Last summer, my family spent a good deal of time in Grand Haven, Mich. I was training for Chicago and got in my runs by running down the boardwalk and back but I was getting a little concerned because I needed to get in a 12 mile run and just couldn't stomach doing a bunch of laps around town. Friday afternoon, we walked downtown and visited the local running store, Running Circles. I found a hydration pack, which I needed, and while we were paying for it, I asked one of the owners about a good 12-mile route. He told me a couple of different ones and then said that they have a running group going out in the morning and I was welcome to join them.
I did and it was great. I was much slower than the rest of the group, however there were a couple of water stops where I caught up to them and we talked for a little bit, got something to drink and went on our way. I finished out my mileage and they were still at the store when I returned. It was so nice to have a couple of people to run with and in the end, keep you accountable.
Finding more and more runners in our town (only about 1,500 people) has inspired me to get something going so I'm starting to get the word out. I know I'll have at least one fellow runner joining me as we've kind of conspired to get this going on Feb. 2 at 8 a.m. Hopefully we will have exited this deepfreeze we are in the process of entering. I'll let you know how it goes.