I've found that I run at a different pace than most of the group. I don't walk the whole time, but I'm not strong/fast enough to keep a 4:1 (4 minutes running, 1 minute walking) pace either, and there's no way I could do the 5:1 pace more than once or twice. So I go at my own rate. I've had to work on not beating myself up for that. I'm out there running/walking and doing that alone (especially for 9 miles!) is a big deal. Who cares if I'm slower than most? So, I've just gone at my own pace. I bring my ipod along and just go and do what works for my body. I do what doesn't stress my asthma but keeps me pushing for more.
Last Saturday at our run, I was sort of beating myself up over it again. I was blaming myself for being too introverted or too much of a loner and thinking it was a social issue and not a running issue. Mid-self-reprimand, I stopped to stretch (I was less than a mile into the run) and a new woman, an alum who was training with us for the day, stopped to check on me and make sure I was ok. I said I was just tight and needed to stretch out more. She stayed with me and we got acquainted as we got back on the track.
In training, as you go, it's valuable to know what pace someone runs/walks (mostly so you know whether or not you'll be keeping pace with each other or if you'll be parting ways soon). We found out we were keeping a pace closer than not and we agreed to do a 2:1 pace together. Her timer was set and kept us going along at a consistent pace. We talked and got to know one another and had a lovely run together. It was nice to finally have someone at my pace and that I was comfortable chatting with along the way. After our turn around, I needed to stop at a rest stop and told her I could catch up, and yet she decided to stay with me and we would journey along together.
I can't tell you how appreciative I was to have a running mate where I didn't feel defeated for not being able to keep up or frustrated for not doing more running. And to top it all off, I finished the NINE MILES on my feet and feeling well!
Thank you D for a great run!
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