Last night I went to a group run hosted by Runners Depot, a local running store in Ft. Lauderdale with my running friend, Tracy.
First thing, you should probably know is that I have to laugh as I call her "my running friend, Tracy." See, being new to this running group and not knowing anyone else, Tracy quickly filled in as a hostess for me and introduced me to the other members of the group. And as she introduced me, she always said "and this is my running friend, Amy."
And at first, that kind of made me cringe. I mean, c'mon... we talk almost every day either through facebook or text. We've gone to dinner together (albeit only once after meeting Jeff Galloway), and our interactions are not strictly limited to the running community. I felt like I was being relegated to a lower class of relationship than "friend" and it made me sad.
But then, I realized that I call my friends Brina and Seth "my running friends" although our relationships are (I hope) far deeper than just people that I get together once in awhile to run with. And with that I realized that I shouldn't be offended at being called a "running friend," I should be honored. And I am.
So anyway, last night I finally attended the Runner's Depot running group that Tracy had been inviting me to for months. I had been resisting because somewhere in the back of my mind I worried that I would never be able to keep up, or I would just look and feel dumb when out there with people who were so much more experienced than I am.
Logically speaking, I know that is just my self doubt talking and if being sick a couple weeks ago taught me anything it is that I need to believe in myself, and my own abilities. If I only have one life to live, It is time that I stop wasting my time on negative self-talk. But I digress...
We met up at just after 6pm and had a short stretch session so that we could be ready to head out for 6:30. we headed east on the 17th street causeway, then up and over the drawbridge. Yuck. The weather was atrocious... it was 94 degrees out with 61% humidity and sunny as you would expect it to be in the Sunshine State. I chose to not take any chances and get my mileage in at a brisk walk.
I was drenched in minutes, and my body was absolutely screaming. Once up and over the bridge the first time there were multiple options for the the group (head out to the beach, turn around and do the bridge again, loop underneath the bridge on the road and go back across on the other side, etc). I chose to just do straight back and forths.
I managed to get 2 round trips across the bridge before the group headed back to the store... I probably could have banged out another trip to add an extra mile (the bridge is 1/2 mile from one side to the other), but it was just too hot.
Thus far, my entire running career has been on flat ground (with an occasional bridge during a race)... and though I originally hail from a mountainous region... I feel safe in calling myself a flat-lander. And if there is one thing that flat-landers hate, it is non-flat terrain.
I absolutely hated, loathes, and abhored the bridge repeats.
Yet on the drive home, I found myself happily looking forward to doing it all over again next week.