I have never been a part of any running group. Not the small local club, not the somewhat larger New York Road Runners. So when I joined a running group based in Cambridge for a run this past Saturday, it was an entirely new experience. And a great one, at that.
After being in Cambridge for over a month and running nearly every day of my stay here, it finally occurred to me that I should check out running clubs nearby. After all, Boston is practically swarming with runners, and it is only natural that they on occasion get together for some of that running.
About a minute and a half into searching the interweb, I found a group that met three times a week about two minutes away from where I’m currently staying. After a short email exchange with the club I found myself with the group bright and early Saturday morning.
The group largely stayed together for the first mile, then broke up into pairs (mostly) who ran their own pace and distance around the Charles River. I’ll always maintain that running is a solo sport at its heart, but running with a partner can be extremely helpful. The fellow I ran with was right around my fitness level, so we were well matched.
The interesting thing about running in pairs is that crashing is rarely synchronous, which is actually a good thing. If one runner is struggling he can draw energy from the other and vice versa. When I’ve been on runs where my partner and I crash together, it is difficult, but even that can be psychologically helpful: sometimes it’s good to know that you’re not the only one having a hard time.
I’m an advocate of running partners, clearly, and a running club seems to operate on the same principle. Logic dictates I should therefore like running clubs, which thus far appears to be accurate. I suppose I’ll know better after this Saturday, when I run with them again.