How do I love thee, run team? Let me count the ways…
Four weeks ago I signed up to train with a local run group. Because 5 weeks ago I got a call from my race buddy saying something to the effect of “What the hell are you doing?! Why aren’t you running? You need to START RUNNING! This marathon was YOUR idea! Listen, you need to knock it off and get out there and RUN…”
I can’t believe it was only 4 weeks ago that I was sitting there thinking – How pathetic am I that I need a run group to help carry me like this? Why can’t I just muster the motivation on my own? Running is a solo sport! Everyone out there training for fall marathons is doing it alone but I am considering a support group? I used to run 8 min halfs! Now look at me! … boo hoo hoo… oh yeah, I had a major pity party. It’s shameful in retrospect.
Now, here I am, on the other side of it and I feel like I can’t imagine a week without running. I feel amazing. I feel invigorated. I feel a responsibility to show up to run, not just with them but whenever my schedule dictates it. They are a great bunch of people who are positive and happy – a quality I’ve always found in distance runners. I remember back when I first started distance running in high school in the off season from another sport. It was a shock to see how nice, happy, sweet and good-natured all the kids were on cross-country. It was in stark contrast to the somewhat brutal bunch on my other team sport. And here, a million years later, it still holds true. Runners are a great bunch of people. I can honestly say I’ve never met a distance runner of whom I’ve thought “jeez, what an a-hole.”
This wasn’t an overnight process though. The first 2 weeks of this run group I had to bribe/threaten myself to show up. The 3rd week I felt over it. Obviously I was concerned that 3 weeks into it I felt even less enthused. But then the magic happened. In the 4th week I felt like it was a habit, that it was part of my week, that it was just as much a part of my schedule as chores around my house. Now, going into my 5th week, I spend my days eagerly awaiting the group runs. I used to dread and despise the little maintenance runs of 3 or 4 miles mid-week. Now I think of it as part of the 4 days a week plan for marathon success and contributing to my total weekly mileage.
Is this an annoyingly positive post yet? I guess I can’t apologize for that. I’m grateful to my pushy race buddy for calling me out on my running depression. I’m grateful to my spouse for being understanding when I’m gone for hours every week, leaving him with the kids and the terrible two’s. And I’m grateful to my new run team for welcoming me into their training group and being the bright spots of my marathon training. I’m in love with running again. 🙂