TNT has quite a social thing going on. At times it might even seem almost cult-like. I mean this in the kindest way. They design their program to be sure that the newbie never has to go it on their own if they don’t want to. After many of the workouts are finished, there frequently is an opportunity to linger with the Team, eat, and/or learn about the cause.
Tuesday’s track workout is followed by Hang with the Gang. Where the participants’ can sign up to bring dinner to the track for those who wish to pay $10 for an immediate meal. Kool-Aid is NOT on the menu. The money raised goes towards the hosting participant’s fundraising.
On Thursday, "Buddy Runs" are scheduled. For these, the mentors and team captains organize several opportunities around in the area to run with a smaller group of team members.
Finally, on Saturday are the long runs. These are organized runs (aide station included) that are scheduled in a new place each week. It’s a great way to discover new places to run. The course is marked, so you don’t have to worry about getting lost.
All in all, it’s a nice set up, but a huge change from me to have so many social activities on my calendar. Since the activities are not "required," I am able to pick the ones that I feel are essential to my involvement.
Right away, I identified Thursday’s Buddy Run as an activity that I can easily miss. Besides, the fact that there is just no way to fit any of the organized runs into my schedule without abandoning YaYa, I like the solitude of running solo.
This Thursday, I broke out the headphones and hit the trails. TNT forbids the use of headphones on all of their runs. It’s both a safety concern as well as the fact that it clearly sends the message that socialization is unwanted. On this particular run, I did not mind sending that message. This was to be a buddy-less run.
I didn’t even want to run with my virtual partner. Although I let Ms. Garminia tag along, I made it clear that I wanted to be alone with my thoughts. She honored my wishes for the most part, but every mile or so, she let out a little peep just to remind me that she was there. That was okay with me; I wasn’t totally anti-social. I still waves at the other runners, occasionally removing one earpiece to hear their response better. I even stopped to attempt to capture a picture of a deer.
By the time I was finished with my run, I felt like I could handle interacting with the world once again. These June days are tough. Father’s Day is behind me, but Tom’s Birthday is rapidly approaching. Anyhow, the run was perfect.