Being the new kid again

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I am the new kid.

In running groups, at work, in my new, daily life here I am the new face in the crowd.

It’s not a bad place to be, and if you know me just a tiny bit, you’ll know I thrive on having people not know what to expect.

In Boston, I fell into regular patterns; the same tried-and-true running routes; the same running partners I could count on, the familiar… the known.

Now? It is ALL unknown.

Tonight, I went for a run with a group from a local running store here. My friends at work invited me (because they are awesome) and I knew it would be a good way to meet people and get the lay of the land.

And for the first time in a long, long time I felt intimidated just THINKING about going.

I run slowly. For real. I have fast buried in me I’ve been able to haul out for some 5ks, but on the whole my pace hovers right below 10 minute miles.

I know better than to be intimidated by runners, simply because we all started someplace and I’ve only met one runner who wasn’t supportive of just running despite my pace.

I also know better than to worry about such silly things when I just moved to a new place, haven’t established any routines yet, and am most proud of the fact that I can get to Wegmans and back without winding up in New Jersey.

But, I still had that moment today.

That moment where the girl who started running 2 years ago spoke up inside my head and said “this is why you never tried running in the past– you were scared you would suck.”

In just over a week, I’ll run the Heartbreak Hill Half Marathon back in Boston.

And I don’t care what that girl says about hitting her goal pace, or wanting to break some personal record.

Why won’t I care?

Because tonight I remembered running has always been about more than goal times and paces (though DUDE is it amazing to crank out a new PR). It’s always been about how it makes me feel.

Tonight, running with a great group of people, in this strange new place I’m learning my way around, I felt joy.

And I kissed a mule.

And to think, for just that split second today, I debated not going.

Maybe I am getting stronger. In all the ways that count most.

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4 Comments

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  1. I’m in the same boat as you!!! Just moved to Emmaus, feel great when I make it “there and back” without getting lost and finding my stride in an entirely new area. I’ve battled horrible shin splints since we moved here but once they’re under control I plan to join the group runs too. Hopefully we will meet!

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  2. So proud of you! Only a week there, and you refuse to hide out in your place until you get comfortable…I think what you’re doing, and the way you’re doing it, is amazing! Keep inspiring!

    Like

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