This weeks' training schedule said yesterday (Sunday) was a 6-mile day. I was a little freaked that morning and was dreading the very real possibility that this would be rough.
As I was driving home from the grocery store that morning, I saw a few brave souls already bundled and hitting the pavement. I was totally inspired.
I went home and slipped (or yanked) on my brand new running tights (an item, by the way, I was pretty sure I'd never be caught dead in due to their extremely unflattering cut), grabbed my kicks and I was out the door. It was a balmy 29 degrees, but I warmed up pretty quickly.
Was it a great run? Absolutely not. After about 4.5 miles, my body was done (side note - I think this could open a whole new discussion about nutrition as I am basically a vegetarian and have trouble getting enough protein, but that's another post for another day)
Was it a great experience? Absolutely. The reason? I couldn't believe how great it felt to be out among my fellows. Every time I passed another runner, there was a smile, a wave or even a "Hi!" between heavy breaths. I felt an instant bond with these strangers simply because we were all out there in the elements together. Even as I drive through my neighborhood and see runners working hard, I am suddenly compelled to roll down my window and yell, "Keep it up! You're doing great! Good for you!"
My only explanation for this is that I am suddenly (instantly, really) part of a community. Runners (even us newbies) know what it means to get out on a Sunday morning and get your feet moving. This blog has already made me feel like I belong (thanks to all of you), but nothing can compare to getting out there and seeing the support on the face of other runners.