I’m excited to introduce you to Shanin – my friend, sorority sister, and fellow runner. Like me, Shanin didn’t start running until she was in her 30’s. And also like me, she started out as a solo runner. She is an inspiration, and here is her story.
I totally shied away from group runs even companion running when I started the best-thing-to-happen-to-running Couch to 5K program in September 2011. I had friends that wanted me to run with them so badly. But I always said no. I’m a solo runner and that’s how I like it. I didn’t want anyone to “push my pace” or worse yet hear me gasping for breath.
My first group run was my first 5K–Running for the Bay in Apalachicola on a brisk October morning–but I didn’t converse with anyone on the run course nor did I know anyone running that day (I wasn’t yet “in the club”). I was a still solo runner and proud of it! Besides, my friends thought waking up at 6 am on a Saturday to run was acceptable. (For the record, I’ve since done a few 5:30 am training runs/bricks and survived.)
Then enter the local chapter of Moms Run This Town, where I now always have a support group and someone to run with. Just post the event and they will come (usually). Oh, and don’t forget Marathoners in Training and Favorite Run Community and Imitation Adults (local group of distance runners who do 10/12/20 on Sundays). I never have to run alone again, but I still do sometimes. I like to mix things up (solo, group, short distance, long distance, trails, pavement, flats, hills, intervals, swim/runs, etc.). God bless you, Facebook!
I recommend group runs, especially a beginners’ course, for anyone starting out or needing some encouragement. It’s good to finally be “in the club.”
Shanin Speas-Frost is a professional engineer working for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection coordinating the state’s Water Reuse Program. She is married to a fellow professional engineer working in the private sector doing environmental cleanup and they have two beautiful children, one of each and both under the age of 8. Shanin started running a few years ago before turning 40 and quickly got into triathlons a year after that with swimming being her strongest discipline.
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