It was sometime last week when I felt that I wouldn’t be able to do it. To run the 10km in June. This is so typical of me with running. I love the feeling of accomplishment afterwards, but I would never say I enjoy a run. Not in the same way I love Zumba. I love the isolation it gives me. The ability to shut myself away from others and be at one with my thoughts. But I never feel very good at it, I never feel I achieve what others can.
Fast forward to last week. About this time, in a whatsapp group chat, me and the other mums that are raising money thought it would be a great idea to try and run together. Or at least set off at the same time as everyone else and see how far we get! I initially offered my house as a setting off point. But soon realised that as my husband would be back from seattle the day before, he may not want a group of mums to wake him up at 8am! The plan was thwarted.
Then another mum said that she was happy to host. Not only host, but make us breakfast after too. I picked up two other mums along the way and off we went on our journey. Some would be filled with excitement. Finding others to run with and going on a mini adventure to an unknown place would be exciting. Not me.
The truth is, for every person that finds that situation exhilarating, there is another person that fits in the same peg as me. The sense of adventure is coupled with a sense of dread and worry. Worrying that I will get lost and be left behind, not knowing the route back. Dread that I am so slow that the ladies will get frustrated with me and I will slow them down. Dread that despite thinking I am running, I will be unveiled as the fraud I may well be.
Roland was with me. He dampens the anxiety of getting lost. The mums I were with also dampened that anxiety. I was thankful that I arrived with someone. We set out at a sensible pace (for me.) All with various devices to determine how far we had got. We moved effortlessly through the public footpath, off road, enjoying the scenery. Interrupted by one dog walker who commented that Roland probably had enough. He hadn’t, he kept me moving.
I got tired towards the end and began jeffing. But the running pack continued to stop, wait when we got to a corner, or a turning. I didn’t slow them down, I had my own method of running and it worked with them. I was always at the back of the pack, but when one mum needed to catch her breath she would come and run with me.
Despite the fact that my anxiety was proven wrong (and breakfast was lovely), I know that the little anxiety fairy will always be there. Waiting to start the negativity in everything I do. I need to hold on to this run. I need it to remember how my anxiety was proven wrong, that every bad thought that I had never happened. But most of all, I know that the mums I have started running with are lovely. They don’t care how slow, or fast anyone is. They are here for the fun and the friendship.
That is the important bit. So in June, when I am driving to the race venue, I need to hold onto the fact that despite not knowing the park, or knowing where I am going. There will be the same lovely mummies (at the finish line of course) waiting for me, willing me on with each of us gaining the same sense of accomplishment despite achieving it in 40 minutes or 90 minutes. The aim and the goal is the same.
To all those that feel like me, keep moving and make friends along the way. Total distance – 3.30 miles.