When I first moved back home, after I had made a life for myself in another town, I was scared. I had no friends who still lived in the area and only my family to hang out with. Granted, my family rules but there is only so many activities one can do with one’s mom. Drinking is out. Picking up men is out. Running 20 milers is out. At least all of these things are off limits with my mom. If yours is a drinking, flirting, running machine then more power to you both.

So here I am back in my hometown. Friendless. Running partner-less. What did I decide to do about it?

I joined a running group. I found them online and was out with them the first chance I got.

I know that most of you who swing by this blog are runners or triathletes. Some of you belong to groups. But for the random person who stops by D.R. I want to say this – if you have any inclination to run a race of any kind or are looking for some like-minded healthy (slightly goofy, but fun) friends then a running group is for you.

Out of all the blogs I have read I have seen only a couple mention bad experiences with a running group. If it weren’t for these dynamic people I really don’t know if I’d be logging 40+ miles a week. And I would have no clue about a lot of the training techniques I talk about. I also would not have made so many great friends so quickly.

Within each group there will always be smaller sub-groups of friends. And that’s OK. But come race time everyone is out there supporting each other and helping each other get through those last miles that seem unbearable.

Maybe I got lucky. Maybe I am in the best running group in America. But then again, maybe there is a group out there waiting for you.

UPDATE: Some of you posted that you weren’t sure how to find a running group, well I found this little gem on about.com and hope it helps. Happy hunting.