Running with Friends

I am back to running. Which is pretty amazing. I mean, AH-MAZE-ZING! I have been lucky (and smart about training, thanks to Coach Mick – new coach!). So far, I haven’t really had any hiccups with the foot, which (knock all the wood!) seems to continue to feel better every day.

The mind works in mysterious ways though and there are lots of pieces to getting back to running. For me, one of my greatest joys is running with my girlfriends. I have missed these women so much. As often as we try to meet for coffee or drinks or swimming, it’s not the same as the near-daily 6am shared miles that build a friendship and even a sisterhood. I’ve been able to see Snarky Girl and Coach DSS for swimming, but I have missed my running babes so much. More running means more chances to re-integrate into each other’s lives.

We do long runs on Sunday morning so Saturday evening I texted to ask about plans. I got back a time and place and the mileage total, which was, of course, much, much higher than what I was running. I was running three intervals of two miles each with walk breaks. Teacher Runner and Blue Turtle were doing 12-14 miles. If I was expecting balloons and streamers to welcome me back, they weren’t throwing any at me.

My brain decided to get worried about this. I sulked to Mervus. My friends don’t like me anymore. I’m too slow for them now. They are marathon training together and don’t want me barging in. Probably they think I am really boring and too old to hang out with. What if this stupid injury costs me my friends and training partners? I texted back that they were meeting too early for me and I would catch them some other time. I sulked some more. Mervus noted that our group is traditionally very welcoming and if it mattered that much to me, I should just get up earlier and meet them. I texted again, apologizing for being so ridiculous, and said I would meet them after all. Smart Mervus.

I’ve become a real podcast junkie lately and one of my favorites is Tina Muir’s show, Running for Real. One of Tina’s recent guests, Bonnie Kelly, has written a book called “True To Your Core: Uncovering the Subconscious Beliefs That Wreak Havoc on Your Life.” Bonnie points out that most of us have insecurities in our subconscious minds that can really get in our way. Apparently I discovered one of mine Saturday evening with the whole I’m-not-good-enough-they-don’t-want-me fiasco. Bonnie recommends fixing this problem by introducing some possible alternative scenarios. In fact, I discovered that Teacher Runner stopped texting because she fell asleep and Blue Turtle was distracted because she was putting her kids to bed. The lack of streamers had nothing at all to do with me. Good to remember that.

How was the actual running after all that build up? Excellent and uneventful! My brain had spent all its worry-power on the social side of things so it had none left for my foot. I ran two easy miles with Teacher Runner and Blue Turtle and then let them run off while I did my walk break. I was not even tempted to go with them because this return-to-running has been going so very well and I have no desire to screw it up with that kind of shenanigans. Because I spent so much time fretting about whether my friends still liked me (News flash! Of course they do!), I forgot that I haven’t run six miles in months, maybe since November? Total mileage for the day was 6.2 so I finished a nice little 10K in 1:01:28 even with the walk breaks. I suspect I will be bidding them adieu very soon!

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