Today was the first day of my half marathon training with Phoenix Fit. It was not the beginning of my running journey. That happened a year ago when I decided I was ready to get out of bed for good. But that story will have to wait for another day.
Today's run was listed on the schedule as one mile. I hadn't been running regularly over the summer but one mile was a distance I could easily do. Nonetheless, I was scared. I am quite shy and meeting a bunch of people at 6AM is generally not my favorite thing to do. But I was scared for another reason. By training with such a large group, the old competitive me was wondering how much slower I was going to be than everyone else. I was scared that I wouldn't look like everyone else. Would people spot the sickie amongst them?
I woke up at 4:00 AM. Way too early. I knew it was nerves but I couldn't fall back asleep. I got up and got dressed and left. It's quite far and so I made it just in time. There was a 35 minute orientation. I couldn't focus. I was so worried about the run I couldn't focus. I did hear the warning about not falling into the canal. I giggled to myself. That sounded like something I would probably do.
Finally the time came. We walked across the street and did some stretching. We started off. I started off well. I had some Macklemore on the headphones and it felt good to be running. I was keeping up with the larger group! Holy cow, I was doing it!
Then something happened about 5 minutes in. I lost my breath. I do this when I get nervous. I knew I had to slow down, but I didn't want to. I saw the turn around ahead and wanted to at least make it that far. One of the coaches was there to cheer us on. He saw that I was turning around and he said, "Great time." I kept running. I saw that there were only 3 runners ahead of me. Unfortunately that realization came with SERIOUS breathing issues. I started walking.
Then I remembered.
I remembered laying in bed too tired and in pain.
I remembered an old friend from high school with fibromyalgia who is going through a rough patch lately.
So I started running again. For both of us.