After reading the last few of my blogs about Running, my pal Marcy suggested I join a distance running group. So, at 5:30 Saturday Morning I was up, and on my way to White Rock Lake to join the Dallas Running Club as they are training for an upcoming 1/2 Marathon (Oh Gee, Convenient!).
Let me tell you, I was so nervous about this expedition. They were going to do an 8 mile run, and I hadn't run 8 miles since April. My furthest distance was 7 way back on July 1! Since then it'd been 2 to 5 mile runs only. So, I was pretty much planning on dying.
Thankfully Marcy had planned to pick me up so that I had no possible way of backing out. "Oh gee, sorry, Flat Tire!". Yea, that wasn't happening. She kept promising me that in the group atmosphere, my anxieties and mental blocks would be vanished. I'd never run with a group before, so I didn't know what to think. Alas, we get there, and walk down to the lake, and instantly I felt myself relaxing. To my left and to my right were runners of every shape, size, and ability level. It was like leaving Planet Lazy and entering Runner Universe. It was really cool. I set out planning to do 6 to 7 miles. I'd run 3ish out, and turn around. The weather was perfect and I really was enjoying the beauty of the lake. Being around a lot of other runners was really motivating. All of a sudden I looked down and my Garmin told me I had already run 2.65 miles. Without even feeling any pain or labor. I felt awesome. So at that point I committed to 8.
After the turn around things started getting a little tougher. By 6 miles I started to struggle. My hip was extremely tight. And my mind started to wander. But here's the funniest moment of that day.
A man ran up behind me and then next to me for a few minutes. He looked kind of like my dad--short, dark. And he smelled. Right out loud, not bad, just smelled of sweat, as he was dripping. Weirder still, that smell kinda boosted me to pick up my pace a bit. I know, bizarre. Anyway, as he finally passed me I was like, "Whoa, what's up? Maybe I am really going through oxygen deprivation?" But then realized this...my dad used to go out for like 2 or 3 hour runs (he was always training for a marathon/triathalon/10K, whatever) and would come back dripping with sweat smelling just like the Mystery Man. He'd walk into the house, looking and smelling like...well...yuck.... Worried, I'd always say, "Dad, are you okay? How was your run?" He would get a gigantic smile on his face and say, "I FEEL GREAT! That was the MOST INCREDIBLE run EVER."
Mom and I have a joke that Dad's runs were always the "BEST RUN EVER!" and he always "FELT GREAT!" after the run. Not just "good" or "okay" but GREAT! So in a weird way, at mile 6 I was reminded of Dad to go out and have the "BEST RUN EVER" and I did.
Thanks, Marcy, for coming back to run in the final stretch with me!