I’m linking up with Sara from Lake Shore Runner for her Tried it Tuesday!
But before I link it up… please don’t forget to vote for me here for the Cover of RW!
I’m not quite sure when my fear of running with others developed, but I avoid it at all costs. I ran cross country in high school so you would think that I am used to running with others. But in actuality we ran a mile until we were out of the coaches sight and then sat in the woods and gossiped until it was time for us to leisurely walk back… #dedication. I also refused to eat anything healthy which drove my organic-loving, vegan coach nuts. Oh how the times have changed….
Maybe I’ve become high maintenance, but I like running on my own. I can start my run when I want, run at whatever pace I want, and run where ever I want. And since I’m super Type-A, I like to know every detail of the course I set out to run. I’m not the most flexible person on the planet (I know everyone who is reading this who knows me is saying “duh”).
Over the years, I’ve become a self conscious runner. I always think I’m slowing others down. That I am guilting someone to stick with me for the run. The only person I run with is my boyfriend. And even then we have an agreement that we don’t have to stick together. If one of us is feeling good, we drop the other and just go. However, we are competitive so you can imagine how that goes…
Back to my point. Recently I made the decision that I want to do things that make me a bit uncomfortable. Part of my New Year’s Resolution (besides quit drinking Diet Coke – LOL), was to start getting outside my comfort zone.
Goal: run with others to get faster
Solution: joining the Darien Run Club
At a local road race last May, I ended up meeting two girls who were also local and FAST runners. We became Facebook friends because duh, Facebook confirms friendships, and every so often we would like one another running related photos. About 3 months ago I noticed they started a run club out of Darien. I was still commuting in and out of the city, so a 630pm start time was just not in the cards. But now that I conveniently work locally (0.5 miles from said run club) I felt like I had no excuse not to go.
Last Tuesday I went to my first run club. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous. I had run earlier that morning and was hoping to do the shorter of the two loops that afternoon. I got to the club a bit early so I and sat in my car and watched people filter in (I promise I wasn’t as creepy as that sounds). I remember thinking “no one knows I’m here I could always leave…”, but thats embarrassing and totally lame so I put my big girl pants on and walked over to introduce myself.
You know what. Everyone was super nice. And you know what is even cooler – they encouraged me to push myself and help lead the longer run. I told everyone to just drop me if I was holding them back. But no one left me. Their energy was contagious and I got WAY excited for our run. When my watch beeped for our first mile I was actually in shock. I hadn’t dropped a sub 7 mile on a run since my 10K in early April.
Oh also – they did an active warm up and stretch. I cannot tell you the last time I did either of those things. But you know what, I wasn’t sore the next day. I’d like to say I’m shocked, but I’m going to go ahead and say I’m just stubborn.
And after each run, they all head to a local bar for extended happy hour specials. I feel like these are my kind of people.
I’m so happy I challenged myself to get uncomfortable. Not only did I meet some great people, but I had a pretty awesome tempo run to boot. I plan on going every Tuesday night I can. In the end, I allowed myself to meet some awesome people and phenomenal athletes. And I just might get a little faster because of it : ) . Win win.
Do you like running solo or do you prefer group runs? I still think I like going solo for longer runs, but after last week, I think group runs for speed work, a tough work out, or a tempo run is my new fave : )
What new activity would you do to step out of your comfort zone?