When I started running it was to replace a fitness regime that just wasn’t working for me (running turned out to be way more effective for overall fitness and keeping off the extra lbs). It soon turned into more as I got more competitive with myself and eventually joined a club where I could compete against others around my pace that I would see regularly at races.
This year I’ve taken a more relaxed approach to running (I say that despite still trying to be competitive in some events – such as the recent RVRR Summer Series ). What it does mean is that I have not been pushing myself to meet goals in races, or in training runs, and there’s no better reminder about how to enjoy running by just going with the flow.
Being a member of a running club is particularly useful in this respect – assuming it’s the right running club. I know I belong to the right running club when I can enjoy a day of fun running in NYC with about 35 other runners, through 3 boroughs, over 4 bridges, and a ride on the Roosevelt Island Tram. The primary route covered about 13 or 14 miles, with options to cut short, or extend it by running back down to get to the pub afterwards (I opted for a Citibike ride back). With multiple photo stops and refreshment stops (essential on a hot day like this) the run took a few hours so no speed records were set here.