Went on my First Date, with Running

As I may have mentioned (or yes, bitched about- same thing!), our Learn to Run group had our second meeting yesterday and man, was I dreading it. I just couldn’t wrap my mind around being ready to run just yet. I mean I worried about it all day. I was so worked up over it, thinking that “run” meant sprint. No. Wrong. I would like to be the kind of shoes that admit when I am mistaken:

Another cold one. I keep hearing lots of random talk of lions and lambs, I just wish whatever is supposed to happen in March that makes it warm up would just happen already, no matter what animals are involved. Not that I was focused much on the weather because really, all I could think was this was going to be a nightmare. I was shaking, she was shaking and only a few others in the bunch looked to be as nervous. The directions portion of the session didn’t help matters either. The coach likened the evening as our first date with running. She followed that up with, “…which means no heavy breathing.” I’m not really sure what one thing has to do with another, but the people all laughed so I guess it was only us shoes that were missing something- we all just kind of looked at each other. Not only did I not get the apparent joke, but I couldn’t stop thinking of how winded my person gets climbing an admittedly large hill on our walks. The path we use for our weekly running lesson is pretty hilly and I couldn’t see the night ending on anything other than a sour note. I totally pictured getting asked to leave once she started with the shortness of breath, saying we weren’t ready. That wouldn’t have been at all embarrassing!

A little warm up…
some stretching…
and we were off walking. I’m getting better at it and so was able to devote this time to panicking about the upcoming run. Broken up into small groups this week, with staggered start times, I at least wasn’t going to have to worry about smashing my face into another’s heel, or someone one’s leg! Even better than that, each of the groups had at least one mentor/experienced runner who kept the time. Normally, checking a stop watch isn’t necessarily taxing, but it was nice to see that the newbies- my own included, just had to concentrate on walking (& keeping me on the path, away from the ice and other runners, so on and so forth) Until minute 5 that is, when all hell was going to break loose!

“Get ready, guys!” I heard the mentor shout out. “We’re going to run in 5, 4, 3, 2…”

It was happening! I was running. R U N N I N G. Finally! Well, we were! Only it wasn’t the knock down, drag out, full force run I had spent the last 24 hours getting myself into a tizzy over. A nice, s l o w jog. It was harder than walking, a little, but obviously doable. Just as I came to that conclusion, minute six arrived and we were back to walking. I did it! I held my own, we both did. I think she’d been worried as well, because I could feel my person relax into me a bit more after that and the rest of our session went equally smooth. The running minutes were no more scary than any of the others. Her breathing, whereas a little more effort was needed at times, didn’t seen particularly heavy. In fact, I heard continued yapping, and at times- actual laughter, from above for the whole of the half hour!
Yes, I said a half hour. We managed to get in six of the walk/runs. No bare minimum for us! That being said, I remember little else after the cool down stretching. I think my relief in how well the evening had gone compared to my thoughts relaxed me to the point of napping in the car on the way home! In fact, she typically takes me off as soon as we get in the house but maybe she sensed I was resting? I know that’s silly, she has no idea that I am “real”, but I would like to think that in an effort not to disturb, she left me on until the last possible minute. And then… have you ever sat in a room full of hot steam? I have to say, if you haven’t, I highly suggest it- I am barely even achy today! The perfect way to end the night!

So, am I officially a runner yet?

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