Sunday I went outside my comfort zone and joined the #dirtyrunners for their weekly “fun run”. I use the term “fun run” loosely, as these people are hard core. Their fun run is my hard, long run. They’re amazing runners and fast, fast, fast. And me? Yeah, not so fast. But Ryan insisted that I’d be fine, and what better way to try and get faster than to run with people faster than me?
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous when I showed up to run. I didn’t want to hold anyone back and I wasn’t really sure of the etiquette (I don’t normally run in a group, just one or two at the most, and we’re all close friends). Do I just tell them to go on if I’m sucking wind and can’t keep up? Do I ask them to slow down? What.do.I.do?! (all thoughts that were going through my head)
But when we started running I just jumped right in. I felt good and Moja was sweet to hang back and run with me for awhile. Luckily we were out early enough that there were barely any cars out yet so we could run in the middle of the roads where it was clear (meaning no snow). But as soon as we got down to Edgewater Park we were running through snow drifts and ice patches (how’s the elbow, Beal?!) and my ankle started acting up. It doesn’t like uneven surfaces very well yet and after we made our way through what felt like a trail run we had to head uphill. Crap. Who planned this course, Moja???
I had a really hard time getting my footing and fell back a bit. Plus the hill pretty much kicked my ass. Once we were at the top I had a real hard time getting back into my groove. Not sure what it was but I felt mentally defeated. Almost like how I felt during the NYC Marathon from the bridges. My ankle started to swell so I stopped to loosen my shoelaces, and after that my head just wasn’t in the game anymore. It’s really annoying to think back on it now. Sure, my ankle was sore, but it wasn’t anything I couldn’t handle. t know I could have pushed harder. I know I could have finished stronger. But I just didn’t.
8 miles at a 9:43 average. Meh. Respectable considering the weather conditions? Sure. And I’d be damn proud of it if I knew I had tried my hardest and given it my all. But I didn’t.
So, yeah, running with faster runners didn’t work this time. But maybe they’ll take pity on me and invite me to run with them again. And again. And again. Until I can keep up.
Do you run in a group? IS there an etiquette I should know/follow??