Running with the Pack


Good Morning!  Have you run yet today?  Memphians did you let the weather get to you this morning?  Or did you embrace the warmer temperatures despite the drizzle?  I know a group of fine runners who were embracers this morning – my running group.

This group started last summer when a few members of “my office” asked for help training for the half and full St. Jude Marathon.  I put together a training plan for us and we met to run together twice a week – Wednesday mornings and Saturday mornings.  We tried and tried to come up with a relevant group name – “The Half Assers” (for half marathoners) and “The Dumb Assers” (The Full Marathoners) were about as far as we got with it.  Well, the big race has come and gone but the Wednesday group is still meeting.  We’ve survived the heat and misery of the summer months, the dark, dreary, cold and snowy misery of the winter months, rain, vacations, holidays and injuries.  I remember days where there were only two of us setting out to eat our breakfast miles….and here we are antsy to get running in some warmer weather.  The group has grown – there were about a dozen this morning in the rain – and finally I’ve decided on a name for us!  It was inspired by the following video.

*A note about the video: It’s a little long.  The point I use the video for doesn’t come until the end.  Watch it anyway – it has some good thoughts about running.

“You need a pack to pull together.  You need to have those 64, 65 year olds who have been doing this for a long time to understand which antelope you’re trying to catch….those expert trackers have got to be part of the pack.  You need to have the women and the adolescents there because the two times in your life when you most need animal protein is when you are a nursing mother and a developing adolescent….you need to have those 27 year old studs at the peak of their powers ready to drop to the kill, and those teenagers learning the whole thing all involved.  The pack stays together… can’t be a pissed off pack, you can’t be carrying grudges, the pack has got to be able to swallow its ego, be cooperative and pull together.”

Now, we are not literally chasing antelopes on our Wednesday morning runs but we’re all out there for some reason.  And so I thought this name was fitting – we are a pack.  We have the 64, 65 year olds who have been doing this for their whole lives but are over the competitiveness of it.  We have the 27 year old studs who push me to keep up with them.  We have the teenagers who are learning how to move from walking to running.  And maybe from the outside we have me, the pack leader but let me tell you, there are surely days when I don’t want to run but because I have a pack waiting for me, it’s not so bad.  I know that someone will be there waiting for me, and that there is no pressure to go a certain speed or distance – it’s whatever I’m feeling that day.  Today for example, I decided to keep up with our 27 year old stud. Some weeks I like to hang with the 60 year olds to soak up the wisdom they have about running and life.  And so after all this consideration, I would like to formally introduce Inside Out Gym’s Wednesday Running group – The Pack.  If you live in Memphis, please feel free to join us anytime – whether you’re a nursing mother, an old experienced, a young stud or teenager, The Pack has room for you!


A little rain never hurt anyone....


4 responses »

  1. First of all, yes!! I did run today….at 6 a.m…because it is Wednesday and that is when my “pack” runs. Well, today only two of us showed up for a variety of reasons, but we lucked out and had a window of no rain.

    But, I was just talking about this concept just yesterday with one of my “pack” runners….that if it wasn’t for our core group of 5 guys and 2 dogs running M-W-F at 6 a.m. before work and Saturday mornings at 8ish, I would not be the runner I am today, as I may not have stuck with running at all. But, because of the habitual meeting time, we all have stuck with it for 10 years!! As you say, not everyone shows up all of the time but a miss is usually for an unavoidable conflict. Like a pack, we stay together…we run the same distance and the same pace. If someone needs to slow or stop, we all do. Therefore, a couple of us run additional miles at other times together or on our own.

    We don’t have an official name (I call us “the Boys”) and we are not a very diverse group like yours. You have had the pleasure of joining us, but it’s all guys aged 48-55. We do have the “law of the run”, as well. That is, “what is said on the run, stays on the run”!!

  2. Man, I joined a running group in January in Cincinnati to prepare for my first Marathon, the Flying Pig. This post just sort of touched me because I never thought I’d be up at 6 a.m. on a Saturday and going outside to run 10 plus miles in temps that registered 2 below zero plus wind chill factors. I did twice so far and I wouldn’t have dared do it without the “pack.” Thanks for the great reminder how awesome this sport is when done with a group.

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