Feel the fear…

Last Thursday night, I did something I’d never done before and something that was waaay out of my comfort zone. I joined a running group. I’ve run with friends before but never a group. And I was scared.

It’s not an option that I have very often – I fit my running around my family. On Thursday nights, when it seems like every local running group has their run, the Husband plays football (aka soccer). It’s his only sporting moment of the week, he works hard, I don’t begrudge him his night out at all. But it means I don’t get to run with a group. So be it.

However this week, he had no footie. And I had no excuse. So he got in at 6.30. I kissed him and the Dude, directed them to dinner and headed out. Driving there, I was honestly a bit freaked out. What if everyone was very thin and very speedy? What if they looked at me and my British thighs and my not-whippet build and raised their eyebrows? What if I came in last or I got lost? What if, what if, what if? And then I pulled myself together. If I came in last, I came in last. If I got lost, I have a good sense of direction and could get myself back. And if they were snooty….whatever. It’s just running, it’s not really important.

On the way. Scared of the speedy people.

It goes without saying that they were not snooty. Actually, several of them were very whippet-like and speedy-looking.Β One girl, running with a fast-looking friend, was congratulated on her Ultra at the weekend. That was daunting. But people were friendly and welcoming and THANK THE LORD that a British accent gets me a few friends in America. I got talking to one very lovely Brazilian girl running with her husband, and there were some other newbies there. We all introduced ourselves, and then we went outside and started running.

It was fine. Some people shot off, some people were behind me. I found myself in a comfortable group just running along, talking a little. We ran a 5.5 mile loop, with some people breaking off for a three mile loop. I did the whole distance, running primarily by myself for the second half, which was fine. There was always someone ahead that I could see and follow, and when I faltered at one point, UltraGirl and her friend, who were out to stretch their legs, came up behind me to reassure me. I kind of followed them back and even caught them at the end and got chatting. It turns out UltraGirl won her Ultra at the weekend. Wow wow wow. So when we all finished together, me and the UltraGirls, it honestly made my night. I’m under no illusion that they couldn’t have left me for dust with a flick of their feet…but it made. my. night.

I went home happy. I know that I’m faster than I was at the start of the year and that’s an amazing feeling. We did roughly 5.3 miles in 47.55 which is 9.02 so it was a good speed for me. Big smiles in the car.

Going home. Cheesy grins and a quarter of a bagel.

I don’t know when I’ll be able to run with them again – it depends on the Husband’s footie schedule, but I’m excited about going again!! I felt the fear and I ran anyway!

10 Comments Add yours

  1. Nic J says:

    Good for you. Ran with the Serpentine group in London for about a year, and really enjoyed it, although same route every time (round Regents/Green Parks). Def good for dark nights, and enough people running for safety factor and to talk to different people. Then joined Salisbury – more difficult to get into this, as more cliquey, but met an ace running friend (Keirsten) who does 7min miles normally. We both dropped out around the same time, but have stayed friends. To the extent I went to her wedding, and she now has a baby girl called Freya who I’ve cuddled a couple of times. If you can turn up to races, you can manage a club, no probs. Do you have the Womens Running Network out there? MIght be worth researching… x

    1. Cathryn says:

      Thanks! I enjoyed it – the trouble is going to be that I won’t be able to go very frequently at all so it’ll be hard to make friends. But I will def go back on the evenings I get the opportunity.

  2. Nean says:

    Cat well done! We all know the fear is often worse that the reality, but still let it get in the way. Most of our buddies up here we met at the local running group although like you with the girlies running has to be squeezed in as and when these days. V proud of you x

    1. Cathryn says:

      Thank you!! It’s ridiculous how nervous I was – I’m not exactly shy and retiring. Hope you’re well!!! xxx

  3. Way to go! I was absolutely terrified when I joined the running group I currently go out with. Much to my surprise and delight they are amazing people, super supportive and encouraging. Most importantly, they are also very diverse! I found that once I got out there with them, I made new friends that I could go run with anytime that fit my schedule. I am also almost never alone at races. πŸ˜‰ Congrats on crossing the threshold! I hope you get to go back out!!!

    1. Cathryn says:

      I def will, but not for a few weeks…that’ll be the hard thing about making some friends. But it was fun anyway!!

  4. Cheltz says:

    I would’ve been nervous to join a new group too, but running with others s a lot more fun. Glad it went well for you :).

    1. Cathryn says:

      Thanks! Frustrated it’ll be a couple of weeks before I can go again…but at least I want to πŸ˜‰

  5. Finding running groups has made a big difference in my running. It’s like church friends — there is an instant bond because you know you have a shared set of beliefs. They are awesome and understand why running 20 miles on a Saturday morning is fun! Our local running club also organizes long runs with water/gatorade stops. So awesome!

    1. Cathryn says:

      Your running club tales kind of kicked me in the bum to go and try it myself, so thanks for that!! Yes, I really enjoyed it!!!

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