Run Now, Sleep Later: How Lehigh Valley Road Runners Can Motivate You to Keep Moving
by Kelly Dicesare
Devil: It is too early on a Saturday! And I emphasize – SATURDAY! There is no reason you have to get up at 5:45. Just stay in bed.
Angel: No, you will feel better about yourself. Get out of bed.
Devil: It is cold, it is dark, and you are not training for the Summer Olympics. Stay in bed.
Angel: You can take on anything when you run. Get out of bed!
Let me introduce you to the “devil” and the “angel” on my shoulders. That’s the conversation they have had every Saturday morning since I started running, seven years ago. Lately, the angel has been winning most of the bouts. Mostly because I joined the Lehigh Valley Road Runners (LVRR).
It took me a while to talk myself into joining. Truth be told, I was a bit intimidated. I consider myself a runner but I don’t consider myself a “runner” if you know what I mean. I finish my runs and races, but I’m slow. I trudge along like a locomotive, and I sound like one as well. I sweat like a… well, let’s just say I sweat a lot. My running gear is sub-par, and I turn an alarming shade of bright red. But I was intrigued with the group, so I did what every good mother would do – I forced my son to join with me.
We bought a family membership, and he and I signed up for the LVRR Winter Race Series that was held December through March. When I first signed us up, I was skeptical. I was pretty sure the only participants would be my son and me and then all of the Lehigh Valley Boston Marathon Qualifying population, because, REALLY, who would willingly run outside in the winter? Well, surprise! About 250 people showed up for each race.
I think I’ll hide in the bushes and maybe they’ll forget I’m here.
My son and I ran those races together each month. Well, actually I ran behind him, he beat me every time, and we loved it! I especially looked forward to them because it was something fun I could do with him. He’s 11, and it seems like sometimes all we do together is argue about his current events report and drive to his various practices and games. Putting on our running shoes on a Saturday morning is a conversation starter… plain and simple.
The LVRR operates mainly out of Lehigh Parkway and is actually the largest running group in Pennsylvania with more than 550 members. They have group runs leaving out of numerous places in the Lehigh Valley, and being a resident of Coopersburg, I was glad that two of them start at Upper Saucon Park. Plus they have numerous big events a year, all year long.
But here’s the best part: no matter what shape, size, age or speed you are, you’re going to be just fine. There are so many different themed running groups led by LVRR volunteers, you are bound to find one that fits you. I was like Goldilocks when I first started joining in the group runs.
This group is too fast. I secretly think these people are superheroes… humans don’t run this fast. I think I’ll hide in the bushes and maybe they’ll forget I’m here.
This group runs f-o-r-e-v-e-r. Like, for days. I think they are robots… what human can run this far? I think I’ll hide in the bushes and maybe they’ll forget I’m here.
This group is just insane; they do hill workouts willingly. Who does that? No one, except this group of Gluteus Gladiators. I think I’ll hide in the bushes and maybe they’ll forget I’m here.
This group is juuuussssttt right! Not too fast, not too hilly, not too robot-eee. Oh! THIS is the group for me!
And since then, I’ve tried to join that group as often as I can on Saturday mornings. One thing I like about this group is there are a lot of us – a lot. There are about 30 people who show up on any given Saturday morning. After the famous, and crowd favorite, group photo (which I learned is later posted on Facebook and used as PROOF that you were there), we all start together. Key word = Start. And then you run your own run. At your own pace.
Since I don’t know too many people at the Saturday group runs yet, I just kind of make my way in and out of the clusters of runners. By doing that, I’ve found out that there are all walks of life coming to these group runs.
There are runners who have qualified and run the Boston Marathon, runners who are training for their first 5K, runners who can run a 6-minute mile (w-h-a-t?), runners who run a double-digit minute mile. And, there are stay-at-home moms who run for self-preservation (amen sista’), and teachers, attorneys, graphic designers, dietitians and day care providers all running, too.
But, no matter who they are or how fast they run, we all have one thing in common. We got up that morning and put on our running shoes.
Kids Run Series:
Register your kids for the Road Runner Annual Kids Summer Series. The free series takes place at Lehigh Parkway every other Saturday morning throughout the summer.
Upcoming 2014 Dates:
Age Groups and Distances:
3-4 yrs. – 1/8 mile
5-6 yrs. – 1/4 mile
7-8 yrs. – 1/2 mile
9-10 yrs. – 1 mile
11-12 yrs. – 1 1/2 miles
13-14 yrs. – 2 miles