I can't say my #BestRun is completing a marathon. I can't say my #BestRun is shattering a 5K PR. I can't say my #BestRun is coming back from a crippling injury or illness. My runs are none of those things.
I am an everyday slow runner. I don't rack up impressive weekly mileage or diligently track speedwork, tempo runs, hillwork, cross training, etc. I've finished in the far back of the pack in every race I've ever entered. I have crappy runs. Lots of them.
I pondered this at length... what IS my #BestRun? And I became convinced I've never had one. That I am still chasing my #BestRun like a child chases a rainbow or a runaway balloon.
Last night, my local running club, Gulf Winds Track Club, held its first meeting of an 8-week trail running training group, TrailBlazers. I've done other group runs with this club and know the drill. We break up into three groups: Advanced (sub 9mm), Intermediate (9-10mm), and Beginners (11mm+). Now I just started running six months ago, but I really dove in. So, I don't actually FEEL like a beginner. However I am slow - so that is my label.
A few friends I had hoped would make it were not able to be there. So I decided to walk by myself at a brisk pace. Each pack took off in waves. And I watched them go. This week we were running my usual trail, and I knew it well. There I was, third from last, walking. While I walked, I thought to myself:
1. Why did I wear my white Mizunos? They'll get all muddy. I should've worn my old Brooks.
2. I wonder why Friend A and Friend B couldn't make it at last minute. I hope they come next week, I dont want to do the next eight weeks by myself. (DG comes to the training runs - but he runs in the faster group - essentially leaving me alone.)
3. Cripes! I didn't wear a running bra. This stupid sports bra has ZERO support. Better not even attempt to jog, or I'll hurt myself.
4. The mosquitoes are getting really bad already. Why do mosquitoes ignore everyone else in the vicinity and only feast on me?
5. I'm going to yell at DG when I see him for not reminding me to coat myself with bug repellant.
6. How long have we been out here? Maybe I should head back to the Jeep. No wait, we brought DG's Jeep today, not mine.
7. I'm going to yell at DG for not giving me his spare Jeep key so I can sit and wait for him instead of being eaten alive by mosquitoes.
8. I wonder if these mosquitoes have malaria? Have I been vaccinated against malaria? Where are my childhood shot records?
9. Why didn't I bring headphones? I have a pair each in my Nathan belt and my SPIbelt, but I was so eager to try out my new iFitness belt - I didn't pack anything in it.
10. DG could've offered me HIS keys before the run started. At least!
11. Out of over 40 people on this run, I'm the only person here wearing tights. Everyone else is wearing shorts. They are not as delicious to the mosquitoes - so they don't need to cover their legs.
12. How long have I been out here? There is no way that mile marker is correct; I've gone further than that!
Shortly into the second mile, I looked down at my feet and saw I was running. Now my thoughts were:
1. I'm running! It feels suprisingly good!
2. If I stay low to the ground like this and don't bounce, my lack of supportive bra doesn't bother me too bad.
3. How does my form look?
4. Hmm, now what was the Chi Running mental checklist I should be going over?
5. Should I walk now? I don't want to walk.
6. Wow. I'm doing the deep belly breathing the right way, without thinking about it.
7. Well, I'm thinking about it NOW. But I was doing it before - unconsciously.
8. I'm going FAST!
10. I still don't want to walk. But maybe I should.
When we got home, I found my #SweatPink Ambassador Welcome Package waiting for me in the mailbox. More on that later!