I joined Team in Training in October 2012 and had my assumption about what the program would be like. I had done another marathon training group before and assumed that we would have a track night, a long run, and some seminars where we learned important stuff. What I didn't know would happen was that I would become a part of a family. That is the easiest way to explain it. Not only was the group genuinely excited that I was there but they cared about me - just as they do with every other member. I was amazed at the support that I felt at each track night and each Saturday morning run. I began to stay late after track to grab chicken tacos and chat at Sukis and grab brunch after the Saturday runs. It is a ritual that I would not want to go with out (and I don't plan to).
But beyond all of the wonderful training related things - there was the "main event" of the marathon that we were training for. What a weekend it was. Here are a few reason on why you should train with the Team!
#1:Travel Made Easy
First off - a HUGE perk of training with the Team is that they take care of ALL the travel stuff for you. You can opt into flying with the team (I couldn't because of work) or you can make your own way (we drove). They arrange your hotel, your shake out run route, each place to eat, how to get to the expo, how to get to the race. It is so nice to not have to think about anything! The hotel that the Team booked in Vancouver was fantastic and in a supreme location downtown.
#2: Friends and FoodLike I mentioned early I was not at all expecting to end up part of a family. But that is what the Team is. The night before the race we all go to an "Inspiration Dinner". At the dinner we are fed. Yes. Food. So important before a marathon. But we also are reminded of why we are there and what we, as a group, have accomplished. There were something like 140+ TnT members from the US and Canada there to run the full or the half, not once did I feel like I couldn't just walk straight up to a stranger and chat. In fact I did just that - many times. After the race I sat and talked to Angie from Colorado for 30 minutes about how it went.
Making matching dri-fit shirts is a pretty awesome perk too.
#3: SupportWith so many people traveling to your race destination to cheer you on you will feel more supported than you ever have before. Along with your personal entourage of family and friends you will have TnT Coaches from all around the country stationed along the course to yell your name and run a few paces with you.
#4: You are SAVING LIVES
When we got to the Inspiration Dinner I was surprised at the spin/view on things. The whole season I had been working hard to train and fundraise to support those who needed it much more than me - those who were battling different types of blood cancer. My thoughts were not usually focused on myself - but on our honored teammate or on those who people requested to be added to my singlet on race day. My eyes filled with tears when we entered into the banquet hall and all of the coaches from every region were cheering for us - the participants - and fundraisers. I didn't once stop to think about how someone might be thanking me for what I was doing - let alone call me a hero.
Being part of the team, being a "hero" has changed so much of my perspective on life. Now that I have become a member of the family - I don't ever plan to leave.
The new season is starting up - so join our family... if it is just for the travel bonuses at first - you will soon realize what it is truly about.
If you can't join but are willing to give - please do. So many people and families are being bettered by your donation. My goal is to raise over $5,000 before I go with my mentees to run the Nike Women's Full in October. It will for sure be another amazing Team in Training experience!