Yesterday I did something I never thought I’d do, a fun run.
If you follow my blog you know that I’m a solo runner. Training with groups gives me a lot of anxiety because I just want to do my own thing and not be beholden to anyone else. Even though it takes me a long time to get out the door and go run, I always do. I’m not the type of person who needs a friend to workout or else I don’t do it. I put enough pressure on myself to complete my runs for the week.
Well the other day when I was shopping at iRun Texas, the sales woman encouraged me to do the 5 mile, hilly, fun run. I know you all think Texas is flat and it is but there is a reason they call San Antonio the “hill country”. SA is extremely hilly. If I were to equate it to a treadmill I would say the hills around here vary between a 10-15 incline.
I decided to take the challenge and as Nike says “Just Do It”.
I was pretty nervous all day. Temperatures were hovering in the late 90′s and the sun was bright and strong. I put on my new Brooks running skirt and Moving Comfort tank top and my Mom drove me over to the store. I asked her if she would take some photos and videos of me along the way so I could take a look at my form. She happily agreed.
This particular fun run was also testing out new running shoes. They had a representative from Newton Energy Shoes and he fit everyone for shoes and said we could wear them out for the run. Immediately I thought the shoes were super light which I liked but they didn’t have a lot of cushion.
Since I was only going 5 miles I thought I’d give the shoes a try. Workers in the store set up tons of goodies and normally I’m into that kinda thing but I was really focused on the run. I felt the same way I do on race days. Super focused, determined and a bit competitive. Like for a while I was thinking “I really want to WIN this fun run.”
There were about 30 of us gathered and it looked to be a mixed bag of people with mostly athletic builds. One girl mentioned how she was doing her first half and I shared how I was doing my first full. I couldn’t really gage if people wanted to talk or not so I kinda kept to myself. I thought we were all doing the 5 mile loop but when asked most of the people only did 2-3 miles before turning around. I wanna say only 5 of us did the whole loop.
Since I’m not truly from these parts I got a little lost and ended up doing 5.3 miles. My first mile was a PR for me 8:49 (I told you I wanted to win). After realizing I was about to head up my first hill I decided to slow down and not try and kill myself in the Texas heat. Actually as soon as people started running I realized every single person was carrying water except me. I panicked and quickly ran into the store and got some.
Even with the hills I managed to do my next 4 miles at around 10 minutes each. I got stuck at a stoplight for like 3 minutes which really messed me up. We don’t have those on the Lake Shore Path.
I definitely wasn’t in the front of the pack but I held my own and slowly ran up each hill while many others walked them. I’m not trying to brag, I’m just saying that I endured and it felt so so good.
Back in 2005 I ran a similar route in San Antonio and thought I was going to need an ambulance. I ended up walking the whole way and may have even called my Mom to come and get me.
I can’t believe how much things have changed. I felt like I could have done 5-6 more miles as long as there were no more hills involved.
I’m also happy to report I wasn’t sore at all today.
Special shout out to my Mom who followed me the whole way and took pictures and videos. Thank God she had my other running shoes on hand because after 2 miles in the Newton Energy shoes my feet were screaming and I changed quickly into my Brooks Glycerin on the side of the road. My Mom also handed out bottles of water to people and they seemed very grateful. My feet are very persnickety and require so much cushion. I don’t want to diss Newton Energy shoes. They were really cool and I could tell other people loved them. Unfortunately they just weren’t for me.
The one thing I took away from all this is how much fun runs feel like race days to me. I felt so motivated running out there on the Texas hills with a bunch of strangers. Not one person bothered me or made me feel anxious about my pace. Everyone really did whatever they wanted.
Let’s just say I’ve already looked into some fun runs in Chicago. Maybe I’ll do another one. You never know.