Saturday, January 19, 2013

Just Do It Already

Today I faced my fears and joined a Jack Rabbit group run. I signed up for their Resolve 2013 program and one of my January goals was to attend at least one event. Solo. Terrifying. But I decided this weekend it was time to just do it already and the 9am Upper East Side run looked like a great fit- the schedule said it would be 7-10 miles and for runners with a pace of 9 minutes and faster. Easy peasy.

I went to bed early last night, woke up in plenty of time to get to the store, but found myself more nervous than the morning of the Philly marathon. I was second-guessing my decision, thinking thoughts like: what if everyone else is best friends and I'm the only one who doesn't know anyone? What if they're all faster than me? What if I can't keep up? Ah!

But as I ran from the subway to the Jack Rabbit store this morning (of course there were major delays on the 4,5,6!), I forced myself to think logically: Runners are generally nice people and my Garmin tells me I've consistently run under a 9 min pace for 10+ miles for the past 2 months. All I needed was some confidence.

And then I walked into the store.

I was one of the last people to get there and everyone was already paired off, chatting as if they had known each other for years. Fear realized, strike 1. I then looked around and realized I was the ONLY person wearing a fuel belt. I felt like a kindergartner trying to fit in with high schoolers. Strike 2. My confidence was waning.

We started running towards Central Park and I immediately thought I was sprinting. I fell to the back of the pack, and even though mile one clocked in at 8:34, I was struggling to keep up. Strike 3. This was not looking good. At this point my confidence was totally shot and I started toying with the idea of just fading into the other Central Park runners to finish the run on my own.

We headed towards the north Harlem Hills, and that's when magic happened.

I powered up those hills, passing half the group in the process, and started to feel like maybe I could hang. My Garmin beeped and I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw my 2nd mile split- 8:09. My confidence returned and I settled in for the rest of the run. Everyone's pace evened up, and I ended up running in the middle of the pack for the rest of the run.

It was a hard run-- there were some tough hills and a SUPER strong headwind along the Hudson River, but I ended the run smiling. It was a great experience and I'm definitely planning on going to more events. I learned I should probably listen to my logical side a bit more-- even though I started out shaky, I was more than capable of running with the group, I met some really great people in the process, and now I'm one step closer to meeting my January goal! (and getting those cute Lulu shorts! ;))

My splits:
The miles in the 9s were on city streets, where the Garmin always has trouble keeping a strong signal!
Total miles for the week: 25.7!

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