It’s no secret that I love to run, and half marathons are my drug of choice. I log the majority of my miles solo, and it admittedly can get lonely out there. Group runs aren’t always the easiest to find and take part in. Not to mention, my average abilities and I find organized group runs to be intimidating.
Earlier this summer, I was in the wake of my latest big race effort and felt a little aimless. I wanted to feel like I was part of something, but my November race registrations were too far into the future to feel relevant. Filling my time with 5Ks and finding a run group seemed like the right thing to do.
Slow & Steady But Solo
After a few weeks of talking about it, my social anxiety and I sucked it up and went to a Saturday morning run hosted by my local Fleet Feet. (Local = a 20 minute drive away. My town’s got nothing.) My slower pace paired with a long distance ambition isn’t the most common on the social running scene, so I was nervous.
Within the first mile, I found myself on a 7-mile solo run that I’d dragged my arse out of bed at 7:00a on a Saturday for. If I wanted to run alone, I’d have stayed home and at least known where I was going. Instead, I kept having to grab a sweaty strip of paper out of my pocket every half mile or so, hoping I didn’t sweat the ink into unreadable oblivion. I felt lost, both literally and figuratively.
Those of you who follow my stories on Instagram know that I spend a ton of time on the road. While I often WANT to be part of something, sometimes it’s impossible for me to physically be there. Perfect example: SeaWheeze 2019. I wanted to run in Vancouver so badly, but I had to be in New York for work. I knew this back in January, so I didn’t even enter the lottery. I sadly had to turn down a generous offer from the lululemon Westfarms team to nominate me for an entry. Such was life.
BYO Race Course
But then, in July, lululemon announced an option to run a virtual race. I was still able to feel connected to Seawheeze, and it’s what got me out the door to complete my longest run since June. As some of you recall, August was a rough month for me and my family, and that virtual race kept me from giving up on something I loved and simply burying my head in the sand.
The day I crossed the proverbial finish line and completed StravaWheeze, I decided I wanted to figure out a way to better engage with the people I’ve followed on social media and vice versa, some of whom I’ve been lucky enough to meet through this platform over the last few years. Hell, I wouldn’t have connected with my amazing run coach if it weren’t for this blog.
I can’t be the only one out there who loves to run, but struggles to find compadres to do it with. So I decided that if I couldn’t find a club to be part of without the ability to show up at X place at X time on X day of the week, I may as well create one of my own.
Say hello to the AthletiKaty Run Crew. 👋🏼
This brainchild of mine is going to live its life on Strava, and I’m incredibly hopeful that you’ll join me.
My goal is to provide a lighthearted, fun, yet informative virtual run club for AthletiKaty readers. Oh, and we’ve got GIFs for the ‘gram. (I’m a nerd, ok?) 🤓🤓🤓
Click the big ol’ graphic above to be taken directly to the club’s page on Strava.
For more info: AthletiKaty Run Crew 101 + FAQ
I really hope you’ll join the club. Whether you run for health, snacks, or race medals… you’re welcome to run with me. I think we can have some fun.