Last night was Pint Night at our running group. Incidentally (or perhaps not so incidentally) it was my husband’s first night to join.
Let me share a little something I have learned about runners. We like to drink! Now, I know that not all runners drink and I have read some really inspirational blogs around here about people who have struggled through some very difficult substance abuse addictions and used running to help guide them on their journey. I have great admiration for them and their work to live a strong, clean life.
But for the vast majority of runners all you need to offer is beer at the end of a run and we will push and shove to be first in line.
Last month while taking my certification course to become a distance running coach the key speaker made a joke about how much runners like a victory drink or two. The entire room broke into a knowing chuckle. I could totally relate!
You can imagine what happens when a running group advertises that they will be offering beer and pizza post snowy run. Runners unite.
I have now gone to several group runs both co-ed and Chick’s Nights and one thing I have found is that I might not run with the same person every time, but I always have a great conversation with someone and a great run. Beer or no beer, it was a great evening. I have spent 5 miles chatting with a mother of toddler twins about her plans to balance her work, parenting, and marriage while training for a triathalon. One of my first evenings the group spent the entire run helping me get acquainted with my new neighborhood and tips on the best places to visit. I also had a run learning about the art of home beer brewing and making dandelion wine.
Last night I met an amazing gentleman who found running again last year, out of shape and over weight. A year later he had lost 70 pounds and is training for a marathon next spring. Awesome can’t even begin to sum it up. He was incredibly grateful for our local running store who was putting on the group runs and also for how they have helped him along his new path in life. He came to the store overweight and unsure even of what kind of shoes to wear or where to start. They were patient, showed him what gear he needed and have been a support system for him as he followed the path to a new healthy lifestyle. He now loves running again (he ran in college) and was beaming as he told this story. I was truly inspired.
His story is one that we can all learn from. Some of us have run for years and find it easy. Others have never run a mile and don’t have the slightest idea where to begin. The thought of even putting that first foot forward is frightening. We all come from a desire to learn and to make ourselves better and healthier. I love cheering for my friends and fellow runners!
If you are looking to pick up running or just need to find some inspiration or motivation to get out the door on these dark chilly nights, look to your local running groups. Check out your local running store for info on group runs as they are a very valuable resource.
The RRCA website http://www.rrca.org has a list of local running groups based on both cities and states. I highly recommend visiting their website for more information.
A shout out and thank you to Fleet Feet Chicago for hosting yet another great event and evening of running….and of course good job on the beer (Goose Island IPA is my favorite!). Cheers!
If you need just one more reason to justify that extra beer…or two, some research shows that a post workout beer may in fact rehydrate you better than water. Beer contains both electrolytes and carbohydrates (hello recovery fuel). Now research says 1 beer, but who knows? Why don’t you be the judge on that one and let me know.