Thursday, September 20, 2007

Out of the Comfort Zone

Completely and ENTIRELY out of the zone. Yep, that’s me. [insert scared face here!]

I am a SOLO runner. Always have been – even back when I was in the groove and running somewhat respectably. I have never ventured out to run with other people.


Few reasons: first, I have always run at odd times. I work a somewhat full time job (although only 3-4 days in an office each week), I have 2 kids and a hubby with a busy schedule – so I find time to run when I can. This has meant 9:00 at night, or 5:00 in the morning. I squeeze it in when I can.

Second, I am a slow poke. But you knew this already, right? I am not a good runner. It does not come easy to me. I also resemble a dying water buffalo when running at a pace that is slower than some people walk. Even when I was 20 pounds lighter (in a far distant time somewhere last year), running was a challenge for me. When I started running the very first time, and weighed almost 180 pounds, I used to run at night for the simple reason that I didn’t want to be seen. I learned to run on my own, griping and groaning in my own head the whole way.

My runner friend Julie (who sadly moved away last month), used to be so wonderful and supportive…always offering me an invitation to run with her. Problem is – Julie was a fabulous runner. She completed the Boston Marathon in 3:20ish this year. We were in entirely different leagues. I know she would have “toned it down” for me, but I was always too embarrassed for her to have to do that. My running would have been walking for her!

Running alone is much easier as it helped me not have to compare myself to others. Each step of progress was my own, even if it was light years behind what others were able to do. It has suited me well.


I think those days are over. Thanks to Lisa and her urging (which I definitely need), we are doing a long run together with Pat on Saturday.

As I confessed to Lisa earlier, ever since last night I had been brainstorming the list of excuses for why I would not be able to make it on Saturday. And the list was lengthy, and somewhat funny and creative, if I do say so myself!

But the truth is, I just don’t feel ready. Truthfully, I am NOT ready.

Okay. So what?

I needed someone to push me, and Lisa did the job. I should feel extremely lucky to have two other runners who are willing to put up with me and be supportive as I venture out of this rut that I am in.

I’m putting my pride aside (and yes, I have a lot of it in me) and just doing it. What is the risk…that I can’t finish the 8 miles? That I have to walk and let them go ahead? BIG WHOOP. It has zero risk and 100% potential to be a great long run.

Thanks guys. You are just what I needed. :)

On a non-sappy note – anyone else find THIS extremely interesting? Makes me ponder the existence of the male species even further, LOL!! (no hate-comments, gentlemen!!!)


Andria said...

I can't run with other people either, but for a lot of the same reasons you mention. I sometimes think it would be a good thing, but I'm in a small town and I don't know of any running clubs here in town. Maybe I should start one...

Pat said...

It'll be a blast. If we head north on the canal, there's a store at the 3 and 5 mile marks. So, bring some cash if you need to hydrate or buy food.

I'm not fast either, so I have many of the same fears that you and Lisa have. We are three peas in a pod.

It'll be a blast.

Marcy said...

Ohhhhhhh you'll have so much fun with Lisa!! I PROMISE!!! She won't make you feel bad, and if she does I'll kick her butt!! It will be mroe fun than you know!! ;D ;D I'm excited for you guys!!

J~mom said...

We are going to have so much fun!! I just know it. I invited Angie
to join us as well. I promise, Pat and I are sooo nice. Well I am anyway. ;>) When I started this venture I was at 196, I know all about running in the dark!

YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can't wait!

overitall said...

8 miles!!! That is so awesome. I can't wait to get to that level..don't worry about being slow, my moto is "I am built for comfort, not for speed."

Pat said...

Ok Marcy, what about me. I'm a nice guy.

And Lisa, I read what your wrote and now you owe me a new keyboard. I guess I shouldn't be eating while reading the blogs. :0

Pat said...

Just wanted to confirm for tomorrow. 6 am at Tumbleweed near the tennis courts? see ya.

Vickie said...

I think that's what they call survival of the species.

aerorunnergirl said...

Oh, sister. I hear you. I could have written this very post myself, we have so much in common! Congrats to you for pushing the boundaries!