This morning I ran with Misery Loves Company (MLC) at Ridley Creek/Tyler Arboretum. The day began wet and cloudy but the rain was over before we started and by the time I headed home blue skies and sun prevailed.
I waffled many times this week about whether to go for this run. In my head the MLC group is a little intimidating. In reality, though, the people are awesome and truly believe in no one left behind. I'm just trying to get comfortable with being one of the one's not being left behind. :) I have to look at it as incentive to get stronger and pay it forward someday.
There were lots of reason to go; not the least of which is the aforementioned awesome people. Other reasons included - the meeting spot is less than 10 minutes from my house and I am registered for the Tyler 10K in April so spending time on these trails is something I should be doing to get ready. The icing on the reasons-to-go cake was the messages flying around last night in favor of starting an hour later at 8 a.m.
The only remaining hitch in the plan was the rating Pete had given the run - 4. Pete has a comical but lovable way of underestimating trail ratings. A 4 for Pete can turn out to be 5 or more for the rest of us. I wondered if I was ready for a 4. Admittedly I struggled with this way more than is probably healthy during the course of this week. In the end - as in minutes before I almost bailed again this morning - I decided that 4 means it will challenge me not that it's impossible.
So off I went. And very glad I did.
The trail starts off uphill. A fairly significant hill for me. Somehow I was in the middle of the group of as we started. I pulled over halfway up and took up a more realistic spot at the back.
When I first decided to sign up for Tyler 10K I turned to MLC for support and training advice. Awesome as ever, they gave me lots of support and advice - even the folks I haven't met yet. The theme of that advice was to have fun and just go out and run trails. "Run the flats and walk the hills" they said. Today's run had a fair amount of up and down. I pushed myself on the hills so as not to get too far behind. My legs held up very well but my lungs wanted to explode. So while today's run confirmed that I still have a lot of work to do it also showed me I'm stronger than I think. I may have been last but I was there. Thank you MLC.
After one go-round which I estimate was 2.5 miles? I broke off to the RCSP multi-use trail. Maggi, Julius and Mike came with me allowing the faster MLC folks to find their own pace on the trails. Mike is training for the Space Coast half marathon Thanksgiving weekend so he ran the multi use trail. Maggi, Julius and I powered walked and talked. It was a great morning!
So there were 8 in the group today including me. Three of them I have not run, walked or biked with this year and although I spent most of the time in their dust I'm counting it and adding John C. John H. and Ryan to my list. I'm up to 40 since March 1st. :)