My running buddy, she found out about a running group. They meet on Saturday mornings at a local middle school, and run different distances according to what everyone is training for. The group belongs to a local church.
My running buddy, she convinced me that we should sign up together. So we did. Three weeks ago.
And that first Saturday? I had a cold. Not a huge cold, but enough of a cold not to want to get up early on Saturday and go running with a bunch of strangers while wearing leggings.
The second Saturday? I had other running plans, and so did my running buddy. We helped raise funds for a local organization that provides transitional housing and services to homeless families. A whole group of us signed up together, and it was fun. At the end, someone from the running group saw our church t-shirts and invited us to join the running group. My running buddy and I admitted that we were already signed up for the group.
This Saturday? I gave it a try. By myself. My running buddy? She went out of town. So I got up, put on leggings, and headed out to the school a little early to warm up and stretch. As I noticed other people in running gear arrive, I worked up the courage to ask if they were the running group.
Indeed, they were. Out of the 25-30 people who were there, one person talked to me.
And the second thing she said?
We won't have anyone running your distance today.
I'm not a completely shy person, but new things can be pretty daunting. Signing up to run with a group of people I don't know? Not something I would typically try on my own.
We worked out that I would start out with the 10K/Half Marathon group, who were planning to run 6 miles....But I was only hoping to run 4 today, so I would turn back at a certain spot.
The actual run? Was fine. I ran like I normally run, just a different route.
But here's the thing.
If I had known that everyone would be listening to their own music the whole time?
I would have brought my own.
If I had known that no one would talk to the new person?
I would have run my normal route at home.
What is the point of having a running group where no one talks to each other?
Where is the community in that?
And if this running group is intended to be a gateway into their church community, how the heck do they expect that to work?
I was (clearly) disappointed with the way the group worked out this morning. But I've signed up for the email list, and I'll try it again.
Who knows....maybe next time will be better. I think a fair chance at this group will be about 5 times. One down, four to go.