I (Lisa) had finally run out of excuses. Everyone in my house was busy. The weather was picture perfect. I wasn’t too tired. I was finally going to attend a Six03 pub run.
I had listed “attend a Six03 group run” as one of my 2016 bucket list items. If I wanted to attend a group run so badly, why was I constantly making excuses to not go?
I text my friend Kelli, who has encouraged me to attend a run, telling her that I am going. I know that once I have told her this, I cannot change my mind-it’s accountability. I head out to the run. I’ve seen the group picture where they start the run a million times, so in my head, I **think** I know where everyone meets. But once I get there, I realize I don’t have a clue. I ask 2 women with running shirts if they are going to the pub run. Nope. I finally google it and realize I am at least close. Its 5:57 by the time I get there, so I decide that even though I’m afraid they will start without me, I really need to pee before I run. Two other women are in front of me in line, and I have the internal debate of whether or not to tell them this is my first pub run. In some situations, it’s good that people know it’s your first time trying something. Other times, I worry that people will feel the need to “look after” me and I didn’t want to burden anyone. I ended up telling them and they were super nice and helpful. I expressed my concern over getting lost, so they tried to tell me the route. Telling me directions is like listening to Charlie Brown’s mom talk-it’s just garbled noise to me. I say that I will just follow everyone else and hope for the best.
I’m told the route is Reds 5 miler in reverse. Even though I run most every local race that is 5 miles or longer, Reds is a race I have never done, since it always is the same day at Great Bay half, and when it comes down to it, half>any shorter distance. This is the one time I wish I had actually run Reds. Everyone starts, and I can quickly tell this is a fast group of runners. I start chatting with another woman who is also wearing a Sparkle Skirt, but learn she is running the 3 mile loop, not the 5 mile like I had planned, so I decide to run ahead, to make sure I have somebody in front of me running the 5. My plan was to run an easy 11 min/mile pace, as I am still dealing with this stupid Achilles tendonitis (going on 5 months now), but I look down and realize, I am running closer to 9’s. I feel great, but know that the adrenaline, excitement, and honestly, fear of getting lost, is what is pushing my pace. I run steady enough to have 2-3 people in sight at all times. Of course, for a split second, I think, “what if the people I am following aren’t actually a part of this group run?!?!” I get silly over the prospect of me following random strangers that aren’t actually part of the group, and even sillier when I realize that if I don’t slow down, I might run this “fun, easy run” at a PR!! Despite this, I am having a ball. I have a tendency to “slog” when I run on my own, and I need this comradery to help me push my pace. I don’t need to run with people-meaning, I don’t have to run and chat (although it is nice sometimes). But I do like running near people-I run enough solo, so I like having people in my vicinity. It’s nice to not always be alone!
By mile 4, I finally know where I am, so I know the search team won’t have to be called. Once I make it back to the pub, everyone checks in on me to see how I did, and if I had a good time. I had an amazing time. I am beyond thrilled that I went outside of my comfort zone. I am happy that I ran faster than I would have on my own. I’m excited I got the opportunity to meet new people and chat with other about running. I can’t wait for Tuesdays now-no more excuses.
About The Authors
A 25 Year Veteran of the Group Fitness Industry, Erika currently teaches Kickboxing, Step, and H.I.I.T. classes at Guilford Parks & Rec.
An Avid Runner, Lisa began her running career about 10 Years Ago.