Laura Sievert talks about her hesitation of running with a club as a newer runner and the joys that come from running with others. I’ve been enjoying watching Laura grow as an athlete and love when she shares it. Check out Laura’s blog Get Out -Jared
I went to Kelly’s Restaurant (Quincy, IL) the past two Tuesday nights, but it wasn’t for the cheese soup or the cinnamon rolls. In fact, it was for a much healthier purpose all together. I was there to meet with the Heartland Road Runners and Walkers Club and participate in their evening social run!
The HRRWC is a chapter of the Road Runners Club of America. Their mission is to promote walking, running and active lifestyles for people of all ages and fitness levels. The Quincy Club has many scheduled group runs, including the one I participated in the last two weeks.
I’m a pretty active person, but running has always been tough for me. I’m slow and maybe a little self-conscious, and I was really intimidated by the idea of running with a group. Many members of the Quincy Bicycle Club are also members of HRRWC though, and they kept telling me I needed to give running with the club a shot. At the very least I thought it would give me something new to blog about, so I laced up my Mizunos and went out to meet the club.
The Tuesday evening social runs meet in the parking lot at a different Quincy restaurant each month. This month the run meets at Kelly’s at 6:45. I talked my friend Jeremy into going to with me, and when we arrived, there was about a dozen runners ranging in age from 15 to 55 standing in the parking lot. I didn’t really know what to expect from there. I knew a few of the people there were amazing athletes and I was pretty worried that I’d be left in their dust as soon as we took off. Fortunately, that wasn’t the case at all.
We set out from the Kelly’s lot out toward 30th Street. The pace was nice and easy and people were chatting while we jogged. We turned up Maine Street and spread out in a long line going through Madison Park. It was a beautiful autumn evening and I was actually really enjoying the run. The group naturally broke itself into smaller groups about a mile into the run. My friend Jeremy is a stronger runner than I am and he went with the middle group. I was in the slowest group, but the four of us stuck together and I never felt like I was slowing anyone down.
Doug Seebers paired up with me at about the 1.5 mile mark, and he explained that he uses a system of running called the Jeff Galloway Program. I’ll write more about this in an upcoming blog, but I learned that the program is a running and walking combination designed to maximize distance and minimize injury for runners. Doug and I alternated running 3 minutes and walking 1 minute for the remainder of the 3.2 mile run. It was only after the run that I learned that Doug has completed 35 full marathon runs (26.2 miles) using this method.
Running with Doug was great for a beginner like me. He was full of encouragement and helped me to push just a little harder without making me feel like I wasn’t moving fast enough. The second week I ran with another club member, Denise Poland, and I was again surprised at how encouraging it was to run with someone else and share in another club member’s enthusiasm for being active.
After each evening social run, the club sticks around for dinner at the restaurant that they started from. I really enjoyed the conversation after the run. Every bit of the experience was welcoming and inclusive, and I’m really excited about learning from each of the runners of the HRRWC. I would encourage any of my readers to join us in the parking lot at Kelly’s next Tuesday at 6:45 to Get Out and give the Heartland Road Runners and Walkers Club a shot. They’ve definitely got a place for you, no matter how much or how little experience you have.
To learn more about HRRWC, visit www.hrrwc.com or find them on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Heartland-Road-Runners-and-Walkers-Club-HRRWC/73873799611 Yearly membership to the club is $15 for an individual or $25 for a family. Evening social runs will start from Kelly’s on Tuesdays at 6:45 throughout October. After that, you may contact Glenn Swick at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out where the club will be meeting. There are also early morning runs on Wednesdays and Fridays at 5:30 AM leaving from Starbucks. Information and times for other scheduled runs and events are on the HRRWC website.