Nature Trail Runners

A running club with weekly Group Runs in Aurora, IL., Montgomery, IL. and Oswego, IL.

Why I Joined a Running Club -by Caroline Tonozzi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ok, so you want to join a running group. What are you waiting for? Put down that sandwich, and listen up! I’m here to tell you that it’s not as scary as you think. This is my story.

I have been a casual runner, on and off, for about 12 years. I got to the point where I was running consistently about 3-4 miles, three times a week. My progress stalled, and I felt stuck (plateau, anyone?) I participated in a 5K this past spring, had a great time, and suddenly I was ready for a marathon (not really, but I felt great!).

Suddenly my world was blown apart early this summer with the diagnosis of cancer in my 3 year-old niece, Lily. I lost focus on my running. As time passed, I learned I had to make a choice. Sit miserably at home or run. I chose the latter, despite the brutal and unforgiving temperatures. I found something that gave me hope; my sanity, as running kept me from losing my mind. With newfound resilience, I joined the Nature Trail Runners on meetup.com. I answered the requisite questions, and I was a member of a running group, my first ever. Easy, right?

Suddenly I became a chicken little, full of self-doubt. Normally, I’m not a hand wringer, but my life had just come undone. What if I was too slow? What if everyone knows each other and doesn’t talk to me? Will they be a welcoming group? Will they grill me on my splits/race goals/race pace/weekly mileage/my thoughts on anything running related (I didn’t know what a split was until I Googled it). What if what if what if? I signed up for my first run, a Monday evening run in Montgomery.

It was a very hot and humid night when I met Maria, Andy, Daisy and her daughter, and Ellen, the founder of Nature Trail Runners. All of my doubts went out the window as soon as I fixed the bright yellow laces on my shoes. I had a great time. This group led me to the Bolingbrook Fun Run Club, another really amazing local running group. You only have to join us for a run to realize that. You will be welcome no matter what. Some people walk, some are super fast, some have run a marathon, some have never done more than 3 miles. You will fit right in.

What if you don’t have time to meet us for a run? You don’t have to come to every single run. I found it helpful to have a running calender, where I would schedule my runs as “appointments” each day. RSVP for a group run, add it to your calender, and show up. Easy-peasy. I did my first half marathon last weekend. Next year, I’m going to do a marathon. 6 months ago I didn’t think it was possible, but it is. Welcome! I hope to see you on the trail.

-Caroline Tonozzi

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This entry was posted on November 26, 2012 by in Category: Articles and tagged , , , , .
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