#StrongerEveryRun

My days in Boston are coming to an end soon and I've been trying to jam pack as much as possible into this last week. The one thing I wasn't going to miss out on was the chance to run with this amazing group of people one last time. I've said many times: the team at Nike Boston is a fantastic one, and they're only getting better.

RisaXu_NikeBoston_Runclub

I didn't realize it when this picture was taken, but Steve was my first pacer ever when I ran with the Run Club for the first time. And Daena was the last pacer I'd have at Nike Boston. I have a hard time finding my place in groups of people and to have found a spot in a community of runners that doesn't make me feel awkward turtle was really important to me. 

For those of you that are considering joining a local run club but are more used to solo running (like I was) but want to have a better pace, studies have shown that running in a pack can lead to a better PR! -- Read the article on Runner's World here. And, while I can't prove those studies 100%, I know that I ran faster last night and I usually always run faster with the Nike Boston team. Another example was the 5K I ran with Alice last week; while I ran my usual pace, I helped her achieve her PR for a 5K and I'm so incredibly proud of her for that!

RisaXu_BaddieDae_NikeRunClub

It's amazing what a group of people and their energy can do for you. There's definitely been days where I haven't felt like running, where the weather has been awful and I just wanted to stay inside and curl up with some hot cocoa. But I know that won't get me to where I want to be as far as my pace and distance. So I've adopted their motto as my own: "Rain or shine."

Another thing I've learned about myself last night was that I really truly love running. Since it's gotten colder and has been raining/snowing, my Nike+ Sportwatch has been acting up a little and I couldn't get it to boot up correctly in. And I also forgot to turn on background app refresh on my phone, so it didn't actually track my run from last night. Nor did I see what my pace was. But as I was getting on the T, I realized that it didn't really bother me that I didn't know. Maybe it's better that I didn't know. Maybe it was better that I focused on keeping pace with Daena and enjoying my last run with her for a while instead of constantly and obsessively checking my watch for my pace and my distance.

A photo posted by Risa Xu (@risaxu) on

I wanted to write this blog post, not to show off my RunOOTD (although it was pretty fantastic :P), not to brag about a PR or a new distance, but to give a shoutout to the lovely group of people that run through rain, snow, sunshine, everything -- all while having a killer time doing it. I'll miss everyone dearly and I'm really bummed that I didn't get a chance to start running with them sooner. If you're in the Boston area (either visiting or living here), run with them. No matter if you're fast or slow, you'll have an amazing time. If you need any more proof of how amazing of a community Nike Boston is... well...

If you need an extra bit of motivation or want to get to know your pacers and those that frequent Nike Boston Run Club better, find them on Instagram here: