Last night was a great night! I usually find myself looking forward to Monday nights these days because on Monday nights I get to run, which almost always excites me. But, even better, on Monday nights I run with this fantastic group of beginner and experienced runners that have taken to calling themselves the Body & Soul Road Runners.
So last night, the weather was perfect. Lots of fun people were at running club and we got to really see what running four miles is like! Granted me and some of the experienced Road Runners have done 4+ plenty of times, still every time I’m with a runner accomplishing a first its as good or even better than a first for myself! Some of the things I didn’t appreciate at the time I get to relive through the beginners!
Why is running four miles a big deal? Well, the 4 on the 4th is coming up fast and most of running club, including the beginners will be running it. Preparing for a first race is huge. So many unknowns, so many expectations, so much fun.
I started running and racing when I was too young to know any better:) I don’t think I ever really got worked up over the first 5ks and 10ks I raced… I do however remember very clearly my first half marathon, so much anticipation, dread, excitement… I was a wreck! Despite the fact I was prepared for a marathon that was a few weeks after my half I wasn’t sure I was ready. I didn’t think of myself as a “real” runner. I wanted to do well but didn’t have any confidence.
I showed up anyway, thanks in part to some running buddies. We parked our cars in the designated area, loaded onto a shuttle bus, and road to the start area. It was drizzly, I didn’t have appropriate clothes and as I looked around at all the “real” runners (long, lean, and beautiful) I wanted to quit before I started, But is was too late, the wheels were in motion and I had no choice but to run.
And then the race started… and it was all good. Racing is just running with more people than normal. Its still just you and your thoughts. Your heart pumping, your legs feeling strong. I must have sweat out the self doubt and grown more confident with each hill I conquered because by the end I had surprised and impressed myself and haven’t stopped racing since.
Signing up for races keeps me on track with my training. And as much fun and satisfaction as I get from racing; it is still those daily training runs that I love, look forward to, and can’t live without.
It’s pretty incredible to think that just over six weeks ago the beginners were doing walk oven run one intervals and that last night they were stringing 10 minute intervals together! As they are preparing for this upcoming event I’ve been giving them race prep tips. How to dress, how to eat, how to pace… but all of that is so secondary to showing up and doing it! And they have been doing that for a bunch of weeks now!
Each runner will create a memory on the 4th! Each one will have an experience to share with other runners. No matter what happens it will all be good. It’s your only first race guys! Ignore all my advice and ENJOY!