn’t make that possible.

But I knew I needed…something. Inspiration for my long runs, and a community who could support me as I gear up for a busy race season. So this weekend, on my daughter’s first birthday (as I said on Instagram — I figured that a year before we were up early and in pain together so why not celebrate the same way, with a long run?), I packed up the running stroller and a smiling toddler and headed out to meet a group of fellow runners for a 7 a.m. fun run.

(#AD) I use #beamazing alarms to get myself moving in the morning. Early bird gets...done sooner.

(It’s a regular and free event, and usually there are between five and 50 runners who come by. It’s informal, but there is a regular route and even some water/ice pop stations along the way.

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You can come for as long as you want! For anyone in Orlando, you can learn more here:  http://www.orlandorunnersclub.org/ Let me know if you want to come — it would be so fun to see some familiar faces!)

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I didn’t know how far we’d run, whether we could keep up, whether we’d actually enjoy it…but we did. So much so that I’m hoping to make this a regular Sunday tradition.

We planned on running five miles, but after making it that far with the group, Audrey and I did an additional 2-mile cool down on the way back to our car. I had a blast talking with people along the course, running at my own pace and watching the beautiful sunrise come up in a really gorgeous neighborhood. Not only were the people nice, I found that I enjoyed the entire adventure more because I wasn’t alone.

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I don’t know that group runs make sense (for me) for shorter training runs, but certainly for five and over, it’s a great way to stay motivated (plus, I learned about a few upcoming events that aren’t on the highly publicized race calendars as well as some new routes that are apparently really scenic).

Do you prefer running alone or with friends?

BONUS NOTES:

PLEASE SEE MY DISCLOSURE POLICY FOR MORE ON THE FOLLOWING AS BOTH INCLUDE COMPENSATION/PRODUCTS!

1) I’m hoping to PR at the St. Petersburg 5K this fall, and I’d LOVE to have you join me at that event or one of the other Women’s Running Series races in the next two months:

  • Scottsdale-Tempe, AZ – November 3, 2013
  • St. Petersburg, FL – November 24, 2013

If you sign up for the half marathon in St. Pete, use the discount code FITFLKATY for $10 off. (Note: I am being compensated for helping to promote this race but believe me, the sweat and tears I’m putting into training are all mine.)

More information is on Facebook and Twitter (follow the hashtag #BeAmazing).

2) See that cool orange jacket I’m wearing in the pictures above? New Balance sent this High Visibility Beacon Jacket to me [disclosure!] and I love it — it glows in the dark, is lightweight and definitely made me feel safer during my pre-sunrise miles. You can actually charge it for 10 minutes before you head out and the jacket gets super, super bright.

I love it so much, in fact, that I asked New Balance to give one of YOU the same jacket. To enter, you just need to leave a comment on this post that says “PLEASE ENTER ME!” Please note: New Balance only has this jacket in a women’s medium (sad face) to give away, so you either need to wear that size or have a friend to gift that size to.

There’s more about the jacket in this cool video:

I’ll be picking a winner after Sunday, October 20th at 5 p.m. Sorry, all — U.S. addresses only!

Comments

  1. says

    PLEASE ENTER ME! That looks like a really cool thing to have going into the winter months, when it’s impossible to get home from work before dark to get a run in during daylight.

  2. says

    Please enter me!

    And I actually think I prefer running alone. I like the accountability that running with friends gives me, but I really like zoning out to music and not talking while I run.

  3. Katy says

    Please Enter Me.

    I like both running alone and with others. I truly depends on my mood. I was thankful to run with my sister this weekend, something we have never done before but something we hope to do more of in the future. I also love my solo runs where I can focus on speed or distance and pound the pavement to great tunes. I love the look of the NB relective jacket. I need more reflective gear as there are no sidewalks in my neighborhood and I have to run on streets – not a huge fan of that.

  4. Jessica Guzman says

    PLEASE ENTER ME! I’m just days from having a baby and could really use some cute new gear for when I’m cleared to run again.

  5. says

    PLEASE ENTER ME! <——Sounds kinda naughty LOL I hope I win, even though Central FL doesn't get *too* cold a nice jacket sure will help soon when it gets colder

  6. Kimmie Sue says

    Please Enter Me!!!

    I power walk in the early mornings at Clear Lake State Park and would love to have this jacket for my safety. Thanks for the opportunity. kim

  7. says

    PLEASE ENTER ME!

    Also, I prefer running alone. I like the quiet time to focus on my body. But every now and then I will mix it up and join a group.

  8. says

    PLEASE ENTER ME!

    Love the jacket! I’ve recently discovered that I love running with groups — for a long time I thought I was a solo runner, but the long training runs for marathon training have definitely taught me otherwise!

  9. says

    Please enter me!!! I have thought about joining a running group, but my schedule can be all over the place, so I usually just run alone. The last few weeks I have been lucky enough to have my husband keep me company on bike while I do my long run. He’s my biggest fan – and supporter – so he knows all the right things to say. :)

  10. says

    Please enter me!!!

    That jacket looks awesome! And I feel the same way about group runs. Too much hassle for short distances, but really great for longer ones.

  11. says

    PLEASE ENTER ME! YOU CAN ENTER ME TWICE IF YOU WANT! YOU CAN ENTER ME UNTIL THE COWS COME HOME!
    After a two-year, doctor-ordered break from running, I’m finally back on the trail and would love to have some neon for my triumphant return.

  12. says

    Katy … great to have you out with the ORC Sunday morning running club. It gets much better when Jack is there and the other runners who were probably off racing at UCF last Sunday. Come back for more. Tell Marc and Bill to come out too (those lazy rascals)!

  13. says

    PLEASE ENTER ME! The jacket looks great and it would keep me warm and reflectively safe in these cooler and darker runs I’m having to do this time of year!

  14. Avery Lemm says

    PLEASE ENTER ME

    This jacket would be perfect! I just moved back to wisconsin from Arkansas and it is cold up here! Plus I am always running when it is dark so it’s a win win ;)

  15. Caylin says

    PLEASE ENTER ME!! This would be great for my now early morning runs in the dark….time change and fall is upon me here in the North. PICK ME!!! :)

  16. says

    PLEASE ENTER ME!!! Love that jacket! What a great Sunday morning tradition to start with your daughter and some fellow runners! We get dark and snowy in the winter, so these kind of groups usually fizzle out this time of the year, but our local YMCA does a group in the Spring that I love to join!

  17. Jane says

    PLEASE ENTER ME!
    New reader here. I came across your blog via Janae over at Hungry Runner Girl :)
    Love the jacket. Looking forward to following your blogging!

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