I went running yesterday with a group of experienced runners that included marathoners, half-marathoners, tri-athletes, and me. How did a novice like me get into this group? I was fortunate to be invited by my friend Melanie. It’s a close knit group and you have to know someone to participate. I can only run Sundays through Thursdays, and the first group activity I could participate in was a 10 mile run on the C&O Canal in Maryland.
Run 10 miles? Are you kidding? I just seriously started running in April. Plus it was supposed to be 90 degrees and humid. I used to love running on the Canal when I was younger.Â So, what the heck — I’m in.
You gotta love my guts, or as we say chutzpah. I agreed to go running with an experienced group to run 10 miles (out and back) and I just ran my first 5K race the previous Sunday. Keep in mind that I didn’t run the 5K without stopping. It’s all in the attitude I guess.
However, I’m not crazy.Â I knew I couldn’t go the full 10 miles, even if I walked 7 of them. Plus, I’d probably lose daylight before I was done and we started in the morning. [Don’t most running events have time limitations for finishing?!?]
Anyway, I was very clear that I couldn’t keep up with the group and had no expectations that anyone would or should wait. The response — “absolutely you should come. Run whatever you can.” That’s runners for you. Very generous of spirit — at least the real ones.Â They encourage and support each other, and help pick up the pieces when things don’t go as planned.
We set off early yesterday morning — meeting up at 7:45 am for a group picture. The troops were gathered and we headed down to the canal. Next thing you know we’re off. For a while I kept the group in sight, but then they were around a bend, over a hill, and that’s the last I saw of anybody until they started returning to the starting point. I went out 2.5K and turned around. I didn’t run the whole way, but ran most of it. The scenery was as beautiful as I remembered.
I finished my 5K and in spite of the heat and humidity (it was ugly), I ran faster than I did the previous week. Something to definitely be proud of. Naturally, I was the first person back, so technically I guess I won (LOL).
I love challenges and although I ran by myself this time, there will be a time when I can keep up. But before I start thinking about running 10 miles, I’m going to concentrate on my 10K race in October. I’ve got a lot of work to do before then.
It’s not far from a 5K to a 8K, an 8K to a 10K, a 10K to 10 miles, 10 miles to a half-marathon, and a half-marathon to a marathon. The next distance is just more steps and I’ll get there by running one step at a time.