So it's been...what? 3 months? 4 months? Since my last post? I think it's time to finally get a little caught up around here. I've had a million blog posts written in my head and am finally finding the time to sit down get things in order around the blog world. I'm going to back up a little and tell you over the next few days what we've been up to since May!
Friends, I've been running! I know, I know... you've heard this before. I have been an on-again, off-again runner for a few years now. But not really. Really I was more off than on, but in my mind I want so bad to be a runner. I don't know why, but it has been something I've longed to do but have been unable to stick with for any long period of time. After much introspection and contemplation, I have pinpointed what my hang up with running is: Fear.
It's no secret that I'm both a people pleaser and a perfectionist. The perfectionist in me hates to fail at things. And I'm a fast learner, so most things that I have set out to do in life, I tend to be good at. But you see, what this people-pleaser layer adds to this fuzzy picture that is my life, is the crippling fear of public failure. I don't want to fail at things and forgoodnesssake if I do, I don't want anyone to see.
And so, every time I set out to run in the past, I ran alone. So that if I had to stop or walk or got tired, no one would know. If I sweated a lot or my face got as red as a beet, no one would see. I could come home and shower and clean everything up and keep all the embarrassing, not so great parts to myself. This usually went great for a little bit and then I would slowly but surely burn out. I would get frustrated. Or it would rains and I didn't go. And then life got busy and I couldn't go. And before I knew it, it would be weeks and months and the thought of starting again was so overwhelming that I didn't know where to begin and the whole thing would come to a crashing, grinding hault.
So this time around I decided to do things a little differently. I decided to tackle this thing of running with something I am good at: learning! I'm a great student. My perfectionist self can't handle missing assignments or not doing homework. My people-pleaser side loves to show up to class and look interested and take notes.
Back in February, I stared fear in the face and signed up for my first running training group through Fleet Feet Sports. On a whim, I decided to sign up for the 10K training group, which meant, yes, running with people. Of course, I took my student-self to the Interest Meeting first, took a lot of notes, and asked a lot of questions. I hemmed and hawed after the meeting and asked everyone I could grab if they really thought I could do this. But then I bit the bullet and paid my money and signed up. I decided that even if I'm not great at running, I could learn.
It was a 12-Week program. We were given a training schedule with daily "homework" assignments to complete on our own throughout the week. A short run on Monday and longer runs on Tuesday and Thursday. We met as a group and ran with others in our pace group for our longest runs on Saturdays. And the best part is that we are paired with mentors who lead our groups on Saturdays. These are the most encouraging people! My mentors are STILL encouraging me and the program ended 2 months ago!
In the beginning it was the fear that motivated me throughout the week to get my homework runs done. Fear of having to walk on Saturdays with the group if I didn't take the time to get my running in throughout the week. Fear of them seeing me fail. But over time, the fear turned into a crave and I actually WANTED to get my homework done. I enjoyed the running (or at least the feeling when it was over of my run being done.)
We ended the Program by running in the Appalachian Power Company Festival 10K run. It was a beautiful day. I was nervous and scared, but our mentor stayed with us the entire time. She paced us out for most of the race and then turned us loose on the last mile. I couldn't believe I had actually run 6 miles when I crossed that finish line! It was the most awesome feeling!
This program was the best thing I have done in a quite a while. I decided that this time, for the first time, I would become a student of running. I acted like I had never done it before and tried to look at it all from new eyes. What to wear, how to hydrate, how to pace. The people of Fleet Feet have been the best teacher. I'm still meeting some of the girls that I met in the program on Saturday mornings during the summer to run, and I'm planning to do another program this fall!