Building a community one runner at a time
I never thought of running as a team sport, but now that I run with my coworkers and Pip I feel like its obvious. I had several bad starts on my own (I’m looking at you, shin splints), but with a couch I’m off to my first really good start. I can do this, we can do this. 5k here we go!
I can honestly say that without Pip Running I wouldn’t run. I like to run, but not alone. Everyone is encouraging, helpful and friendly. I remember when I started I couldn’t run a 5k. My first run with the group I was terrified. Everyone else was so much faster. I had to stop and walk. I thought for sure they would never ask me to come back. Coach Susan was so good at making me feel comfortable. She made sure to stay back with me. She also checked in to make sure I was coming back week after week. This year I’ll be running my first marathon and I couldn’t do it without my fellow runners. They’ve helped me through injuries and believed in me when I wasn’t so sure of myself.
Running had always been something I did alone. It was the time I spent thinking about problems, planning the future and decompressing from work. I’m not exactly a social butterfly so the thought of running with others and taking away this quiet time had kept me flying solo. That is until I was serious about training for a full marathon and I realized my previous attempts while flying solo didn’t work out too well. A friend of mine had been running with Pip since the beginning and had nothing but good things to say so I took a leap of faith and signed up. It turned out to be a wonderful experience. Everyone was so friendly and welcoming and no one runs alone, (unless they want to). We all had our individual goals and challenges during our training but we could always count on the support of our coaches and fellow runners. That support goes well beyond the running trail too as I witnessed during a personal tragedy that happened in the middle of training. Unfortunately in the end I wasn’t able to complete the marathon due to an injury that I battled from the beginning and just wasn’t able to overcome but the minute I get back into my running shoes, I know where I can find my running mates.
Being overweight I’m self conscious so it was nice to join a great group of women who aren’t looking at your body type. They have been so supportive in my goals no matter how small they are. Coach Susan has been very helpful in showing me I can do anything. I started off running a 5k in about an hour and I know I will be able to do a 10k this year with everyone’s support.
Pip Running is a unique group that I really can’t say enough about. When I started running, I was with a different group, and although they were really nice, I wasn’t part of the inner circle and was really left out on the runs. I wasn’t alone, but I was. Then I met Susan and started running with her 3 years ago. Right away you felt like part of the group. Very quickly running went from something i just did to being part of me, and I looked forward to running and signing up for events. This group has become a family, a stress relief and part of who I am. Susan has changed my life in a way I never thought possible and has given me a new family and some of the closest friends I could ever wish for or ever imagine having. If you are just starting out, or training for an ultra marathon, walk slowly or are a speedster, this group is for you. You are truly never alone when out, even if you run by yourself. Come by for a run, and you’ll find out how fun running can be. I <3 Susan and Pip Running.
Pip Running changed. my. life. period. I am rather antisocial by nature and going out and meeting people is not comfortable for me. I fell in love with running 5 yrs ago and only ran alone. I felt myself burning out and I wanted to try running with other human beings. I figured it would be easier because we would automatically have something in common and the awkwardness of getting to know someone might be easier if you don’t look at each other. smile emoticon I wanted to find a group of runners that took running seriously, but were also normal people who weren’t too fast. My 1st run with Pip Running was 2 1/2 years ago and I fell in love with this group. I have literally run with them every week, sometimes 3x a week since then. For the 1st time in my life, I am surrounded by a group of the most loving, supportive and crazy people who I can’t live without. This group is perfect for anyone who is nervous (or downright afraid) of being judged by others. There is no judgement here! Just put your running shoes on, show up, and run!
I had been participating in random 5k fun runs off and on for a few years, but never really thought of myself as a “runner.” I certainly didn’t run long distances and was never very fast. At the start of 2015, I decided to challenge myself and try something different. The thought of joining a running group was daunting and I was very nervous. The PIP group was very friendly, accommodating and encouraging from the very first night! I have learned so much in the last year about training properly and I have met some great people along the way. I can’t wait to see what 2016 has in store! Join the PIP group...you won’t be disappointed!
Where do I begin? How about, at the beginning? I was one of original Pip Runners, after getting waaaaay outside my comfort zone and meeting a complete stranger (Susan) to run with. One of my most precious running memories will always be when I finished a half marathon, with Emily Vaughan Wheeler, on my birthday, a few days after a lost a dear friend to breast cancer. I wasn’t used to having people cheer me on at the finish, especially in the winter, early in the morning. Susan was there, and my heart was so full of love and appreciation for her! (Sorry... I’m getting old, but I think Katey McMurray was there too? My running has had its ups and downs, but I always know Susan and the group is there for me. There are no superstars. Wait.... Not true.... They are ALL superstars.
So this is a hard one for me. Each time I have tried to write this I get teared up and cant finish, I teared up just reading these posts. Anyways. I came to Pip to accomplish one thing - do a 5k - and that was it. I just wanted to say I did it and move on with my life. During the Slug-to-5k class I found I had a couple of challenges to overcome. This hit me hard and Xmas 2014 I decided to give it up. I felt that ‘my’ issues would negatively impact the other runners and thus making me feel even worse. The community, the values, and the support that Susan has created, and continues to develop, with this group is unwavered and this ‘community’ she built kept me coming back. While I still feel I hold up my fellow Pipsters sometimes due to being slow, I have ALWAYS been supported and encouraged to show up as much as possible. Fellow Pipsters always say hi at races and try to meet up for photos before or after which this is nice if you are new and nervous, right?!! Make it what you want, but this really isnt just a running group to me. It is my foundation, its support to getting back in shape, and it pushes my limits to go further than ever. I don’t ever wonder if I can do something (like a half or full marathon) I just know I can if I work hard and run with Pip!
So thankful I met Susan at Pip Running! In 8 short weeks she coached me from couch to 5k. Ran for 40min straight this morning and I couldn’t have done it without her. Thank you!
Such a great experience to finish a half marathon when I could not even run a full mile at a stretch when we started the training. To me it was a 13 weeks crash course and Susan really prepared us well. It is life changing for me as I am aiming for more challenging goals and many more races in 2014. Thanks Susan!