The Road to Fitville 10.11: running together, breakfast included

I wrote after I completed my first relay race that I was going to use bicycling to work as a way to carry myself through the post-race slump. Well, biking was exhilarating and fun the four times that I did it, but it wasn’t the right kind of challenge to keep me moving. I’d biked a lot before (my husband and I lived for 7 years without a car). But this time around I was a super-tired mom who slept too late on workdays, and the challenge mostly left me feeling guilty for taking my beloved tiny convertible to the office.

I started to get scared that I was going to hit the holiday season with a fat old thump. So what to do?

I started running with friends. Four of them to be exact.

This 2006 study of rats shows that exercising in groups is more beneficial than going it alone. And if it’s good for rats it must be good for a bunch of five women ranging from a 15-minute-mile walker to a 9-minute-mile running coach, who share a desire to get started late (10 am) and all have a taste for delicious breakfast (with bacon) after a Saturday run.

But seriously, though it is extremely fun, this group keeps me honest at least once a week. The first time we met the plan was hatched at a bar Tuesday night. We swore we’d all show up at the high school track Saturday at 10. And lo, by 11 am all of us were actually there! Now after only a couple weeks it has become a thing, and now our commitment is broader than each of ourselves, and we’re less likely to flake out on our weekend runs.

They all (except for the walker) run faster than me, and so I get gently prodded to do a little better than I would alone. And a bunch of us have signed up for the Run Like Hell 5K in a couple weeks. I’m setting myself a speed goal for that and will blog next week about my newest friend: the fartlek.

Author by Larissa Brown