Monday, September 12, 2011

Running for the Fun of it

I never thought I'd say this before: I like running. A few months ago I wrote about my desire to conquering running. Since then I have been very consistently going for runs (and at this point what I mean by "runs" is jogs/walks). I've never been so consistent with exercise before in my entire life. Which is a victory in and of itself. I started with a Jeff Galloway conditioning program and from there I moved on to a 5K-101 training program on my iPod. I was up to a 2.5 run/1.5 minute walk when a new idea was brought into my life: a running group! Group. As in more than one person.

My goal this summer has been that I am going to be able to run a 5K by Christmas day. A 5K may sound like nothing to some people, but trust me, it's something to me. And I want to run (jog) the whole thing, no walking.

A couple of weeks ago I went to an after work get together where I met a woman who casually mentioned she had run in marathons. I started telling her how I was just getting into running when she told me about Power in Motion, where she is a coach. Power in Motion meets every week to help people prepare for a 5K race on November 5th (the story about the little girl makes me want to cry).

At first it sounded really neat, but then I started to get worried because I've never run with other people before, especially strangers. All summer when I've gone for runs, I've gone by myself, after dark (mostly because of the heat in Houston), and I've avoided highly populated areas (which sounds creepy when I say it like that). Running with people sounded horrible for many reasons:

What if I'm the slowest runner?
What if I'm the most out of shape person they've ever seen?
Whatr if I sweat too much?
What if they're all super fit and I feel like a slob?
What if I have to quit because I just can't handle it?
What if my running clothes & shoes are hideous and embarrassing?

Needless to say, on the first night of the group, I was extremely nervous. Like sick to my stomach. I've never been a runner or athletic. In elementary school my mom called the teacher to see if there was any way I could be permanently excused from PE. I've never really played a sport. And I've always avoided running, if possible. Like I could go years literally without ever breaking out into a run.

Thankfully though, I had been running all summer, which I think prepared me for that first night with the running group. Because for all my worry, I loved it! I made new friends, found out I was definitely not the only non-runner, talked, laughed, jogged at a really good pace (for me), felt encouraged, and finished the run 5th in the group I was running with. I never knew running with others could be so fun.The next day, when I ran by myself, I sorely missed my running group.

So, there's a little update on my goal of conquering running.

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