Once I decided to train for a full marathon in the fall (what was I thinking?), I started struggling to get my long runs in, since it was summertime in Arizona. I am a morning person, but I just couldn't get myself out the door early enough to beat the heat. So I spent the first few weeks of my training plan getting in runs that were much shorter than what I had planned. I started to panic.
My very first full marathon back in 2000 (Maui) was with Team in Training. I had a sense of accountability, knowing that my team was meeting at a certain time/place and all I had to do was show up and get my run in. So it occurred to me that I was missing that accountability to get me out the door in time. I started to search for running groups.
I found a group in my town that was women - only and they meet at 5am on Tues & Thurs. It was just the thing to get me out of the house (even though I hate getting up at 4:30). The ladies are very positive and even though they aren't looking to get in much distance, I stay afterwards and get in more miles when we're done. So that solved my weekday problem. Yay! And I'm seeing a lot more sunrises these days, too.
Then I still had to tackle the long run on Sunday. A former Marathon Bar teammate of mine runs a running group on Sundays and was posting about their weekly long runs. I decided that was the answer to my problem. Several people meet up at 5am and go a variety of distances. It turns out that there is a guy who is also training for the Detroit Marathon who is in the group, so I totally lucked out there. The group gets me out on the canal and from there it's just a matter of getting it done.
Don't be afraid to reach out to other people to help you accomplish your goals. Sometimes you just have to be resourceful. Luckily, I was open to meeting other runners and can live with getting up at the crack of dawn (for now, anyway). I'm so glad I turned to the internet to connect me to other runners suffering through an Arizona summer!
Hi, I'm Emily! I'm an avid runner in Arizona with a passion for travel and racing around the country!