My first 4 half marathons I’ve trained with my dog and myself. I’ve sweated it out alone, made my own training plan, and fought my demons on the run head on. When I signed up for my first marathon, I knew I couldn’t fake it. I’m not saying I faked it through my halves, but I’m saying a full marathon secretly scares the shit out of me and I’d like training and support to get it through.
I’ve been group training on the weekends now for 8 weeks (currently in week 9) and can I just say group training blows my socks off? My group is about 20-25 runners from all different backgrounds and ages. Anywhere from 10-20 showing up for the weekend runs and they are just awesome. I feel comfortable pacing with anyone in the group and having something to talk about. The pace can be a challenge for me – I have a really difficult time cooling/heating my body during the regular day much less trying to cool off on a long run, but I enjoy running with them.
This last weekend we ended up doing 13.35 miles with the most brutal hill repeats at mile 4 with 4 repeats lasting about a mile and half. They killed me. I learned my legs are growing stronger because of them, but by the last two miles of the run my body wasn’t cooling any more. I felt like I couldn’t get my heart rate down and I had to walk/run those last two. I was crushed. Nevermind that’s the second fastest half I’ve ever done with the brutal hill repeats. I was bummed I couldn’t stay with my group. Everyone was really supportive at the finish and checking in with me and we were all telling each other how great we did.
My point is this: this is one of the first times in my life that I’ve been around a group of people who are truly supportive. There is no competition, secret put downs or backhanded comments. We are all there to run together and support each other. Each of our goals are individual goals but as a team we can help each other reach them. How freaking fantastic is that?!?!
Why can’t life be more like this? We all succeed when everyone moves forward. It isn’t you versus me, it’s where we can all get there together. I want to be surrounded by great people who challenge me to be a better person, tell me like it is when I need it and let me cry on their shoulder when I’m falling apart. I’m trying to bring this into my daily life – work and friendships. I’m learing to be more supportive and happy for others and their successes rather than comparing their lives to mine. I’m far from perfect and I struggle with it, but I’m getting there.
How are you being supportive to those around you and what struggles do you find you have?