As I’m sure I have mentioned plenty of times, I like to run by myself. As long as I have my music in my earbuds, I can zone out and I’m good to go. But, since I’m doing this half-marathon in March, I thought it might be good to try running with other people.
One of the marathon sponsors (GNC) hosted a 10K training run on Saturday morning. (For those of you who are not good with the metric system, like me, 10K = 6.2 miles.) I like to do my long runs on the weekends anyway, and I thought that sounded like a good practice run. And it would be a chance to try out running with other people around.
This was supposed to be Dave’s weekend with the girls, but Lucy came down with a fever on Friday, so she was super-clingy and didn’t want to leave me. Dave and I texted and agreed it was fine for her to stay with me on Friday night.
Saturday morning, I got up early and left her sound asleep with Chris and went to meet up with the running group. Chris is Lucy’s favorite snuggle buddy in the world, I knew she wouldn’t be upset to wake up and find me gone, if he was there.
I was a little nervous, mainly because I’d never run with other people and I didn’t know what to expect. But it’s not like this was a race or anything – it was just a training run, that’s all, not a competition. I knew I would be on the slower end of the spectrum, so when we started off, I stayed to the right of the sidewalk to let faster people pass me. Somewhere around the first half-mile point, I glanced over my shoulder and realized there was nobody behind me, and I was DEAD LAST. And the next closest group of runners were so far ahead of me that I could barely see them. So that felt pretty terrible and discouraging, and I had a couple minutes there where I wanted to cry, or turn around and go back to my car because what the hell was I even thinking with this whole half-marathon thing, I’m too slow and I can’t do this.
Then I decided, well, I might as well keep going, because I wanted to get my run that day anyway.
Eventually I caught up with a few of the other runners because they had gotten lost and had stopped to try to read the map that we’d been given at the beginning of the run. (This route was pretty close to my house, so I knew my way around fairly well.) I managed to keep up with them for the rest of the run, and chatted with them a little. They were friendly and very encouraging.
The route had a lot more steep hills than my usual running routes, so that was hard. I finished the entire 10K faster than I’ve ever run in my life, and I was still dead last, but I kind of stopped caring toward the end, I was just happy that I finished. (My legs are still feeling those hills, two days later. The half-marathon route is supposed to be much flatter, for which I am incredibly grateful.)
Meanwhile, Chris got Lucy fed and dressed, and drove her up to meet me at the end. It was really great to see their faces there at the end of 6.2 miles.
I guess my overall verdict is that it started out crappy, and ended up sort of fun. But if given the choice between running with a group or running by myself, I’d probably still pick going by myself. Which does leave me a little worried that I’m going to hate the entire half-marathon experience, but whatever, at this point, I’ve already signed up and I’m not backing out. Guess we’ll see how it goes.
Semi-related, I’ve been getting bored with my running playlist, and I went looking for new songs to add to it. I found several blogs where people post their playlists, and I found it helpful for finding a few new songs to add to mine. So, in case any of you are looking for new tunes to get your feet moving, here are my current favorites. Some have been on my workout playlist for years, others are new.
“Uptown Funk” – Mark Ronson & Bruno Mars
“Centuries” – Fall Out Boy
“My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark” – Fall Out Boy
“Rock That Body” – The Black Eyed Peas
“Pump It” – The Black Eyed Peas
“Miss Jackson” – Panic! At the Disco
“Hey Brother” – Avicii
“I’m Shipping Up to Boston” – The Dropkick Murphys
“‘Til I Collapse” – Eminem
“Come with Me Now” – KONGOS
“Bleed It Out” – Linkin Park
“Can’t Hold Us” – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
“Love Runs Out” – OneRepublic
“Shake it Off” – Taylor Swift
(General disclaimer that my workout playlist has very little to do with a song’s artistic merit, it’s just whether or not it has the right tempo. Hell, a good chunk of these songs I bought on iTunes because Catie wanted them, then I decided I liked them for running. So don’t judge me too harshly.)