Thursday, January 24, 2013

Going Clubbing?

To club or not to club?  That is the question.  When you decide that you are a runner, you need to make some other decisions.  I've already talked about shoes and races; now I want to address the issue of running clubs.

In February 2012 I joined the Towpath Turtles, which is a group associated with The Ohio Runner's Network.  My main reasons for choosing this group were 1) location--the Turtles primarily run in the Akron area--and 2) times--The Turtles do their group runs on Sundays, and that is the only free day I have in the week.  It is through the Turtles that I was able to break most of my mental and physical barriers to running.  The day that I was able to run four miles without stopping was pretty significant for me, and I owe it to the Turtles.  One of the most empowering moments (besides childbirth) that I've ever experienced is when I ran the Akron Half Marathon, and I owe this to the Turtles, too.  They are extremely supportive and knowledgeable, and they are just good people.

This is the motto of the Towpath Turtles.

One advantage of joining a running club is that you get discounts at running stores; believe me, it adds up.  Plus, being a part of a running club is a great way to hold yourself accountable.  You won't skip the long run because you know that a bunch of people are going to notice if you aren't there.  You can curse all you want during the run, but you aren't allowed to wussy out of it.  If you fall behind, someone will wait for you; if you want to go faster, someone will race you.  Plus, you have a strong group mentality that is very addictive.  When I run races, I wear a Turtle shirt, and runners know that I belong.  When I see fellow Turtles during a race, we have a turtle call (it sounds like an Arab wedding cheer), and people know that we are together.  It's a good feeling.

The Towpath Turtle season starts at the end of February 2013, and this will mark my first full year of being a runner.  I'm glad I chose this group, and I intend to stick with them.  Here is some info if you are interested in a running group.

Training for the 2013 Towpath Turtles season will begin Sunday, Feb 24th at 10am! If you are interested in training with us, there is a $50 enrollment fee that covers your Turtle shirt, and membership in The Ohio Runner's Network running club. (Additional training is available later in the season.) If you are interested in signing up, you must contact Sheila Avsec on FB, or on the OneLife Coaching's FB page for more information/an enrollment application.