Monday, August 15, 2011
Let the training... begin!
Running, and becoming more athletic in general, has taught me so much about mental fortitude, and what it takes to push past negative self-talk and self-imposed limitations. When your brain is screaming at you that something is too hard, insurmountable, impossible, and yet you are able to shut it down and let the strength of your body carry you through.... that is an amazing feeling. I'm sure this is something most people learn earlier in life, through being active, playing sports, engaging in healthy competition... but I'm a late arrival to the world of athleticism, and every run is like a revelation to me.
The problem is, I don't trust it yet. I want to increase my mileage and am looking towards some long runs/races in my future (bucket list!) but honestly, the thought of running 6, 8, 10 miles by myself is daunting. I think I can get my body trained to the point where I can handle it, but on the mental side, I'm ready to admit for the first time in my life that I just MIGHT need some help.
But that's why god made running groups!
I've joined a half-marathon training program with this group in Loma Linda. They meet at 6:30am every Sunday morning (dios mio...) and do their long runs together. I'm a little bit nervous, to be honest (confession: a slight issue with social anxiety is partly responsible for my independent, go-it-alone tendencies). I'm taking the plunge though, and I think it will be good for me. The older I get, the more I realize that I need to expand my social circle and start actually relying on people now and then. I'm trying not to let the fact that I've chosen an inherently solitary sport hinder me in that respect.
The first meeting was Sunday morning, and I really enjoyed it! There are a ton of people (200, easy) of all fitness levels. We signed up, collected free stuff and our shirts (bright Pepto pink, bummer), attended an orientation, and ran a timed mile so they can put it in pace groups. I've ended up in the 12 minute group, with the option to drop down to 13 if I find myself dying on the road. Hopefully that won't happen! But we'll see :)
I'm excited. This is the start of something good.