(We all know the first rule right? Don't talk about it... ;))
So last night I went to my first running group run here in Charlotte. I specifically picked this run because it seemed similar to the group runs I'd done at Pacers in Alexandria: it started at a running store and was even called a "Fun Run". Although I was excited about it, I was also nervous and almost talked myself out of going multiple times during the day. After all, it was about 100 degrees and the run started at 6:30...not exactly ideal conditions. And all of my runs recently had been much slower than usual. AND I can be very shy at times. But I didn't have any real reason NOT to go and every reason TO go, so I decided I really should suck it up and just do it.
Sign #1 that this might not be a good idea: The running group was about 80% male.
Sign #2 that this might not be a good idea: When the leader asked me my pace and I said usually a little under a 10 minute mile, he looked around in a worried manner and said, "There should probably be someone running that pace."
Sign #3 that this might not be a good idea: The first girl I talked to told me that this was such a great and challenging course because it was so hilly.
So I'm sure you can guess how it went. By the end of the first mile (that I completed just under 9:30- a fantastic pace for me!) I could hardly see the rest of the group ahead. Luckily there was one woman behind me (who totally ended up passing me) who directed me through at least half of the course. The only thing that kept me huffing and puffing through all those hills was the fact that she told me that everyone is so nice and waits for you at the end. I was determine that they wouldn't be waiting forever for me so I kept going! By the time I finished there were two people behind me so I wasn't dead last, but pretty close. But hey, even if I had been last, someone has to be, right? ;)
Will I go back? Probably. After all, I definitely won't get any better at tackling those hills if I don't keep doing them! And both the Thunder Road and Rocktoberfest half marathons seem to be known for those hills, so I really need to train on them. And I did meet a couple of nice people who encouraged me to keep coming and to try some different runs, so that's a definite positive! The challenge of trying to even kind of keep up will be good for me too.
The one thing I'm trying to be cautious about is increasing my mileage and workouts too quickly. It's so exciting to try a new (very challenging!) yoga studio and new running groups so it makes me want to do both all the time. Knowing my propensity towards getting injured, I need to increase my workout frequency and mileage fairly slowly, so I'm definitely trying to keep that in mind and be smart!