I was completely alone on my run this morning. Quite unusually, I didn’t see a single runner, dog walker or mum/toddler/pram combination in the park so I had the glorious view, sunshine and wildlife to myself. It was definitely one of those mornings that running is easy and I couldn’t think of a single thing I’d rather have been doing. Even my temperamental calf was being helpful today.
Running on Monday after work was not so easy. It was raining solidly by the time I got to the end of my road and it was almost as if someone was throwing buckets of water on me as I ran. Every few minutes, I’d have to wipe the torrents running down my face. But despite all of that, I still had a maniacal grin on my face the whole time. I might have been alone on the track but in my head were all the supportive comments, gestures and thoughts I’d had from others which are what often gets me through on my runs.
Earlier this year, I joined a facebook group called ‘five30runners‘. The aim of the group is to support and encourage runners, regardless of their current time or their goal. The ‘five30’ part comes from a frequently listed goal of aiming to run 5km in 30 minutes. The majority of the group are based in New South Wales, over 1,000km from me but it hasn’t stopped them from being the most supportive bunch of people I’ve ever been lucky enough to be part of. No question is silly, no goal is laughed at and no achievement passes without celebration, however small that achievement may seem.
Through my involvement with this group, my confidence with running has grown and I’ve stuck with it, despite my injury setbacks. The support I’ve gained online has also helped me connect more with friends and family about my running, as my confidence in sharing what I’m doing and being proud of my achievements has grown. I finally see myself as a runner and so much of that is down to this supportive and inspiring running community that I feel part of.
So, when I’m out there running, I might be on my own but I’ve always got company.
What support networks help you in your running? And what gets you through those tough runs?