Like many humans this time of year, I have been battling a super annoying cold these last five days. So what productive things have I done while lying around hacking and sneezing? Well, I lathered myself up with some Vicks VapoRub, took a deep breath and did something out of character…I signed up for a training group to prep for an upcoming half marathon this May.
I know signing up for a training group isn’t earth shattering for most people but you have to understand that I am a loner runner. I’m not a loner in other parts of my life…just running. I have several concerns about running/training with a group:
- I’m slow. What if I’m the slowest one? Who’s the poor person that is going to get stuck ‘mentoring’ me? I know the slow pokes will be grouped together, but what if I’m the pokiest? I just don’t want to be the one that everyone has to wait for…Please God, please have one other person there who is as slow as I am!
- I don’t want to talk to anyone during a run. Sounds anti-social but I need all the oxygen I can get and a casual conversation with a fellow runner could be disastrous for me during a run. One of my biggest challenges when I run is getting winded quickly. If I have to engage in polite conversation, I won’t be focusing on running…I’ll be focusing on trying to catch my breath (insert Kelly Clarkson’s “Catch my Breath” song here).
- This goes hand in hand with not wanting to converse while running – My hearing is HORRIBLE so I wear hearing aids…except when I run which means I really can’t hear jack $h!t when I’m running. So, I must pray that there’s not a lot of running chit chat that takes place because I won’t hear it. As a result of my hearing issue, a great deal of my focus is devoted to being visually aware of my surroundings. I will wear my iPod while out on a run but being the deaf and paranoid person that I am, I spend a great deal of time checking things out. I’m always asking myself if there are cars behind me, is anyone else out running, are there any suspicious deer hanging around, is anything out of the ordinary? I suppose these are things all runners should take into consideration, hearing impaired or not.
On the flip side, I envision a lot of positive aspects to joining a running group:
- I’ll be dealing with people who have a great deal of knowledge and insight. These experienced runners will be able to coach me in a hands-on way that reading a book could never accomplish.
- I will have regularly scheduled runs twice a week with the group. This is a great way to stay motivated and hold myself accountable.
- I will have the opportunity to enjoy outdoor runs. Sometimes I’m too chicken to run outside alone so it will be wonderful to know I’m running with a group…safety in numbers!
- I will be inspired by others’ successes.
- I will enjoy the company of other runners, which can only be a good thing!
- I plan to set and accomplish new goals that I may not have been able to accomplish on my own.
So there I go…..Weeeeeeee! I put my insecurities aside and jumped off the comfort zone cliff. If I can just get the trainers to talk REALLY loud during the instruction time and make sure I don’t have to converse with anyone during the run time, then I’ve got this in the bag!
Have you jumped off your comfort zone cliff lately? Did you land softly?
Side note: I asked my son about the “artwork” above. Conversation went like this:
- Me: “Does this look like someone jumping off a cliff?”
- Son: “Yes. Who drew that?”
- Me: “I did.”
- Son: “You’re not thinking of suicide are you?”
- Me: “No, honey. It’s a comfort zone cliff…I made it up. Thanks for asking though.”
I thought it was sweet that he asked. He was relieved that I wasn’t thinking about jumping off an actual cliff and I was relieved that the drawing was so amazing, he knew what it was. Yes, I will keep my day job.