Back in high school I ran with the Second Sole group from Rocky River twice a week. Our coach was heavily involved with Second Sole and offered this as an optional training day during the summer. This became a tradition throughout high school and we spent Tuesdays and Thursdays running in the metro parks, followed by Mitchell’s for a little post run snack. After I left for college, and took some time off from running, I stopped running with the group. Lately I’ve been thinking about going back, but was always afraid they’d smoke me.
So yesterday I finally decided I would run with the group again. I had no idea if I would know anyone, what distance they were interested in or how fast they’d be running. I showed up early and there were just a few guys. First thought, can I still back out, I can’t keep up with them, they look way too fast. Eventually more people started showing up, and they mentioned only 3 miles were on the schedule for tonight, no one wanted to over do things before Sunday. They also broke off to pace groups, and I fit comfortably in with a group of 6.
We started off, and the group asked a few questions, they wanted to know if I was running Sunday and what my goal time was. They also wanted to make sure I was in the right pace group and if I was hoping for more miles. We ran a short three miles, 10 minute pace on the way out and negative split on the way back. As soon as we started, I felt comfortable, I felt home. I normally don’t like running in groups, but running with a group that cares just as much as you do is amazing. There was no competitiveness, just the path and the runners.
I loved every moment of running with SS and made a promise to myself that I would join them as much as I could. I may not realize it now, but these runners could very well help me when I’m struggling to do 20 miles later on this summer.
Cleveland training may be over for many, but if you have other races coming up or the motivation to keep running, then Second Sole running group is a great opportunity. To find out which days work best for you, check out their site. I’ll be there Thursdays!