Monday, August 15, 2011

Let the training... begin!

I've always been an independent sort of person.  Well, some may say "loner," I choose to say independent!  I love new experiences and don't mind seeking them out on my own.  I don't let myself rely on the support of loved ones and would never NOT go somewhere/do something just because no one would come with me, or because someone told me it's "not a good idea."  I've always considered this a good quality, but honestly.... kind of a lonely one.

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.


  1. good call joining your local running club..i love my club; there's always someone up for a run no matter the time or place!
    keep looking forward to different challenges, keep adding to the bucket's amazing what our bodies are capable of, we just have to train our mind a bit to believe it!

  2. I'm happy you found my blog/DM! The Lopers are awesome and you will find that out if you haven't already. Everyone is so supportive and encouraging that you feel like you can do anything. The pink... well I'm a guy and I wear the pink so I guess you get used to it :/

    I get what you're saying about wanting to go it alone. I was like that before, didn't think I needed anyone to run with but that's the only way I would have been able to have rum a full marathon and survived. I did a half alone, before joining the Lopers, but I didn't do things right and paid the price.

    Anyway good luck with the Lopers! And hopefully I'll meet you in person next week :)