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.
It goes without saying that they were not snooty. Actually, several of them were very whippet-like and speedy-looking. 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.
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!