A blog about my journey of training to run a 1/2 marathon with Team In Training and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and beyond.

Monday, October 15, 2012

OMG! I'm so excited!

Below is my very first guest blog on the runhers website. I was so excited and so honored when runhers asked to write some pieces for them. So of course I immediately developed a severe case of writer's block. : / But persistance and preseverance won out, and I finished up this little gem. So enjoy! If you're looking for a running group, please go and check one out. If you would like to check out runhers, you can go to www.runhers.com. We'd love to have you on one of our runs.

editor’s note: Our guest blogger from Moore, Oklahoma, is Cyndi Bates. She is one fabulous woman, who’s not afraid to ‘tell it like it is’. We are so happy to have her here guest blogging and sharing her personal experiences! You can find her blog at http://www.cyndi-fatgirlrunning.blogspot.com
By: Cyndi Bates

I may not look like the type of person who belongs to a running club. I may not even look like someone who runs enough to even consider belonging to a running club. Guess what? I am! I know that most people are intimidated by the idea of a running group. I wanted to join one looooong before I actually did. I visited a few of the groups around the city, but never felt like I connected with any of them. I am not ultra-fit or uber-competitive. As a matter of fact, I was usually the slowest person there. Ok, I was always the slowest person there. No one ever said that I didn’t belong there. Everyone was friendly and encouraging, but I always felt a little awkward and out of place. I imagine that many of you may feel the same way when contemplating a running group. You think, “I’m not very fast. What if I’m the slowest one there?” You fear being the last person to finish. You worry, “What if everyone there looks like a fitness model and they look at me like, ‘What are YOU doing here?’”.

So why with that kind of fear did I keep looking for a group?! Well, let me tell you why. I began my training in a group setting and found that it really worked for me. I was joined by people on the same journey as myself, surrounded by encouraging and supportive faces, and had access to people with way more experience than myself who were happy to answer even the silliest of my questions. I have tried to train on my own. It just didn’t get the job done. It was just too easy for me to talk myself out of runs or to get off track in my training. Once you are off track, it is really hard to get back, especially when you have no one to motivate you. So I kept looking and finally found what I was looking for with my current running group, runHers.

I’m here to tell you that none of that stuff that I was (and you are) afraid of matters. Within the group, there are so many different levels of ability. There are fast runners, slow runners, medium runners, and backward runners. Backward runners? Yes, backward runners. My friend and fellow member, Amanda, has a much faster pace than me. I can keep up with her for a time and then she leaves me in the dust. If we are in the middle of a conversation, she will run backwards to a) slow herself down and b) face me while we finish our convo. So please don’t be intimidated by the other runners. If you are a new runner, just remember that everyone had to start somewhere. The only difference between you and them is that they started sooner. Many still remember what it was like and are more than happy to help and encourage someone just beginning their journey. We are all there to build camaraderie and encourage each other. So what if some are faster than you. There’s probably someone slower than you too. We are all women in my group. Who understands women better than other women?! We all juggle different things in life, work, kids, spouses and home. We know the time and effort you put in your day and still try to find time to exercise and be healthy. We understand what it’s like to watch your husband say the word “run” and lose three pounds, while you run three miles and gain four pounds. We get it! Why?! Because we do it too.

With that understanding comes that sense of camaraderie that I mentioned before and … tada, friendship. I have made some truly wonderful friends in my group. Some women I talk to on a daily basis, some I only see at runs. But we all have a sense of connection that we wouldn’t have otherwise. These women are there for me when I have a bad run day and cheer for me when I am shooting for a pace or mileage that I have never done before. They also hold me accountable for my runs. They know when I miss a run or when I don’t push myself as hard as I could. They may not even say anything, but knowing that they know is often enough to get me up and moving. Yet, you can’t always meet your goals. It happens to the best of us. My teammates are there for the bad times too.

Whether it’s a good run day or a bad run day, my running group makes my runs more fun. Some of my longer miles have only been possible because of the company that I had on them. Running groups aren’t for everyone, but don’t discard the idea of one because you are intimidated. They sure have made things easier for me, and we all know that running should be easy. ; )

1 comment:

  1. It's true, group runs make running that much more enjoyable. You meat great people who share your passion for running. You learn from each other, share with each other, rely on each other. And when you do it through something like Team in Training, it makes each and every group run that much more rewarding!